Sex Offender Registration Act - SORA Hearing
The Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) requires everyone convicted of a sex offense
, including people who accept plea bargains with no jail time for first offenses, to register as a sex offender. A SORA hearing determines how many restrictions will apply to the offender and whether the state will create an online public profile. During the SORA hearing, the judge will look at the totality of evidence, including some hearsay evidence not allowed at a trial, and determine whether a person will be a Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 sex offender. It is extremely important for the judge to adjudicate an offender Level 1
A SORA attorney
will prepare his client and the case file for this hearing. The best SORA attorneys will know how to re-compute the scoring of the Risk Assessment Instrument and to work with the Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders to establish a fair starting point for reaching the lowest risk level. The best attorneys will know how to override the addition of points in certain categories and to depart from unfavorable risk assessments. The attorney will help to establish the best case file, which sometimes include favorable psychological reports, and he will fight every unfair designation of points during the hearing.
Too many of my clients had bad representation during the SORA hearing and spent many years and thousands of dollars to fix this mistake. Many of them suffered under changing laws, which courts unfairly applied retroactively
despite the constitutional and due process problems. Today, anyone facing a SORA hearing should learn from those people who underestimated the lifelong burden of a Level 2 or 3 sex offender designation.
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