senate Bill S323

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to the timing of risk level determination hearings for certain convicted sex offenders

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Archive: Last Bill Status - Passed Senate


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Mar 11, 2014 referred to correction
delivered to assembly
passed senate
ordered to third reading cal.275
committee discharged and committed to rules
Jan 08, 2014 referred to crime victims, crime and correction
returned to senate
died in assembly
May 23, 2013 referred to correction
delivered to assembly
passed senate
May 21, 2013 ordered to third reading cal.707
committee discharged and committed to rules
Feb 12, 2013 reported and committed to finance
Jan 09, 2013 referred to crime victims, crime and correction

Votes

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Mar 11, 2014 - Rules committee Vote

S323
22
0
committee
22
Aye
0
Nay
2
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
1
Excused
0
Abstained
show Rules committee vote details

May 21, 2013 - Rules committee Vote

S323
23
0
committee
23
Aye
0
Nay
1
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
1
Excused
0
Abstained
show Rules committee vote details

Feb 12, 2013 - Crime Victims, Crime and Correction committee Vote

S323
13
0
committee
13
Aye
0
Nay
0
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show Crime Victims, Crime and Correction committee vote details

Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee Vote: Feb 12, 2013

Co-Sponsors

S323 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A609
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Correction Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง168-d, Cor L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S5189, A7949

S323 - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to the timing of risk level determination hearings for certain convicted sex offenders who are expected to be, upon sentencing, released on probation or discharged upon payment of a fine, conditional discharge or unconditional discharge.

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BILL NUMBER:S323 REVISED 5/17/13

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to
risk level determination hearings for convicted sex offenders

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill will require that notice
of a risk level determination hearing for convicted sex offenders be
given to the sex offender and district attorney within five days of
the conviction for any sex offender, who is expected to be, upon
sentencing, released on probation or discharge upon payment of a fine,
conditional discharge or unconditional discharge and the risk level
determination hearing must be held within 20 days of this notice and
prior to sentencing.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends subdivision 2 and 3 of section 168-d of
the correction law, subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 684 of the
laws of 2005 and subdivision 3 as amended by chapter 11 of the laws of
2002, by adding that within five day of the conviction of any sex
offender, who is expected to be, upon sentencing, released on
probation or discharge upon payment of a fine, conditional discharge
or unconditional discharge and requires that the risk level
determination hearing must be held within 20 days of this notice and
or prior to sentencing.

Section 2 sets forth an immediate effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Current law requires that the risk level determination
hearing for convicted sex offenders to take place at least 45 days
after notice is given. Unfortunately, this permissive section of the
corrections law has resulted in sex offenders being released from
probation or discharged upon payment of a fine, conditional discharge
or unconditional discharge without a risk level determination hearing
having taken place.

Given the seriousness of sex offenses, risk level assessment hearings
of convicted sex offenders should take place within a very short
period of time after conviction and should be prior to sentencing so
that the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration Act are in
place and being implemented as soon as possible to protect the public.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12, S.5189/A.7949 (Miller)

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: This bill has a
neutral fiscal impact to the State. The registration timeline posted
by the Division of Criminal Justice Services affirms that by law risk
level/designation hearings are scheduled and must occur at least 45
days after sentencing. The Division affirms that parties often agree
to the risk level/designation at sentencing.

This legislation aims to expedite the risk level/designation hearing
process by shortening the statutory time frame in which a hearing must
be held from 45 to 20 days in after sentencing.


This bill does not have a fiscal impact to the State because as noted
by DCJS -risk level/designation is usually agreed upon and set at
sentencing without the need to conduct a hearing.

The following statistics demonstrate the actual population of
offenders impacted by this proposed legislation:

According to statistics posted by Division of Criminal Justice
Services on its website, there are currently an estimated 801 sex
offenders pending risk level determinations statewide. This number
includes about 185 offenders which are in the process of being
deported. This number drops to approximately 140 sex offenders that
are pending a risk level determination in NYC only. There are about
100 sex offenders that are incarcerated in both local jails and state
correctional facilities. This is a very small number of offenders that
can be extrapolated to forecast future convictions impacted by this
legislation.

Therefore, this bill is fiscally neutral to the State. The change
promulgated in this bill would necessitate an assessment of the
ability of the current staffing allocations to effectively implement
the change. The fact that in a majority of all cases, these
determinations are agreed to prior to or upon sentencing accounts for
the small number that would be covered by this change. It is therefore
clear by the analysis of the statistics and from the information
provided by DCJS that the implementation of this statutory change can
be easily accomplished within the resources available and would not
require additional resources.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   323

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. AVELLA, MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Crime  Victims,
  Crime and Correction

AN  ACT  to amend the correction law, in relation to risk level determi-
  nation hearings for convicted sex offenders

