What is a Sex Offender Risk Level in Arizona?
The way in which sex offenders get registered in Arizona is determined on two levels – both federal and state.
The basics for sex offender registration are established in the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexual Violent Offender Registration Act of 1994. According to this federal guideline, states are required to track sex offenders and re-confirm their residence every 10 years.
In 1996, Megan’s Law made the information about sex offender registration public.
Apart from these federal rules, however, Arizona also has its state guidelines that affect sex offender registration and the risk levels assigned depending on the type of offense.
Risk Level Establishment
Arizona looks at 19 separate criteria in order to establish a sex offender’s risk level.
Law enforcement professionals believe these 19 factors can provide very strong indication about whether a person who’s been convicted of a sex crime is likely to commit another offense in the future.
Each of these 19 criteria is give a specific weight that’s calculated in the form of points. Once points are assigned to each one, they are added together and the risk is assessed on the basis of the final value obtained.
Levels 1, 2 and 3 are considered community notification levels.
In this instance, level one is considered the lowest possible risk of re-offending in the future. Level two stands for intermediate risk and level three is seen as a high risk level.
Once the risk level is assigned, it would be up to the officer to determine if this assessment is going to be accepted or if an additional assessment is going to be carried out.
Other Specific Provisions Determined by Risk Level
There are specific provisions and safety precautions associated to each of the sex offense risk levels.
In the case of a level one offender, the local police department will be required to maintain updated information about the offender. Depending on the specifics of the situation, a notice may be issued to people living in proximity.
Whenever a sex offender is classified as a level two offender, the police department will be required to notify immediate neighbors, schools in the vicinity, employers and community groups. There are no specific requirements for posting flyers or a press release about the situation.
Things are different whenever the highest risk level is assessed. In that instance, the local police department has the duty to notify the neighborhood, schools employers, and community groups. There will need to be a flyer that features the offender’s picture, address and specifics of the criminal offense. In addition, an official press release will have to be published to local television, newspaper and other media.
Information about level two and level three offenders is also available online. Usually, level one offender information is not made generally available to the public, unless a specific community is considered at risk.
Click here for information on sex offender compliance in Arizona.
Your Rights after Sex Offender Registration in Arizona
Not everyone believes that having one’s name, address and type of criminal offense announced publicly is fair. This, however, is the law in Arizona. People who have been found guilty of level two and three sex crimes will need to find a way to deal with the situation.
Keep in mind there are no limits pertaining to how long a sex offender’s name must remain within the state registry.
Once released from custody, a person who has been found guilty of a sex offense will need to register with the Department of Public Safety. A failure to do so within the first 10 days is a criminal offense that’s a Class 4 felony in Arizona.
After the completion of the registration, your information will be passed on to a local law enforcement agency. Depending on the risk assessment, the local law enforcement will determine whether the community has to be notified.
If you have questions about the process or you feel uncertain about your rights, get in touch with an Arizona criminal defense attorney that’s experienced in sex crime representation. Talking to a professional will make it much easier for you to make future plans.