One of the significant consequences defendants have to consider if convicted of a sex crime is registering as a sex offender. This registration impacts an offender's social and economic aspects of his/her life. Different sex offenses result in a registration requirement in any of the three tiers of the sex offenders' registry. Tier II or Level 2 of the sex offenders registry is for offenders with a moderate risk of committing another sex-related offense.
Should you face charges of criminal sexual misconduct, it is best to seek legal assistance. Our experienced team at Phoenix Criminal Attorney is ready to offer legal representation.
Level 2 Sex Offender Registration
Arizona law has three tiers in the sex offenders' registry. The difference in the category an offender will be placed in is informed by a sex offender’s likelihood of committing another sex offense.
- Tier I or Level 1 — For offenders with a low risk of reoffending
- Tier II or Level 2 — For offenders with a moderate risk of recidivism
- Tier III or Level 2 — For offenders with a high possibility of reoffending
Level 2 offenders are listed in two databases, namely:
- The online database of sex offenders — The Arizona Department of Public Safety runs the database and is open to the public, and
- The national database per SORNA (the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act)
The law requires Level 2 sex offenders to re-register annually and update their information with the local law enforcement agency. Further, offenders must renew their driver’s licenses annually. They are required to specify that they are registered sex offenders in their renewal application.
Level 2 offenders must also notify the local community of their presence every time they move into a new neighborhood.
Note: The assignment to any of the three levels in the sex offenders registry is not based on the underlying criminal offense but the sex offender assessment screening process. This means that defendants can be registered as Level 2 offenders for the following sexual crimes.
- Sex trafficking
- Sexual assault
- Sexual abuse
- Sexual exploitation of a minor
- Luring minors for sexual exploitation
- Child molestation
- Public sexual indecency with a child below 15 years of age
- Sexual conduct with a minor, or
- Numerous other sex offenses
Assessment Screening for Sex Offenders
The sex offender assessment screening determines the likelihood of an individual committing another offense upon release from prison. The assessment relies on the chance of a convict reoffending to decide which tier to categorize them.
Assessment screening relies on 19 information points to determine an overall score. The score determines the sex offender’s level. The factors are:
- The frequency of convictions of a sex offender for a sex-related crime. Further, the assessment also considers whether the crime was a misdemeanor or a felony
- The offender's age when he/she was first convicted of a sex-related offense
- The use of excessive force to commit a sex crime
- The weapon used, if any, while engaging in the violations that ended in a conviction
- The number of arrests for sex-related crimes that did not end in convictions
- Non-sexual related felonies on the offender’s criminal record
- The number of victims in all sex offenses, inclusive of offenses dismissed through plea deals
- The sex victims’ gender
- The relationship between the victim and the offender
- Drug or alcohol use
- Aggravating factors associated with sexual offenses like:
- Torturing a victim
- Forcefully moving the victim during the commission of the crime
- Tying up, handcuffing, binding the victim, or subjecting the victim to an unlawful imprisonment
- The offense lasting more than 3 hours
- The offender’s first sex crime conviction occurred years before the current conviction
- An offender’s employment or educational stability before being sentenced for the sex crime that occasioned the registration requirement
- An offender's mood disorder, mental illness, or IQ — The assessment targets offenders with an IQ level below 70
- Whether the offender had a prior offense between the time he/she was released from prison and when he/she committed a subsequent felony offense
- An offender’s sexual deviant interests, which include:
- Necrophilia — A condition where an individual derives sexual pleasure from having sex with deceased individuals
- Voyeurism — The practice of deriving sexual gratification by observing unsuspecting individuals naked, undressed, or engaged in sexual activities
- Fetishes — A sexual excitement derived from seeing an object or a body part other than the genital like feet, hands
- Pedophilia — Sexual attraction, arousal, and gratification to children, especially 13 years and younger
- Bestiality — Sexual intercourse between an individual and an animal
- Sexual sadomasochism — Taking sexual pleasure from inflicting humiliation, hardship, inflicting or suffering pain, or
- Exhibitionism — Involves exposing genitals or having a strong sexual desire by observing other people engage in sexual activity. For example, a history of indecent exposure.
