Sex Offender Sentencing
The sentencing laws for sex offenders have become harsher in recent years. Sex offenders and people convicted of child pornography offenses no longer qualify for merit time, presumptive release, or other early release programs. A number of people convicted of sex offenses do not understand that they will serve longer minimum sentences than other people convicted of crimes in equivalent classes of offenses. If a prior attorney failed to provide the proper advice about sex offender sentencing, a person may appeal or present a 440 motion for reconsideration based on ineffective assistance of counsel
Sex offender sentencing can result in a number of other problems, including full-time electronic monitoring and residency restrictions. Sex offenders often face the harshest probation, parole, and post-release supervision
requirements. The conditions of probation, parole, or post-release supervision may affect where a person may live and with whom he may live.
It is important to understand that a person convicted of any sex offense, including misdemeanors
, will have to register as a sex offender. Therefore, the best attorneys will start developing a strategy for getting their client the lowest possible sentence and either a Level 1
sex offender registration level or a plea bargain for a non-sexual offense, such as a simple assault or harassment. Depending on the strength of the attorney's negotiations with a prosecutor and the seriousness of the charges, a plea to anything other than a sex offense may lead to no incarcertaion and possibly no criminal record.
A person should consider the possibility of a long mandatory minimum sentence when charged with a sex offense, and he should find a SORA attorney
familiar with the difficult sentencing laws that have developed.
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