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Subdivisions  2  and 3 of section 168-d of the correction
law, subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 684 of the  laws  of  2005  and
subdivision  3 as amended by chapter 11 of the laws of 2002, are amended
to read as follows:
  2. Any sex offender, who is released on probation or  discharged  upon
payment  of  a  fine,  conditional  discharge or unconditional discharge
shall, prior to such release or discharge, be informed  of  his  or  her
duty  to register under this article by the court in which he or she was
convicted. At the time sentence is  imposed,  such  sex  offender  shall
register with the division on a form prepared by the division. The court
shall  require  the  sex  offender  to  read  and  sign such form and to
complete the registration portion of such form. The court shall on  such
form  obtain  the  address where the sex offender expects to reside upon
his or her release, and the name and address of any institution of high-
er education he or she expects to be employed by, enrolled in, attending
or employed, whether for compensation or not,  and  whether  he  or  she
expects  to  reside  in a facility owned or operated by such an institu-
tion, and shall report such information to the division. The court shall
give one copy of the form to the sex offender and shall send two  copies
to  the division which shall forward the information to the law enforce-
ment agencies having jurisdiction. [The]
  2-A. WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF THE CONVICTION OF ANY SEX  OFFENDER,  WHO  IS
EXPECTED  TO  BE,  UPON  SENTENCING, RELEASED ON PROBATION OR DISCHARGED

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01025-01-3

S. 323                              2

UPON  PAYMENT  OF  A  FINE,  CONDITIONAL  DISCHARGE   OR   UNCONDITIONAL
DISCHARGE,  THE  court shall [also] notify the district attorney and the
sex offender of the date of the  determination  proceeding  to  be  held
pursuant  to  subdivision three of this section, which shall be held [at
least forty-five] WITHIN TWENTY days after  such  notice  is  given  AND
PRIOR  TO SENTENCING.  This notice shall include the following statement
or a substantially similar statement: "This proceeding is being held  to
determine  whether you will be classified as a level 3 offender (risk of
repeat offense is high), a level 2 offender (risk of repeat  offense  is
moderate),  or  a  level  1 offender (risk of repeat offense is low), or
whether you will be designated as a sexual predator, a sexually  violent
offender  or a predicate sex offender, which will determine how long you
must register as a sex offender and how much information can be provided
to the public concerning your registration. If you  fail  to  appear  at
this  proceeding,  [without sufficient excuse,] it shall be held in your
absence. Failure to appear may result in a longer period of registration
or a higher level of community notification because you are not  present
to offer evidence or contest evidence offered by the district attorney."
The  court shall also advise the sex offender that he or she has a right
to a hearing prior to the court's determination, that he or she has  the
right  to be represented by counsel at the hearing and that counsel will
be appointed if he or she is financially unable to  retain  counsel.  If
the  sex  offender applies for assignment of counsel to represent him or
her at the hearing and counsel was not previously assigned to  represent
the  sex  offender  in  the  underlying criminal action, the court shall
determine whether the offender is financially unable to retain  counsel.
If  such  a finding is made, the court shall assign counsel to represent
the sex offender pursuant to article eighteen-B of the county law.
  2-B. Where the court orders a sex offender released on probation, such
order must include a provision requiring that he or she comply with  the
requirements  of  this  article.  Where  such sex offender violates such
provision, probation may be immediately revoked in the  manner  provided
by article four hundred ten of the criminal procedure law.
  3. For sex offenders WHO ARE EXPECTED TO BE, UPON SENTENCING, released
on probation or discharged upon payment of a fine, conditional discharge
or  unconditional  discharge, it shall be the duty of the court applying
the guidelines established in subdivision five of  section  one  hundred
sixty-eight-l  of  this  article  to determine, PRIOR TO SENTENCING, the
level of notification pursuant to subdivision six of section one hundred
sixty-eight-l of this article and whether such  sex  offender  shall  be
designated  a  sexual  predator, sexually violent offender, or predicate
sex offender as defined in subdivision  seven  of  section  one  hundred
sixty-eight-a of this article. At least fifteen days prior to the deter-
mination  proceeding,  the  district attorney shall provide to the court
and the sex offender a written  statement  setting  forth  the  determi-
nations  sought  by  the district attorney together with the reasons for
seeking such determinations. The court shall allow the sex  offender  to
appear and be heard. The state shall appear by the district attorney, or
his  or  her  designee,  who  shall bear the burden of proving the facts
supporting the determinations sought by clear and  convincing  evidence.
Where  there  is  a  dispute between the parties concerning the determi-
nations, the court shall adjourn the hearing as necessary to permit  the
sex  offender  or  the district attorney to obtain materials relevant to
the determinations from any state or local facility, hospital,  institu-
tion,  office,  agency,  department  or  division. Such materials may be
obtained by subpoena if  not  voluntarily  provided  to  the  requesting

S. 323                              3

party. In making the determinations, the court shall review any victim's
statement  and  any relevant materials and evidence submitted by the sex
offender and the district attorney and the court may  consider  reliable
hearsay  evidence submitted by either party provided that it is relevant
to the determinations. Facts previously proven at trial or  elicited  at
the  time  of  entry  of a plea of guilty shall be deemed established by
clear and convincing evidence and shall not be  relitigated.  The  court
shall  render an order setting forth its determinations and the findings
of fact and conclusions of law on which the determinations are based.  A
copy  of the order shall be submitted by the court to the division. Upon
application of either party, the court shall seal  any  portion  of  the
court  file or record which contains material that is confidential under
any state or federal statute. Either party may appeal as of  right  from
the  order  pursuant to the provisions of articles fifty-five, fifty-six
and fifty-seven of the civil practice law and rules. Where  counsel  has
been assigned to represent the sex offender upon the ground that the sex
offender  is financially unable to retain counsel, that assignment shall
be continued throughout the pendency of the appeal, and the  person  may
appeal  as  a  poor  person pursuant to article eighteen-B of the county
law.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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