- Any significant disciplinary issues while in prison
- Completion of substance abuse treatment after conviction
- The completion of sex offender treatment after conviction
An analysis of the above issues formulates two scores, namely:
- The risk of the offender committing another sex crime, and
- The risk of the offender committing another criminal offense
An offender will be assigned the Level 2 status if the assessment establishes that:
- Intermediate risk of the offender committing another sex offense exists
- Medium or high risk of an offender committing another crime exists, or
- The offender’s risk is too high for the Level 1 category but too low for the Level 3 classification
Online Visibility of Level 2 Sex Offenders
Some offenders have raised concerns about whether their status as Level 2 offenders will appear in the online database.
The online database lists Level 2 sex offenders. Any individual conducting a background search will find the status against the name searched if the subject of the inquiry is registered on the online sex offender’s database. The background search reveals the offender’s name, age, photograph, address, risk level, and the criminal offense he/she committed.
The sex offender registration is not limited to the Arizona database. It is also included in the national database, ensuring that authorities and the public are informed should the offenders cross state lines.
Level 1 sex offenders retain this status for 15 years. Level 2 sex offenders re-register as sex offenders for 25 years. The Level 3 sex offenders category, considered the high-risk classification, imposes a life-long registration requirement on offenders.
Arizona requires law enforcement and local agencies to report convicted sex offenders to the Department of Public Safety within 72 hours of their release from custody. Arizona law A.R.S. 13-382 confers the responsibility of maintaining the internet sex offender registry on Arizona’s Department of Public Safety.
All sex offenders must complete their registration within ten days of their release. If the judge did not impose jail time, the ten days would commence from the sentencing date. You must complete the registration.
Failure to register as a sex offender will result in your arrest and subsequent charge of a Class 4 felony violation. A conviction is punishable by imprisonment for one to three years and nine months.
Failure to re-register is a Class 6 felony whose conviction results in a prison sentence of between 4 months and 2 years. A judge could also impose a $250 assessment.
Consequences of Registration as a Sex Offender
Online visibility has far-reaching implications. Seeking legal representation when facing any of the offenses mentioned above is in your best interest. Experienced attorneys offer invaluable assistance in seeking the termination of registration as a sex offender.
Some of the consequences you should consider include:
Generally, most employers are not inclined to hire individuals with a criminal past. The situation is further complicated when the applicant is a registered sex offender. You will be denied employment opportunities in schools, salons, spas, and clothing stores, especially those with changing rooms. Further, the sex offender tag will affect your chances of working as a doctor or psychiatrist.
Difficulty Accessing Housing
Registered sex offenders are, in some cases, denied living options that are close to schools, daycares, playgrounds, or parks. This limitation significantly reduces your housing options. You will have to sacrifice your taste and preferences if your house option is close to schools, parks, or environments where children frequent.
Child Custody Complications
Part of the issues that sex registration seeks to address is the safety of children. Sex offenders have limited access to children. This means that you are likely to lose a child custody battle on account of your registration as a sex offender.
Limited Social Interaction
People generally have a tough time engaging with individuals with criminal backgrounds. The situation is heightened for individuals convicted of a sex crime and who are registered sex offenders. Most people shy away from having any interaction with a known sex offender.
Community Notification for Level 2 Sex Offenders
Arizona requires sex offenders to notify the community if they move into the area. Informing the community remains a high-priority issue in Arizona as it is a matter of public safety. Megan’s Law, a federal law requiring disclosure by sex offenders, informs this policy.
Community notifications follow after registering as a sex offender. The Department of Public Safety will forward your information to the local law enforcement agencies. From this point, community notifications will be required, depending on your risk level.
Community notification procedures for Level 2 sex offenders include:
- Distributing a notification flier to the community, prospective employees, area schools and daycare facilities, and appropriate community groups. Offenders should distribute the flyers within 45 days.
- Informing the print and electronic media through a press release and a notification flier — This should also be done within 45 days. Furthermore, the information will be posted in the local publication.
- The notification flier must include your photograph, address, status, and criminal background.
Note: When you move, you are meant to inform the local law enforcement agency, both from your current location and your target location. You are required to notify the county sheriff within three days if you move to a new place. This applies to the county sheriffs of your previous and new locations. The notification is done both in person and through mail.
Sex offenders' registration can be mandatory or discretionary.
