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CRIMINAL DEFENSE • DISCIPLINARY INVESTIGATIONS & HEARINGS

What do the sex offender designations mean?

In the state of New York, a sex offender is assigned a level of risk ranging from 1-3, with Level 1 being the lowest risk and Level 3 being the highest. In addition to these levels, there are three possible designations that the sentencing court may add: sexually violent offender, sexual predator and predicate sex offender.

A “sexually violent offender” is a person who was convicted of a sexually violent offense as defined in the New York Correction Law.

A “sexual predator” is a person who was convicted of a sexually violent offense as defined in the New York Correction Law, and who has a personality disorder or mental abnormality that makes the person likely to commit a predatory sexually violent offense.

A “predicate sex offender” is a sex offender who commits a sex offense, having previously been convicted of a sex offense.

The designations have serious consequences for individuals convicted of sex offenses. As one example, a Level 1 offender with no designation has to register as a sex offender for 20 years, but a Level 1 offender with a designation must register for life.

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