The Law Office of Lance Fletcher Reviews 2014's Biggest Changes in Criminal Law
Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) Downward Modification Standard is Lowered
The New York Court of Appeals this year decided People v. Gillotti, holding that those seeking to lower their SORA level need only prove supporting facts by a "preponderance of the evidence" and not by "clear and convincing evidence" which was the previous higher standard.
Any request to lower a SORA level will trigger a three step process:
- The court rules on whether the SORA Guidelines adequately took into account the basis for departure. If not, then,
- The court determines whether the "preponderance of the evidence" standard has been met. And,
- The court then makes a discretionary ruling based on all of the circumstances.
This lower standard should ease some of the burdens that convicted sex offenders face after their SORA assessments. As we previously wrote, being evaluated as a level 2 or level 3 sex offender can have dire consequences and extremely burdensome requirements. They include lifetime registration, having an obligation to provide employer address, and people publicly searchable on the Division of Criminal Justice Services website.
Contact us at the Law Office of Lance Fletcher for a free case evaluation.