Sex crime convictions and mandatory sex offender registration go hand-in-hand in Nevada. Being ordered to register as a sex offender is one of the most devastating penalties one can face as it can ruin a person’s reputation and adversely affect many areas of their lives. The national sex offender registry gives anyone with access to the Internet information about the crime you were convicted for and where you live. In many cases, it can prevent you from future opportunities.
In 1994, Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old, was raped and murdered in New Jersey by a known sex offender. Her family was not aware that this dangerous predator had moved across the street from them because it was not yet legal for that information to be publicly displayed.
The New Jersey congressman of the time quickly drafted a bill that became known as Megan’s Law, which was instated federally. Each state quickly followed with their own version of the law. Nevada’s Megan’s Law has received a considerable amount of criticism over the years; however, state leaders have been working hard to reverse this situation.
In the state of Nevada, anyone who was convicted of a sexual offense must register with a local law enforcement agency near their place of residence within two days of being released from custody or moving into a Nevada city. Any offender who does not register on time has committed a category D felony. The state law also requires such individuals to verify their whereabouts every year. The verification form will be sent to their last known residence. If an offender moves and fails to report their new information, it is again considered a category D felony.
The Nevada Guidelines and Procedures for Community Notification of Adult Sex Offenders was created by the Office of the Attorney General and the Advisory Council for Community Notification. These offices did so under NRS 179D.710, a law that required the state to have a community notification procedure. These guidelines were created in 1997 with the intent of improving public safety. They look at the degree of risk each offender presents and then, depending on the level of risk, place that individual within a specific Tier.
Nevada operates on a Tier basis with four levels:
If you have been placed on a Tier and believe your placement is incorrect, you can apply for reconsideration. You can only do so if you have been placed on Tier 2 or 3. In your request, you must state why you believe the assessment to be incorrect. The request must be submitted within 10 days of when you were notified of what Tier you were placed on. You may be granted a reconsideration hearing that will be conducted by the Reconsideration Assessment Panel. This hearing will happen 90 days after your request was submitted. Once the panel makes its decision, you will be notified within 10 days and a local law enforcement agency will be notified.
Megan’s Law Website focuses on serious and high-risk offenders and only individuals on Tier 2 and 3 lists are recorded. The information that is provided includes the following:
All conviction information is provided, as well. This includes the date of conviction, a description of the conviction, and the institution that the individual was incarcerated in.
Because Nevada works with a tiered structure, the specific laws for offenders on each level will vary. Tier 1 offenders will be required to register for 15 years. If you are on this list, you can petition the courts for an early termination of this duty. If you have registered consistently for 10 consecutive years and have completed all aspects of your sentence, you may qualify for this early termination. You must also not have been convicted of another felony or sexual offense. Any individual on Tier 0 or 1 will not be required to have their information displayed on the state’s Megan’s Law Website. Those who are on Tier 2 must register for 25 years and those on Tier 3 must register for life. If you are on Tier 3, you can apply for early termination after registering for 25 consecutive years and have not been convicted of a crime or sexual offense over those years.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact an associate from Okabe & Haushalter.