Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)
In 2006, Congress passed the Adam Walsh Act. The law was not debated, and no one studied the potential effects of the law. The Adam Walsh Act expands the types of offenses that may lead to sex offender registration and attempts to create a standardized system for classifying offenders. Like most federal laws dealing with criminal conduct, Congress has required the states to comply with federal requirements or face a 10% reduction in money for criminal justice funding. The threat of lesser funding has motivated more than a dozen states to comply with the law so far. New York may decide to adopt new laws and policies that put the state into full compliance with the law at any point.
The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) is the main part of the Adam Walsh Act that may affect sex offenders at the state level. It creates more burdensome restrictions for people on the state sex offender registries
. Many of these burdens may be applied retroactively
to people currently on the state sex offender registry for offenses committed before the act came into effect in 2006. This harsh federal law requires that children as young as 13 years old will face sex offender registration. A person convicted of a misdemeanor
and/or a first offense will have to register as a sex offender. A person should hire an attorney
who is aware of both the state and federal consequences of a sex offense and the likey future exposure that a person with a sex offense conviction may face.
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