Sex Offenders Basics

A sex offender is a person who commits a Sex Offense. Sex offenders must Register with the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Read the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) Correction Law Article 6-C.

Risk Levels

There are 3 levels of sex-offenders divided by the risk of re-offense, meaning how likely it is that the sex offender will commit another sex related crime. The sex offender level is set by the court. The 3 levels are:
Level 1 – lowest risk
Level 2 – moderate risk
Level 3 – highest risk

There are also three designations that the court can give a sex offender: sexual predator, sexually violent offender and predicate sex offender. These designations and the risk level assigned determine the sex offenders reporting requirements and how much information is open to the public.

Sex Offender Obligations

Sex offenders have many reporting responsibilities and requirements. Some of these include:

  • Reporting every year where they live to DCJS.
  • Notifying DCJS in writing of a new address no later than 10 days after moving.
  • Reporting in person to a local police agency to have a current picture taken every 3 years (Level 1 and 2 offenders) or every year (Level 3 offenders).
  • Notifying DCJS in writing of any school they are attending, enrolled in, living at or employed. Any changes must be reported to DCJS no later than 10 days after the change.
  • Providing written information to DCJS about their Internet service providers, Internet screen names and e-mail accounts.
  • Level 3 offenders and offenders with a sexual predator designation must personally verify their addresses every 90 days with law enforcement. Law enforcement may take a picture of a level 3 offender if that offender’s appearance has changed.
  • Level 2 and 3 offenders have to report the address of their employer to the DCJS.

Failure to perform any of the registration obligations is a felony.

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