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Understanding the New York Sex Offender Danger Level Ratings

Monday Nov 14th, on Sex Crimes |

According to, a former Syracuse police officer who was convicted of a sexual offense after molesting young boys was given a sex offender rating of level three.  By contrast, a serial collector of child pornography was given a sex offender rating of level two. The difference in the ratings means that the two men will face different consequences, even though both men are classified as sex offenders who were convicted of sex crimes.

All sex offenders in New York must go through the rating process. The ratings can determine whether an offender is listed in the public sex offender registry and for how long. Due to the potentially life-changing consequences of being listed as a sex offender, anyone who is accused of a sex crime or who has been convicted of such an offense should talk with Albany sex crime lawyers about how to try to stay off the registry or get a lower sex offender rating.

An attorney can explain the relevant factors that determine how defendants are given their ratings and can provide you with help in trying to avoid the most serious of consequences after accusations that a sexually-based offense has been committed.

How Are New York Sex Offender Danger Level Ratings Determined?

In New York, there are three different danger levels for sex offenders:

  • Level one offenders are offenders who are considered to be the least dangerous. They are not listed on the public sex offender registry and they stay in the database of sex offenders for 20 years.
  • Level two offenders are offenders who are considered to be mid-level offenders. They are listed on the public sex offender registry but can petition for removal after 30 years.
  • Level three offenders are offenders who are listed on the public sex offender registry and who will be listed for the rest of their lives. They are considered the most dangerous.

A point system is used when the court makes a determination of what level a defendant is going to be rated.  Points are assigned for various things, including:

  • 10 points for the use of forcible compulsion
  • 15 points for causing physical injury
  • 30 points if the offender was armed with a dangerous instrument
  • 5 points for sexual contact over clothing
  • 10 points for sexual contact under clothing
  • 25 points for intercourse, oral or anal contact, or aggravated sexual abuse
  • 20 points if there were two victims
  • 30 points if there were three or more victims
  • 20 points if the offender engaged in a continuing course of sexual misconduct
  • 20 points if the victim was age 11 to 16
  • 30 points if the victim was age 10 or under, or 63 or older
  • 20 points if mental incapacity or physical issues made the victim helpless
  • 20 points if the victim was a stranger; if the relationship with the victim was initiated for purposes of victimization; or if the relationship was a professional one and the offender abused his power
  • 10 points if the offender committed a sex offense at age 20 or under

These are just a few of the many different things for which an offender could earn points.  A person is a Level 1 offender if he earns 70 points or less; a level two offender for earning between 70 and 110 points; and a level 3 offender for earning more than 110 points. 

The Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC can provide help to those who are accused of sex crimes so they can understand what their options are for defending themselves and what the outcome of a conviction could entail. Contact us today for immediate assistance.

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