Under Ohio law, sexually-oriented offenders are subject to three different levels of sex offender registration. The level of registration depends on the nature of the conviction. That said, the three levels are: Tier One (registration once per year for 15 years), Tier Two (registration twice per year for 25 years), and Tier Three (registration every 90 days for life).
Tier Two and Tier Three offenders cannot petition for early termination of their registration designation. However, Tier One offenders can petition five years early, in hopes to avoid having to register for the full 15 years.
What Are The Eligibility Requirements for Early Termination?
Ohio Revised Code Section 2950.15 permits a Tier One offender to petition the court at the 10-year mark for early termination. However, to be eligible, the statute requires an offender, at the 10 year mark, be discharged from supervision through probation or parole, to have completed a sex offender treatment program approved by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (“ODRC”), to not have any further criminal convictions (i.e., criminal convictions after having been convicted of the sexually-oriented offense triggering the registration), and to have paid all financial sanctions.
One of the biggest hurdles Tier One offenders seeking early termination run into is associated with the sex offender treatment requirement. In some cases, they will not be required to complete sex offender treatment approved by the prison. Why is this? Sometimes, sentencing courts will either simply forget to impose the requirement or just assume the offender will be required to complete the treatment while in prison. Often times, however, Tier One offenders may have been convicted of misdemeanors or low-level felonies and thus, may not be sentenced to prison; and while they may be required to undergo some type of mental health or sex offender treatment, it may not be ODRC-certified treatment. However, ODRC-certified treatment is required for early termination eligibility, hence, Tier One offenders often are ineligible.
A Tier One Offender Should Always Complete ODRC-Certified Sex Offender Treatment
It is crucial for Tier One sex offenders to complete ODRC-certified treatment regardless of whether they are ordered to do it. Why? First, and most importantly, it will help them confront their issues and reduce recidivism; but secondly, it will ensure they meet the statutory requirement that will enable them to seek early termination of their Tier One registration.
Keep in mind, even if one meets all of the statutory requirements, early termination is not a guarantee. However, it will ensure the offender is at least eligible for the court’s consideration of early termination.
The criminal defense attorneys here at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima can offer recommendations of providers who offer ODRC-certified treatment. Further, we can help Tier One offenders try to get their sex offender registration terminated after having served 10 years on the registration.
If you or someone you know has been charged with any crime or traffic offense in Ohio, or needs help terminating their Tier One sex offender registration, do not hesitate to contact the criminal defense team at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima for your free consultation.