The Judge Set My Risk Level too High – Can I Ask for it to be Lowered?
Yes. There are two ways to lower your risk level. First, your attorney can appeal the judge's decision as long as you file a "notice of appeal" within thirty days of the decision. If you have been adjudicated level two or level three, you should ask your lawyer (preferably in writing) to file the notice of appeal immediately.
Even if you lose on appeal, you have a right to bring a petition for modification asking for your risk level to be lowered under Corrections Law § 168-o. You can only bring a petition for modification once a year and you bear the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that you are entitled to a lower level. If you are level two, you can also ask to be released from registration altogether—but only after thirty years on the registry. However, the law permits "any" sex offender to ask for downward modification: one federal court has ruled this permits level one offenders to ask to that their level be reduced, permitting them to stop registering altogether. In practice, you should hire an experienced sex crimes lawyer familiar with the New York Sex Offender Registration Act to file your petition for modification. If you feel your risk level is too high, please contact our law office for a consultation.