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SORA’s registration obligations

A New York Criminal Lawyer said that, this is an appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court, entered August 5, 2010 in Albany County, which, among other things, dismissed petitioner’s application, in a proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78, to review a determination of the Division of Criminal Justice Services requiring petitioner to continue to register as a sex crime offender.

A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said that, defendant was convicted in Suffolk County in 1997 of the crime of sodomy in the third degree; petitioner was required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act and was subsequently adjudicated a risk level II sex offender. He thereafter relocated to Virginia where, based on his New York conviction, he was also required to register as a sex offender. In 2008, the Circuit Court for Fairfax County, Virginia granted petitioner’s petition for removal of his name from the Virginia sex crime offender registry.

Later that year, petitioner filed his annual New York sex offender registration forms with the Division of Criminal Justice Services under protest and requested to be removed from the New York registry. In response, the Division informed petitioner that he had a lifetime obligation to register under SORA. Upon the Division’s next request for his registration information in 2009, petitioner commenced this CPLR article 78 proceeding seeking, among other things, to annul the Division’s determination requiring him to continue to register as a sex offender as in excess of its statutory authority and in violation of various provisions of the US Constitution. Rejecting petitioner’s constitutional arguments and finding that the Division properly determined that his continued registration under SORA was required, Supreme Court dismissed the petition. Petitioner appealed.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said that, petitioner contends that the language of SORA and the legislative intent underlying the statutory scheme demonstrate that it is not to be applied to sex offenders who have left the state and, therefore, the Division lacked jurisdiction to require his continued registration.

The issue in this case is whether petitioner’s application, in a proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78, to review a determination of the Division of Criminal Justice Services requiring petitioner to continue to register as a sex crime offender should be granted.

The court in deciding the case said that, when interpreting a statute, we attempt to effectuate the intent of the Legislature and the starting point for discerning such intent is the language of the statute. Furthermore, because SORA is remedial in nature, it should be construed broadly and liberally to effectuate its purpose. “And where, as here, ‘the question is one of pure statutory reading and analysis, dependent only on accurate apprehension of legislative intent, there is little basis to rely on any special competence or expertise of the administrative agency'”. SORA requires that, for a risk level II sex offender such as petitioner, “the duration of registration and verification shall be annually for life”.

To be cont….

If there has been a violation of this rule in a decided rape case, seek the help of a New York Sex Crime Attorney and that of New York Criminal Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates. Call us now so that we can file the appropriate motion for your case.

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