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Defendant Seeks to Change His Sex Offender Status


In New York, a system of using an offender’s previous crimes to predict his recidivism rates is used. This system classifies sex offenders into degrees. A New York Criminal Lawyer said that certain offenses will cause the offender to be classified as a higher risk to the public if they are released without tighter supervision. In one case, the offender was convicted on July 29, 1982 for attempted rape in the first degree. This offense is considered a class C felony sex offense under Penal Law §§110.00, 110.05 and §130.35. The Sex Offender Registration Act, requires a hearing be held in the Supreme Court to ensure that the designated level of risk that is assigned to an offender is appropriate as it relates to their offenses. In this case, the court took into account, a previous sex offense that had been committed while the offender was still a juvenile.

The offender’s counsel moved to reduce his sex offender status rating because his juvenile record should have remained sealed and not considered as relevant to the current crime. The court did not agree. They admitted that juvenile offenses are deemed vacated after the offender has been adjudicated and served their sentence, however, when it comes to a prior felony sex crime conviction, the court is reticent to not include it. Just because an offender is a juvenile when he commits the offenses that are included in the Sex Crime Registration Act, it does not preclude the court from considering his prior actions when they determine the risk that he poses to commit the same or similar offense again in the future.

The offender’s counsel petitioned the court to provide a presumptive override to the decision based on the use of the juvenile history in determining the offender’s recidivism rate. The court maintained that Risk Assessment Guidelines that were developed by the Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders found that it was appropriate to utilize all information that may be a predictor to the likelihood that the offender will pose a significant risk to the public safety. The risk points that are allocated are based on the facts that are acquired with review of the offender’s criminal history. Failure to include all information that is available on an offender’s criminal history would skew the results of the guidelines.

The defense counsel then argued that the court in utilizing the prior criminal history had failed to consider the totality of the circumstances that were involved in his prior assault conviction. The Supreme Court considered this argument and decided that there was validity to considering the totality of the circumstances involved in the first conviction. A Bronx Criminal Lawyer said the case was remanded back to the Supreme Court of Kings County to hold a new hearing as it relates to considering the totality of the circumstances surrounding the initial complaint.

This case demonstrated that the court attempts to consider all available avenues when they rate a sex offender for follow up supervision. While it is not feasible to assume that they will accurately predict the future offenses of a convicted sex offender, it is also not fair to include prior offenses without considering all of the circumstances that surrounded the conviction of the person in the first place. It is possible, as it is with many youthful offenders, that the circumstances can shed an entirely different light on the acts that resulted in the conviction of the subject for the first offense. A Mahattan Criminal Lawyer said the fact that he committed a second offense, is predicate to assuming that he is likely to be a risk to commit the same or similar acts in the future. While this information is critical to predicting his chances of recidivating, it is also important to determine if the facts surrounding the case uphold that prediction.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its criminal Lawyers have convenient offices throughout New York State and the Metropolitan area. Our sex crime Attorneys can provide you with advice to guide you through difficult situations, whether you have been charged with rape, sexual assault or child pornography.

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