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Arizona’s Sex Offender Registry (The 3 Levels of Sex Offenders)

Sex crimes are likely the most serious crimes you can be accused of, other than homicide.  Regardless of the nature of the accusations, every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but the accusations themselves are often a major hurdle to overcome. That is why you need an experienced, and aggressive criminal lawyer. It is also part of the reason why sex crimes like sexual assault, abuse, or harassment are one of the worst crimes a person can be accused of. 

After a person is convicted but before they’re released from prison, they’ll go through a determination or risk assessment. Many sex offenses require a judge to place a person on the sex offender registration list, some of the crimes are discretionary. It will be determined what level of sex offender a person is required to register as. There are levels 1, 2, or 3. Each state has different consequences and requirements for being under a sex offender registry. In this article, we’ll go over Arizona’s rules and statutes. 

If you live in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Scottsdale, Flagstaff, Lake Havasu, or in any of Arizona’s 11 counties our sex crimes attorneys can defend and counsel you. If you’ve been charged with sexual assault, sexual abuse, or any criminal sexual misconduct you need experienced criminal defense. Contact our criminal defense law firm today to set up a consultation. 

Sex offender registration is required for the following crimes:

  • sexual assault,
  • commercial or non-commercial sexual exploitation of a minor,
  • luring or aggravated luring of a child for sexual exploitation
  • sexual abuse if victim uner 15 years old
  • continuous sexual abuse
  • child molestation
  • sexual conduct with a minor
  • taking a child for the purpose of prostitution
  • child prostitution, or
  • child sex trafficking

There are 19 factors when people are screened to determine what level they will be on the registry:

  1. how many times the offender has been convicted for a sex-related offense, whether a felony or a misdemeanor,
  2. non-sex-related felony offenses on the offender’s criminal record,
  3. arrests for sex-related offenses that did not lead to a conviction,
  4. the offender’s age when they were first convicted for a sex-related offense,
  5. the use of a weapon during a sex-related offense that ended with a conviction,
  6. the total number of victims for all of the sex offenses, including those dismissed through a plea deal,
  7. the gender of the sex offense victims,
  8. what relationship the offender had with his or her victims,
  9. use of excessive force to complete a sex offense,
  10. any aggravating characteristics to a sexual offense, like:
    • the offense lasted longer than 3 hours,
    • the offender forcefully moved the victim during the offense,
    • the victim was tortured, or
    • the victim was tied up, bound, handcuffed, or subject to unlawful imprisonment.
  11. the offender’s first conviction for a sex crime happened over 5 years ago,
  12. drug or alcohol use,
  13. the offender either has a mental illness, a mood disorder, or an IQ under 70,
  14. the offender’s education or employment stability before they were sentenced for the sex crime that led to their registration requirement,
  15. the offender has any “sexually deviant interests,” like:
    • voyeurism,
    • necrophilia,
    • pedophilia,
    • sexual sadomasochism,
    • bestiality,
    • fetishes, or
    • exhibitionism, like a history of indecent exposure.
  16. if the offender had a prior conviction, the time between his or her release from prison and the next felony offense,
  17. any major disciplinary issues that the offender had in confinement or prison,
  18. the completion of substance abuse treatment since the conviction, and
  19. the completion of sex offender treatment, since the conviction.5

What are the 3 levels of sex offenders in Arizona?

Level 1 Sex Offender

Level 1 offenders are considered low-risk offenders. In Arizona’s sex offender registry, a level 1 offender might not have to have their information widely available to the public. 

A level 1 sex offender only has to have their information; name, address, age, and current photograph publicly available if they’re convicted of 

Community notification does not need to happen for a level 1 sex offender, however, the county and local sheriff will keep a record of the offender. If the registered offender is sharing a living space with someone then the police will need to notify that person. Community groups, employers, and other public or private bodies will not be notified.

Level 2 Sex Offender

Level 2 sex offenders are considered to have a moderate risk or reoffending in Arizona. For this reason, they’re subject to publicly available information and the community notification process. For Level 2 and Level 3 offenders, a physical notification will be distributed. This flyer will be distributed to the local community and schools, as well as to the offender’s employer. It may also get printed by local newspapers and posted online. We’ll go over what this entails in this section.

A level 2 sex offender will have their information accessible to the public via an online database. This includes their current address, age, an up-to-date photograph, and their criminal background. Level 2 offenders will be listed in the publically-accessible online database of convicted sex offenders run by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS).1 They may also be listed in the national database created under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

Level 2 offenders have to keep their information current. This means re-registering each year and keeping the police notified of any change of address. A level 2 sex offender will also go through the community notification process which means that their neighborhood, local schools, employers, and local groups will be handed their information. 

Sex crimes that can result in a level 2 assignment are:

Level 3 Sex Offender

When an offender is deemed to be at a high-risk of reoffending they are categorized as level 3 offenders. Like level 2 offenders they have their information publicly available including a photograph, address, age, and previous offenses. However, unlike level 2 offenders these level 3 offenders cannot live in certain areas. 

Level 3 offenders must abide by certain residency rules. These include being barred from living within 1,00 feet of a private school, public school, child care facility, or a victim’s residence. 

For anyone facing registration or facing a failure to register violation, check out this quiz:

How long do you have to register once you’re released from custody/convicted?

  • 10 days. Must register with the sheriff. If being released on registration offense, 10 days from release/conviction. If being released from custody on any non-registration matter, 72 hours from release, unless transient. 

How long do you have once you move into an Arizona County for the first time?

  • 10 days

What if you move out of a county you already register in?

  • 72 hours- must notify sheriff in writing

What if you change your name?

  • 72 hours IN PERSON and in writing to the sheriff

What do you always need to carry with you?

  • A copy of your ID

How often do you get an ID?

  • New ID every year is required

What if you lose your ID?

  • Get a new one immediately- failure to carry ID is a class 6 felony

What if you can’t afford an ID?

  • Go to CASS to get a waiver and then get a new ID. There is no defense for not being able to afford a new ID.

What do you have to do if you get mail somewhere else?

  • Inform the sheriff of the location and number of your P.O. Box

What if you’re transient?

  • Must register every 90 days. DO NOT NEED TO REGISTER every time you change cross-streets.

Register where if no home address?

  • The cross streets for where you commonly stay. Not having a home address doesn’t take away duty to register.

What happens if you start staying somewhere else while homeless?

  • If new cross streets- nothing
  • If hotel overnight or couch surfing- nothing
  • If new residence (apartment, house, hotel with any stability)-Register!

How long do you have to do that?

  • 72 hours of moving to the new location

Phoenix, Arizona Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

If you’re facing charges related to any form of sexual assault, abuse, Molestation, Sexual conduct with a minor, or any sex crime you need an experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyer. Phoenix Criminal defense attorney Jack Litwak has been recognized in the past by Best Lawyers, Avvo, and various news outlets for his commitment to his clients. Having an experienced lawyer, specifically for sex crime cases, sets you up for the best possible chance of success with your case. Contact us today to set up a consultation.