Sex Offender Frequently Asked Questions



What is the significance of June 1, 1996?

This is the date that Arizona implemented the community notification laws. Any person released from jail, prison, or sentenced to probation on or after this date is subject to community notification. Additionally, any person convicted prior to June 1, 1996, may be subject to community notification after completion of a risk assessment by a law enforcement agency.

How is risk level determined?

Prior to an offender's release or sentence to probation, the agency that had custody of the individual completes a risk assessment screening profile. This instrument evaluates nineteen criteria that are considered to be significant factors contributing to sex offender recidivism. Each criterion is given a score, which is then totaled to arrive at the recommended risk level. All criminal justice agencies must use the standardized Arizona Risk Assessment, however, occasionally law enforcement discovers information which can affect an offender's risk level. As such, law enforcement is given the discretion to either accept the recommended risk level or complete another risk assessment.

Are risk levels consistent nationwide?

No, each state has slightly different community notification laws, implementation dates, and risk assessment instruments.

What is a Predator?

In Arizona, all sex offenders classified as "predator" are housed at the State Hospital. Once an offender completes his sentence and is scheduled for release, the offender may be reviewed for violent sexual predator criteria. If it is determined that the offender is a violent sexual predator, Arizona law provides for a civil commitment to the Arizona State Hospital. The sex offender may request an annual review to determine if he is eligible for release into society, at which time the label "predator" is removed.

What agency registers sex offenders?

The county sheriff is responsible for registering sex offenders living within their county.

Do I have to register if I am visiting/vacationing in Arizona?

Yes, if you are planning on staying within Arizona for more than 10 days. Failure to comply is a Class 4 Felony!

What are the requirements of a sex offender if he changes his address?

The offender has 72 hours, excluding weekends and legal holidays, to complete a change of address. This must be completed in person, on a sex offender registration form. Failure to comply is a Class 4 Felony.

Can non-sexual offenses require sex offender registration/notification?

Yes, judges have the authority to court order sex offender registration if there was a finding of sexual motivation.

Do registration and community notification laws apply to juveniles?

Although registration is mandatory for adults, it is not for juveniles. If a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent of an act that would require an adult to register, the court can require the juvenile to register until the age of twenty-five. Community notification laws may apply if ordered by the court.

Are all sex offenders required to obtain a special Arizona drivers license or identification credential?

Yes, all sex offenders are required to obtain a credential from the MVD. The credential which is obtained annually, looks identical to any other license except when a law enforcement official checks the status of the credential it indicates that the individual is subject to sex offender registration. Failure to obtain this credential is a Class 6 felony with a mandatory $250 assessment.

How can I obtain more detailed information concerning a particular conviction?

It is incumbent upon the user to contact the court in the "convicting jurisdiction" to gain access to these public documents.

Are sex offenders prohibited from living near schools/daycare centers?

Some sex offenders are prohibited from living close to schools or child care facilities. Information concerning such restrictions can be found in A.R.S. 13-3827  .