Most mandatory sex regulation mandates are permanent. It is only in a few instances that the orders can be withdrawn. Sometimes, a judge can choose not to impose a sex registration requirement. This occurs for discretionary sex registration orders. Should the judge impose a requirement in this situation, the court can remove the requirement upon request.
Concerning community notifications, you are within your rights to request a hearing to terminate or defer the notification. At this hearing, as provided under Arizona law 13-923, you can urge the court to change probation conditions or your sex offender registration status.
Sex Offender Registration Requirement’s End
As pointed out earlier, Level 2 sex offenders must re-register annually for at least 25 years. However, there are a few limited exceptions to this rule.
If the child is an adjudicated delinquent by a judge in juvenile court, meaning they were found guilty of committing a criminal act, in this case, a sexual offense, the offender will re-register until he/she turns 22 years old.
If the juvenile was less than 18 years old when he/she committed the offense, the judge could terminate the registration requirement after the child completes probation.
If you were convicted of sexual conduct with a minor, you could petition the court to terminate your sex offender registration requirement. The hearing is only allowed if you demonstrate the following, as outlined in A.R.S. 13-3826.
- You were 22 years old or less at the time of the crime, and you were at least 35 years old at the time of filing the petition,
- The victim was 15, 6, or 17 years old when you committed the offense,
- You engaged in consensual sexual conduct,
- You are not a sexually violent individual,
- There was only one victim,
- You did not serve time behind bars for the crime,
- You complied and completed the probation terms issued, and
- You have not been convicted of any felony, a misdemeanor sex offense, or sexual exploitation of a minor.
Vacating a Sex Crime Conviction
Arizona law 13-909 allows for courts to vacate convictions of sex crimes if an application for the same is filed. However, the vacation is based on clear and convincing evidence supporting the application. Additionally, offenders can have judgments set aside on the condition that they fulfill the terms of their probation or sentences discharged by the court.
Some of the probation terms issued include:
- Remaining available for contact as directed by your probation officer
- Staying within the specified boundaries
- Notifying and seeking permission from officials when you decide to relocate
- Submitting to random inspection by officials
- No possession of firearms or ammunition
- Obtain a special driver’s license from the DMV every year
- No possession of alcohol, drugs, or both — Additionally, you should not have mood-altering substances unless prescribed by a doctor.
- Denied possession of pornographic content, including videos and magazines
- Submitting to random drug testing — Your probation officer could require breath, urine, or blood samples to test for alcohol or drug use
- Offenders could be denied access to a personal computer depending on the nature of the crime. If allowed, you will have restricted access enforced by preinstalled blocks that prevent you from accessing specific sites
- Probation officers must approve your residence or living arrangements — The officials determine the agreement based on an assessment of the risk an offender possess to the community,
- You must register with the county sheriff’s office if you are vacationing or visiting another state for more than ten days
- Participation in community service and attendance in sex offender education and treatment programs
- Attendance of sexual counseling by state-certifed counselors
- Enrolling and completing drug and alcohol dependency treatments and counseling offered by organizations like Alcohol Anonymous (AA)
If a judge grants the application, you will be free from all penalties and disabilities occasioned by your conviction.
However, the vacation of your conviction does not expunge your criminal record. The vacation offers you a fresh start. You can, therefore, find it easy to secure employment, vote, and carry a concealed weapon.
A.R.S. 13-907 bars the following offenses as potential offenses that judges can vacate convictions.
- Offenses involving victims below 15 years old
- Sexually motivated offenses
- Crimes that require registration as a sex offender
You must work with an attorney if you face a sex crime that imposes a sex offender registration requirement. From the above, A.R.S. 13-907 bars judges from setting aside judgments on sex crimes that impose a sex offender registration requirement. An attorney will work with the prosecution and the judge to have your penalties or charges reduced, thus avoiding the far-reaching consequences a conviction will result in.
Contact a Sex Offense Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me
A potential conviction for a sex crime could have a consequential impact on your life. While there are potential penalties for the underlying crime to worry about, you also have to consider the potential of registering as a sex offender. Hiring an experienced attorney is in your best interest. He/she could seek a plea deal to reduce the charges or penalties or fight the allegations should the case proceed to trial.
At Phoenix Criminal Attorney, we provide legal representation and assistance to individuals facing criminal charges for sex offenses. Contact our team for a free consultation at 602-551-8092 today.