What is SORA? | NYC Sex Crime Attorney

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SORA stands for Sex Offender Registration Act. It came to be in 1996 in the state of New York. Basically, it breaks down into three different levels of offenders; level one, level two and level three. Basically, people that are committed of sex crimes have to register as a level one offender for 20 years, as a level two and level three for life. And then there’s different degrees of registration, level three being the worst, where there’s actual community notification, where law enforcement agents go door to door and inform the neighbors of the convicted sex offender. “Hey, there’s a sex offender living at this address.” And level one, where the person’s on the registry, but they don’t have that strict of community notification. And then, of course, level two is somewhere in between.

A lot of times, people are on level two or level three registration requirements, and they say, “I don’t think I should be on this registration. I don’t think it’s fair. It’s interfering with my ability to work. It’s interfering with my ability to have a good family life.” Now, I think that the legislative branch was well-intentioned when it put people on registries, and when it put convicted sex offenders in the public eye, and did some community notifications for what are the worst offenders in that area of law, but good intentions can sometimes lead a person down the wrong path, and the fact of the matter is … And as someone … I’ve worked in sex crimes for the government for the years … I can tell you that the vast, vast majority of convicted sex offenders did not commit crimes against strangers. They committed crimes against people they knew.

When you do these community notifications and you put out these registries to the community at large, what it is a fact that’s happening is it’s reinforcing this public stereotype that the average sex offender jumped out of a bush or has the trench coat and the piece of candy that he’s showing to the children in a dark alley. It perpetuates these stereotypes of the sex offender and that actually … It’s counterproductive, because like I said, the vast majority are not those people. They’re neighbors, they’re dear friends of the family, they’re the uncles and other people, and that’s the type of information that the families need to protect themselves to what is … If they’re going to think about protecting their children from potential sex offenders, they need to think about not only what is sex offender behavior, but who are the people that are likely to do it.

If you are looking for a New York sex crime attorney, Paul D. Petrus Jr. can help you with his extensive experience in a variety of criminal areas. Mr. Petrus works in federal and state courts.

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