Sex Offender Registry

The Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA), also known as 'Megan's Law', requires the registration of individuals convicted of certain Sex Offenses (registrable offenses) with the Division of Criminal Justice Services.

In order to determine the level of community notification and duration of registration, a determination hearing is held by the sentencing court. After examining the facts in a particular case, including, but not limited to, the use of force, weapons, alcohol or drugs, victim's age, number of victims, assault or injury of the victim and relationship to the victim, the court makes a determination regarding the offender's level of notification, commonly called the risk level.

Where an offender is in jail or prison for a sex offense, the Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders recommends to the court which risk level should be given to an offender. Where an offender does not receive jail/prison time or receives probation plus jail/prison time, the District Attorney recommends to the court which risk level should be given to an offender. However, in either case the court makes the final decision.

The determination of the risk level is based on whether a particular offender is likely to repeat the same or similar registerable offense and the danger the offender poses to the community. Because the risk level reflects factors unique to a particular sex offender, offenders convicted of the same offense may receive different risk levels. Sex offenders are classified as either low risk (Level 1), moderate risk (Level 2) or high risk (Level 3). A Level 1 offender means that the court has determined that there is a low risk to commit another sex crime. A Level 2 offender means that the court has determined that there is a moderate risk to commit another sex crime. A Level 3 offender means that the court has determined that there is a high risk to commit another sex crime.

Duties of a Sex Offender

All sex offenders are required to register with the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DJCS) within 10 days of discharge. A Level 1 offender (low risk) must register for twenty years or for life, and Level 2 (moderate risk) and Level 3 (high risk) offenders must register for life. The failure to register is a felony.

Level 1 or Level 2 sex offenders are required to register with DJCS, verify their addresses each year and notify DJCS no later than 10 days after any change of address. In addition to the same duties required of Level 1 or 2 sex offenders, Level 3 sex offenders or a sexual predators, regardless of level, are also required to personally verify their addresses every 90 days with the local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over their residences.

Level 1 and Level 2 sex offenders are required to provide DJCS with an updated photograph every three years from the date of registration. Level 3 sex offenders are required to provide an updated photograph to DJCS on an annual basis.

Level 3 sex offenders are required to provide their employment address to DJCS.

All sex offenders must notify DJCS of any institution of higher education at which they are or expect to be employed, residing, enrolled or attending. Any change of status at such institution must also be reported to the Division.

All sex offenders are required to report to DCJS all of their internet accounts and any e-mail addresses and screen names used for the purposes of chat, instant messaging or social networking. If a offender is on probation or parole, the terms of his parole or probation may limit his use of the Internet.

Petition to Modify Risk Level or for Relief from Registration

Any registered sex offender may petition the sentencing court for an order modifying the level risk level. The sex offender has the burden of proving the facts supporting the requested modification by clear and convincing evidence.

A level 2 sex offender who has not received a designation of sexual predator, sexually violent offender or predicate sex offender, who has been registered for a minimum period of 30 years, may be relieved of any further duty to register upon the granting of a petition for relief by the sentencing court or the court which made the determination regarding duration of registration and level of notification.