Megan’s Law – Sex Offender Risk Assessment Factors

Finger Print Barcode with magnifying glass

A conviction for certain types of sex-related offenses requires you to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law. The tier you are placed into will be determined by the analysis of the criteria scored by the Registrant Risk Assessment Scale (RRAS). Depending on your score a determination is made of the likelihood of you committing another offense, and you will be placed into Tier 1 (lowest), Tier 2 (moderate), or Tier 3 (highest).

If you are being charged with a sex crime; are being evaluated for placement into a Tier; are seeking to be re-tiered to a lower tier; or, you are interested in getting your registration requirement terminated, consult immediately with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to determine what your options are. Call Howard Bailey at 973-982-1200 for a free consultation before you make any decisions on how to proceed.

RRAS Risk Factors

1. Seriousness of the offense. These factors assess the degree of force you used to commit the offense; the degree of physical contact you had with the victim; and, the age of the victim.
2. Characteristics of the Offender – High-level Factors. These factors assess your relationship to the victim; whether there are multiple offenses attributed to you; whether there were multiple victims of your actions; the duration of your behavior; the passage of time since your last offense; and, whether you have a history of anti-social behavior other than the events for which you are being evaluated.
3. Characteristics of the Offender – Mid-level Factors. These factors assess your response to treatment; and, whether you have a substance abuse issue.
4. Characteristics of the Offender – Low-level factors. These factors assess any therapeutic support or treatment you have participated in; your residential circumstances; and, your employment history.

Weighing the Risk Factors

Each sub-factor is rated as low-risk, moderate risk or high-risk based upon how the facts and circumstances of your case apply to those sub-factors; and, the result is then multiplied by a numerical score assigned to the importance of that sub-factor. The total of the scores is used to determine what Tier you will be placed into. One of the challenges for a successful defense against an upper-level tier placement is to develop a basis to keep the sub-factor analysis as low as possible.