In a recent case coming out of an appellate court in New York, the defendant’s request for a new analysis under the Sex Offender Registration Act was denied. The defendant took issue with the trial court’s decision regarding his “risk level” after he was originally found guilty of possessing child pornography. Asking for a lower risk level on the sex offender registry, the defendant argued there was not enough evidence to support the high risk level the lower court had assigned him. Reviewing the case and ultimately disagreeing with the defendant’s argument, the higher court denied his appeal.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant was charged with possession of child pornography several years ago, in 2014. He pled guilty and was sentenced accordingly. When an individual in New York is classified as a “sex offender” by the court, that person must register on the sex offender registry to notify the public of his or her risk level. Once the individual is sentenced, or if incarcerated before the individual’s release, a court must hold an evidentiary hearing to decide what the person’s assigned risk level will be. One is the lowest risk level, and three is the highest.
In this case, the court designated the defendant as a level two sex offender, meaning it thought he posed a moderate risk to the community. The defendant appealed, arguing he should have been classified as a level one instead of as a level two.
Looking at the defendant’s case, the higher court had to decide whether the trial court made an error in assigning the defendant his risk level. For several reasons, the court found no error in the lower court’s judgment. First of all, the evidence clearly showed that the defendant had a high number of child pornography pictures on his computer, and the pictures were all of kids he had never met before. The court explained that these two factors reasonably led the lower court to assign him a higher risk level.
Secondly, the court addressed the defendant’s argument that he had gone a substantial period of time without another offense prior to his hearing before the lower court. The higher court noted that he had spent two years without an offense between the day he was charged and the date of his hearing. From the court’s perspective, this was a small amount of time; therefore, this did not give the court a reason to rethink the level two assignment on the registry.
In light of these factors, the court denied the defendant’s appeal.
Have You Been Criminally Charged in the State of New York?
At Tilem & Associates, we are committed to working hard for our clients and using our two decades of experience to fight for the accused in New York. If you are looking for an aggressive defense attorney that can make sure your voice is heard, contact our office today. We handle all types of New York sex crimes, as well as other violent felony offenses. For a free and confidential consultation with a member of our team, you can reach us at 877-377-8666. You can also fill out our online form to tell us about your case.