When a court convicts someone of a sex crime, they will enter a tier. The state has three tiers.
Each tier is dependent on the likelihood that the person will commit another sex offense and bring harm to the community. In addition, the tier also determines if a person must enter the state sex offender registry.
Tier I offenders must register for 15 years. Crimes under this tier include possessing child pornography and misleading online domain names. This is the lowest level of sex offenders because the crimes generally involve the intent to do harm and no direct harm occurs.
The next level up is tier II. Offenders must register for 25 years. These are more serious crimes. They include selling a minor for sexual use, human trafficking and sex offenses of the third degree. These focus mainly on crimes against children, but they include harm of some kind to the victim.
The highest tier of offenders is tier III. This level requires lifelong registration on the sexual offender registry. The victims suffer serious harm and violence is often a part of the crime. In addition, these are the most severe and offensive types of sexual crimes, including incest, assault or murder with an intent to rape, rape and sexual offense involving young children.
The court will inform the person of their tier of sex offense and the requirements associated with it for registering. It is up to the person to abide by registration requirements or face additional punishment for noncompliance. By creating the tiers, the state is able to ensure a fairer system for those convicted of these crimes.