New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) Demystified: Collateral Consequences and Effective Representation

Wednesday, March 27, 2024 | 6:00 pm – 7:30 am

Format: Webinar

Program Co-Chairs:

Alexis Flyer, Court Attorney
Supreme Court Kings County

Stephanie A. Holmes
Attorney at Law

  • Attendees will get a deep dive look into New York State’s Sex Offender Registration Act. Topics covered will include the Act’s legislative history, the statutory framework, and registration requirements and their collateral consequences. Attendees will also learn how to litigate a SORA hearing and appeal.

    Program Fee:
    $49 Member | $99 Nonmember
    In-House Counsel: Free for Members | $149 Nonmember Small Law Firm: $119 Member

  • Ava Page
    Supervising Attorney
    Appellate Advocates

    Nicole Geoglis
    Supervising Attorney
    Center for Appellate Litigation

  • 6:00 pm – 6:05 pm
    Introductions

    • Ava Page
    • Nicole Geoglis

    6:05 pm – 6:15 pm
    Background of SORA

    • Legislative history
    • Who is subject to SORA?
    • Levels & designations

    6:15 pm – 6:25 pm
    Collateral Consequences

    • SARA
    • Article 10
    • Housing
    • Employment
    • Social ostracization

    6:25 pm – 6:45 pm
    Preparing for the SORA Hearing

    • Timing
    • Preparation
    • Due Process Rights
      • Notice
    • Of the prosecution’s position
    • Of the court’s position if it seeks to assess new points, points predicated on a different factual basis, or upwardly depart.
    • Opportunity to be heard
      • Right to appear or waive
      • Right to adjournment to obtain relevant materials
    • Discovery of materials relied on for assessment.

    Litigating the SORA Hearing Admissibility of evidence & burdens of proof
    People v. Mingo, 12 N.Y.3d 563 (2009)

    • Prosecution à clear and convincing evidence
    • Defense à preponderance of evidence

    6:45 pm – 7:05 pm
    Risk Assessment Instrument

    • 15 categories – review the legal standard and case precedent for each factor
    • Practice tips à How can you challenge this evidence?

    7:05 pm – 7:20 pm
    Downward and Upward Departures from the RAI Score
    Departures. People v. Gillotti, 23 N.Y.3d 841, 861 (2014).

    Step 1: identify factor outside the RAI;
    Step 2: prove the existence of that factor;
    Step 3: if met, court weighs all factors to determine whether departure is warranted under totality of circumstances

    •  Identify mitigating factors
      • Factor not taken into account by the Guidelines that tends to demonstrate, as a matter of law, that client is a lower risk of sexual re-offense and danger to the community
        • Advanced age/debilitating illness
        • Exceptional response to sex offender treatment
        • Non-contact offense (possession of CP)
        • Significant time offense free in the community
        • Statutory rape
        • Overall rehabilitation
        • Employment, stable housing, community ties
        • No other criminal history / only sex offense
        • Presumptive point assessment overstates risk
        • Remorse
        • Low end of RAI
        • Statistics / scientific studies
        • Expert assessment
        • Identify aggravating factors
        • A factor not taken into account by the Guidelines which tends to demonstrate, as a matter of law, that defendant poses a higher risk of sexual re-offense and danger to the community
        • Prepare counter arguments if raised by the prosecutor or the judge

    7:20 pm – 7:25 pm
    Appeal

    7:25 pm – 7:30 pm
    Question/Answer Session

  • New York: 1.5 Skills
    New Jersey: 1.5 General
    California: 1.8 General
    Pennsylvania: 1.5 General

  • Sponsoring Association Committee:
    Corrections and Community Reentry Committee, Alexis Flyer & Stephanie A. Holmes, Co-Chairs

    Sponsorship Opportunities are Available! Please Contact:
    Yelena Balashchenko, Manager, Business Development & Sponsorships | (212) 382-6608 | ybalashchenko@nycbar.org