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Arizona Refuses to Spare Youthful Convicts From Sex Offender Registration

Arizona Refuses to Spare Youthful Convicts From Sex Offender Registration

The Arizona legislature has killed a measure that would have allowed people who were convicted of certain sex offenses in their youth, and who have had clean records since then, to petition to be removed from the state’s mandatory registration system.

The bill, HB-2613, would have applied to a person, now age 35 or older, who was under 22 years old when he or she solicited or had consensual sex with a teenager between 15 and 18 years old (or a police officer purporting to be of that age group).

The bill was blocked by supporters of another measure, one that would have increased to seven years the statute of limitations for filing a civil suit alleging sexual abuse. The deadlock resulted in both bills being defeated.

Arizona’s sex offender registration requirements thus remain strict, especially for crimes against minors such as sexual conduct, molestation, sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Other offenses that trigger the registration requirement include indecent exposure, public sexual indecency, voyeurism and sexual misconduct by licensed professionals.

Arizona’s registration scheme is based on the risk of recidivism, meaning an offender’s likelihood of committing a sex crime again based on their criminal background and other relevant factors. Once a sex offender is released from prison, a local law enforcement agency assigns a level of risk that determines how strictly the individual will be monitored and what forms of notification are given to the community:

  • For Level 1 (low), the local police must maintain information about the offender and notice may be given to people with whom the person resides.
  • For Level 2 (intermediate), the local police must notify immediate neighbors, schools, community groups and employers.
  • For Level 3 (high), in addition to the Level 2 notifications, the local police must distribute a flyer that includes the person’s picture and address and a summary of the criminal offense. They must also give a press release to TV and newspapers.

Level 2 and 3 offenders are included in a statewide database and may also be subject to restrictions on where they can live. Registration is required for life, except in the case of a juvenile offender, for whom it generally terminates at age 25.

Being branded a sex offender will change your life forever, so it is critical to have a strong advocate to defend against a sex crime charge. At the Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C., you will benefit from being represented by an attorney who has served as a criminal prosecutor and has a deep understanding of criminal law. Call me today at 928-257-1155 or contact me online to schedule a consultation.

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