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What the Change to the Sex Offender Registry Bill Means for You

In 2007, the Nevada State Assembly passed Assembly Bill 579, changing the way the Nevada Sex Offenders Registry classifies past offenders. In doing so, Nevada was fulfilling its obligation under the federal Adam Walsh Act to make these changes. Following the passage of the bill, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada (ACLUNV) challenged the legality of the bill by filing suit in the district court, alleging the bill was unconstitutional. Eventually the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in April 2012 that AB 579 is constitutional, even in applying it retroactively.

Under the Nevada sex offender registration law, sex offenders are classified as Tier I, Tier II or Tier III. The policy of the previous regime was that an offender with a low risk of re-offending, based on a psychological evaluation, would be subject to limited or no registration requirements. In contrast, offenders evaluated as high risk were subject to strict restrictions and obligations including registration.

Under the new arrangement, your classification no longer reflects your risk of re-offending and refers only to the seriousness of the offense you committed. If you have been convicted of any offense with a sexual element at any time since 1956, you could be re-classified as a high-risk offender and required to:

  • Register with the Nevada Sex Offenders Registry on a regular basis
  • Provide a sample of your DNA if you have not previously provided one
  • Have private information such as your address, Social Security number and employment information posted on the Internet and distributed to all schools, youth organizations, various government agencies and possibly members of the public within your local area

If you have a past conviction for an offense with a sexual element, get in touch with a knowledgeable Reno criminal defense lawyer to understand how the changes affect you.

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