Upon release to the community following a conviction for a registerable offense, the sex offender is required to register with the Division of Criminal Justice Services. In order to determine the level of community notification and duration of registration, a hearing is held by the sentencing court. After examining the facts in the 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. The risk level is based on the court's assessment as to 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.
The court may assign one of the following three risk levels. The risk level governs the amount and type of information which can be released as community notification. (Note: In the interim period between registration and the risk level hearing, the offender's risk level may be referred to as "pending" and information about the offender may only be released in accordance with the standards for a low risk offender).
- Level 1 (low risk of repeat offense), or
- Level 2 (moderate risk of repeat offense), or
- Level 3 (high risk of repeat offense and a threat to public safety exists).
In addition to the risk level, the court also determines whether the offender should be designated a sexual predator, a sexually violent offender or a predicate sex offender.
For more information, please visit the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Sex Offender Registry website.