Level 3 is the most serious tier in the Arizona sex offender registry. Sex offenders in Level 3 have been found to have a high risk of reoffending. Their personal information is included in a publically-accessible database of sex offenders and the local community will be notified when they move in. They are also prohibited from living in certain places.
1. What is Level 3 on Arizona’s sex offender registration?
Arizona’s sex offender registry has 3 tiers, based on how likely the offender is to commit another sex crime after being released from prison. They are:
- Level 1, or Tier I, which is for offenders with a low risk of committing another sex offense,
- Level 2, or Tier II, for offenders with a moderate risk of reoffending, and
- Level 3, or Tier III, for sex offenders with a high risk of another sex crime.
Level 3 is for the sex offenders who are deemed to be the greatest risk to society. They will be listed in the online database of registered sex offenders maintained by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS). They may also be listed in the nationwide database created by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Like other sex offenders, those in Level 3 have to re-register every year. This includes updating their personal information with their local law enforcement agency and renewing their driver’s license.
Which Level is appropriate for an offender is determined at his or her sex offender assessment screening.
2. How are sex offenders screened?
The sex offender screening process is Arizona’s way of determining whether a sex offender is a risk of committing another crime. This determines the sex offender’s Level or tier.
There are 19 factors in Arizona’s risk assessment. They are:
- the offender’s number of prior convictions for a felony or misdemeanor offense involving sexual contact or conduct,
- any prior felony convictions for non-sexual offenses,
- sex-related arrests that did not lead to a conviction,
- the offender’s age when first convicted for a sexual offense,
- the use of a weapon during any sex-related crime that ended with a conviction,
- total number of victims in the offender’s sex crimes, including cases that were dismissed as a part of a plea bargain,
- gender of the victims in sex-related offenses,
- the offender’s relationship with his or her victims,
- any excessive force used to complete a sex crime,
- aggravating characteristics to the sexual offense, such as:
- the victim was tortured or mutilated,
- the victim was bound or tied up,
- the offense lasted longer than 3 hours, or
- the offender forcefully moved the victim to a different location during the offense.
- whether the offender’s first sex crime occurred more than 5 years ago,
- the offender’s use of drugs or alcohol,
- whether the offender has a mental illness or mood disorder, or an IQ under 70,
- whether the offender had a stable employment or education commitment before they were sentenced for the sex offense,
- any “sexually deviant interests” of the offender’s, like:
- sexual sadism or sexual masochism, or
- the time between the offender’s release from prison and his or her subsequent felony offense, if this was not their first conviction,
- the offender had a major disciplinary issue in prison or confinement,
- the offender completed substance abuse treatment in custody, and
- the offender completed a sex offender treatment program approved by the state attorney general while in custody.
The assessment will produce 2 different scores:
- the risk of the offender committing another sexual offense, and
- the risk of the offender committing any criminal offense.
Convicted sex offenders are assigned to Level 3 if they have either a:
- high or very high risk of committing another sex offense, or
- a very high or ultra-high risk of committing any other crime.
This means that the underlying sex offense will influence, but not dictate, which Level will be assigned. A criminal defense attorney can help people facing sex offender registration requirements for:
- sexual assault,
- sexual abuse,
- indecent exposure,
- unlawful sexual conduct with a minor,
- luring of a minor for sexual exploitation,
- child sex trafficking or sexual exploitation of a minor,
- child molestation, or
- public sexual indecency with a minor under 15 years of age.
3. Are Level 3 offenders visible on the public sex offender registry?
Level 3 offenders will be listed in Arizona’s online sex offender registry. Any member of the public can search the registry and find the offender’s:
- current photograph,
- offense committed, and
- risk Level.
This registration information may also be included in a national database of sex offenders, as well.
4. Is the community notified of a Level 3 offender in their area?
Yes, under Arizona’s registration laws, when a Level 3 sex offender moves to a new area, the community will be notified. These community notification procedures require local law enforcement agencies to disseminate a physical paper flier to the following people and institutions:
- residential homes in the surrounding area,
- local schools,
- area community groups, and
- potential or prospective employers.
That flier will contain the following information about the Level 3 offender:
- their name,
- his or her address,
- a current photograph, and
- a summary of the offender’s criminal background.
The police department will also send a press release with this information to the local media outlets for publication.
5. Are there restrictions on where these offenders can live?
Level 3 sex offenders are also limited in where they can live. Unlike other tiers of sex offenders in Arizona, Level 3 offenders cannot live within 1,000 feet of:
- a private school,
- a public elementary, middle, or high school,
- a child care facility, or
- the offender’s former victim.
There are several exceptions, though. These residence restrictions do not apply to:
- offenders who established residency before September 19, 2007, or before a new school or child care facility opened nearby,
- sex offenders who are minors,
- offenders currently on probation,
- anyone whose civil rights have been restored,
- anyone who has not been convicted or been in confinement for an offense in the last 10 years, or
- sex offenders who have the written consent of the victim, or a minor victim’s parent or guardian, to live nearby.
 ARS 13-3827(A)(1).
 ARS 13-3727.
 ARS 13-3825(C).
 ARS 13-3821(J).
 ARS 13-3827(B).
 ARS 13-3825(C)(1).
 ARS 13-3727.
 ARS 13-3727(B) and (C).