Following guidelines set under federal sex offender registration requirements, the state of Nevada is expanding the ranks of its sex offender registry by redefining who must register as a sex offender and for how long. The new Nevada sex offender law may have an impact on California sex offender registrants.
After a six-year court battle, the Nevada Supreme Court upheld as constitutional a Nevada law adopted in 2007 that defines “sex offender,” “offender convicted of a crime against a child” and “offender” as persons convicted of crimes identified in Nevada’s offender registration laws since July 1, 1956 (See Nevada Revised Statutes 179D.095 and 179D.0559). This means that any person who resides in Nevada must register as a sex offender if he/she was convicted of a registerable offense after that date, even if it took place in another state.
Additionally, the law expands registration requirements to offenders adjudicated of sex crimes as juveniles who are or were 14 years of age or older at the time of the crime.
Why Change Nevada Sex Offender Laws?
The United States Congress approved the Adam Walsh Act in 2006 as a guideline for state laws on sex crimes. The statute was intended to toughen punishment for sex offenders, including making their photos, names and addresses available to the general public.
The Nevada legislature adopted most provisions of the federal law in 2007, responding predominately to concerns that the state would lose federal funding for law enforcement if it did not.
Unfortunately, the Adam Walsh Act leaves no room for judicial discretion. Juveniles as young as 14 at the time of the offense must register as sex offenders potentially for the rest of their lives under blanket classifications for the crime committed.
California Sex Crimes Require Registration in Nevada
Nevada law requires registration of identified sex offenses and other offenses committed against a child (See Nevada Revised Statutes 179D.097 and 179D.0357). If you were convicted of a California sex offense and now reside in Nevada, the following subdivision of Nevada law applies to you:
NRS 179D.097 “Sexual offense” defined
(t) “An offense of a sexual nature committed in another jurisdiction, whether or not the offense would be an offense listed in this section, if the person who committed the offense resides or has resided or is or has been a student or worker in any jurisdiction in which the person is or has been required by the laws of that jurisdiction to register as a sex offender because of the offense.”
Unlike California’s “one size fits all” lifetime sex offender requirement for everyone, Nevada categorizes its sex offender registry using a “tier” system. Those with the lowest risk of re-offense are identified as Tier Level 1 offenders, those with a moderate risk of re-offense are Tier Level 2 offenders, and those with the highest risk of re-offense are Tier Level 3 offenders.
Nevada’s Central Repository is ultimately responsible for each offender’s classification level. Current and former sex offenders may be classified according to risk of re-offense based on the crime committed, not on whether he or she is a present threat to the public.
Ultimately, someone who was convicted of a sex crime decades ago can now be classified as a Tier Level 3 “high risk” sex offender.
How Long and How Often is an Offender Required to Register in Nevada?
Offender registration is required with a local law enforcement agency within 48 hours of residing or being present in a county, or in a city with its own police department and as follows:
- Tier Level 1 offenders must register annually at minimum for 15 years;
- Tier Level 2 offenders must register every 180 days at minimum for 25 years;
- Tier Level 3 offenders must register every 90 days at minimum for life.
Similar to California, the offender must also update his or her registration whenever he or she moves to a new address, changes employment, or begins or ends school. Failure to do so is a felony.
A first offense failure to register is punishable by one to four years in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine. The penalty increases for subsequent convictions within seven years to one to five years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
What Does This Mean for Someone who was Convicted in California?
If you were a sex offender in California or if you were convicted of certain non-sex crimes committed against a child and have since moved to Nevada, you will be required to register under Nevada law if you were convicted on or after July 1, 1956.
This means that you may be required to register all over again if you are a California sex offender who now resides in Nevada, regardless if you were relieved of your duty to register.
If you were convicted in California but have since moved to Nevada, you could also be classified into a higher risk category, meaning you will have to register more often, possibly as often as every 90 days.
How You Can Be Relieved of Sex Offender Registration
The changes in Nevada’s registration laws are grossly unfair. People who have been free of the obligation to register as a sex offender may be suddenly forced back into this devastating situation after leading a long term, law-abiding life. Others will suddenly have to register more often.
But there may be a solution…
You may be able to apply for a Governor’s Pardon if you meet certain criteria. To do this, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of successfully petitioning for relief under California’s Certificate of Rehabilitation process.
Contact the Sex Crimes Attorneys Wallin & Klarich Today
The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully petitioning the courts on behalf of our clients desiring to be free of the embarrassing stigma of registering as a sex offender.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, our skilled and professional team of criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich may be able to help you get your registration requirement removed by petitioning for a Governor’s Pardon. Click here to read how Wallin & Klarich recently helped a client obtain a Governor’s Pardon and live a better life.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.