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Sex Offender Laws

Posted on March 15, 2023 in Sex Crimes

Sexual offenders – people who are convicted of sex crimes – are viewed as potential safety threats to the public. For this reason, there are state and federal sex offender laws in place to monitor and control an individual who has been found guilty of a sexually motivated crime. Learn more about sex offender laws and registration requirements to find out what you could potentially face if you get arrested for a sex crime in Arizona. 

What Is Considered a Sex Crime in Arizona?

A sex crime generally refers to touching the intimate parts of another person – the genitals, anus or breasts of a female – without that person’s consent. However, sexual offenses may also refer to nonphysical acts done for the purpose of sexual abuse, gratification or arousal of either party. Examples of sex crimes include:

  • Child molestation
  • Child pornography
  • Forcible penetration
  • Indecent exposure
  • Internet sex crimes
  • Prostitution or solicitation
  • Public indecency
  • Rape or attempted rape
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual assault or battery
  • Sexual conduct with a minor
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Statutory rape
  • Unlawful sexual conduct
  • Voyeurism

In addition to these sexual offenses, an individual could also be officially deemed a sex offender in Arizona if convicted of a sexually motivated crime, such as robbery, burglary, kidnapping, false imprisonment or assault. While different types and levels of sex crimes can come with different sentences, sexual offenders are almost always placed on the Arizona Sex Offender Registry.

Arizona Sex Offender Registry Requirements

Arizona Revised Statute Section 13-3821 states that being found guilty of certain sexual offenses comes with a requirement to register the individual within 10 days of the conviction. Arizona’s Sex Offender Registry is a list of known sex offenders that is searchable by the public. Being put on the list comes with certain requirements that will last for the individual’s lifetime. They include:

  • Notifying the community within 72 hours by entering the offender’s identifying information, a risk assessment of the offender, and his or her date of release from confinement into the sex offender profile and notification database.
  • Registering with the sheriff within 72 hours after entering (and remaining for at least 72 hours) in any county in Arizona.
  • Notifying the county sheriff in writing after changing the person’s name or address.
  • Being unable to live within 1,000 feet of a school or childcare facility, or within 1,000 feet of the victim (except with written permission from the victim).

The exact registration requirements for a sexual offender in Arizona depend on his or her level. There are three levels of offenders under state law, where Level 1 represents a low risk of the individual committing further sexual offenses, Level 2 is a moderate risk and Level 3 is a high risk. Failing to comply with the requirements of Arizona’s sex offender laws is a class 4 felony.

The Adam Walsh Act

In 2006, a federal law known as the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was passed. This law established a comprehensive set of standards for sex offender registration and community notifications on a federal level. It created the National Sex Offender Registry, which comes with requirements that are similar to Arizona’s state registry. 

The national registry requires the registration of an individual’s name, address(es), motor vehicle details, DNA samples, fingerprints, palm prints, a current photo and driver’s license. All of this information is made available to the public. It also requires offenders to periodically appear in court to confirm their registry information. Finally, the Adam Walsh Act enhanced certain penalties for child-related sex crimes, including harsher sentencing and record-keeping requirements.

 If you have been charged with a sex crime in Arizona, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible for legal advice, assistance and representation.