Megan's Law (SORA) Violations

A sex offender's failure to register or verify his registration in person, if required, is a separate crime under New York law. Failure to register coupled with interstate travel can be punished under federal law. In 2005, New York increased the penalty for failure to register to a Class E felony for first-time offenders. In other words, failure to register can be punished more severely than the original sex offense.

All subsequent offenses are Class D felonies, which carry even more serious penalties depending on prior criminal history. A Megan's Law violation may also be a reason for a parole violation, which generally leads to immediate arrest without bail. Under federal law, a person who is required to register based on a federal conviction or because he or she moved to a new state and fails to register can be prosecuted as a felon, with a maximum penalty of ten years.

At the same time, it can be difficult for the government to prove that a person willfully failed to register. If you are required to register and accused of failing to do so, it is essential that you not speak to the police or other law enforcement and immediately consult with a qualified attorney.

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