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  1. #1

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    Jun 2008
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    Certificate Relief Civil Disabilities Remove all Civil Restrictions for Sex Offenders

    Does a certificate of relief from civil disabilities which relieves an individual of any disabilities or forfeitures or restrictions on their ability to exercise any right, imposed by law by virtue of their conviction, relieve a sex offender from all civil disabilities including residency restrictions?

    I live in New York State and read the law regarding these certificates of which I received one relieving me of ALL civil disabilities.

    For example laws might have been or might be issued restricting where a sex offender can live or work or whether they can enter state parks or whether they can be given custody of their children in custody cases or etc.

    These disabilities are civil in nature and are imposed automatically merely based upon conviction of certain crimes and are not part of my probation conditions. A person not convicted of these types of crimes would ordinarily have the right to live and work and physically move wherever they wished (as long as they didn't trespass).

    First let me say that I am no pervert and haven't harmed any person in any way however someone emailed me child pornography some time ago, which I did not request and I deleted it and upon sending my computer to a repair shop the police were informed and I was charged with a felony. I got probation and was issued the complete certificate immediately at sentencing.

    Thank You

  2. Moderator Honorable Scholar

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Thanked 200 Times in 200 Posts
    Are you required to register as a sex offender? I do not understand your post.. Disabled or not you should not get any special treatment if you were convicted of possession of child pornography. The ADA gives you equal treatment, not special. I suspect there was more to the story if you were actually convicted if you claim you did not open it. Also if you did not report the person that sent it to you then that had something to do with it.
    I am not an attorney. Do not consider this legal advice.

  3. #3

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    Jun 2008
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    Yes based on state law I have to register as a sex offender.

    And yes I downloaded the file form the email to my computer however I didn't realize what the contents of the image file were until I downloaded it and opened it.

    I didn't know the person who sent it to me and as far as I could determine it was some random email. Yes we all hear people warning about downloading files from random emails and at the time I was grateful it wasn't some sort of virus so deleted the file once I saw what it was and deleted the email.

    You are correct I didn't report that some random person sent this to my email when it was sent and perhaps in hindsight that would have been a good idea.

    I am not asking for any special treatment however New York State law defines a certificate of relief from civil disabilities as removing civilly imposed disabilities for example baring someone from voting based on their conviction of a crime. Such a certificate is intended to imply rehabilitation (or I assume in my case since I received it immediately at sentencing it implies no need for rehabilitation).

    My question is whether civilly imposed prohibitions such as a civil (theoretically not punitive) law which states a sex offender cannot enter a state park or live within a half mile from a school would be covered by the certificate of relief from civil disabilities.

    The text of the law (NYS Penal Law Section 701) states:

    "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, except subdivision
    five of section twenty-eight hundred six of the public health law or
    paragraph (b) of subdivision two of section eleven hundred ninety-three
    of the vehicle and traffic law, a conviction of a crime or of an offense
    specified in a certificate of relief from disabilities shall not cause
    automatic forfeiture of any license, other than a license issued
    pursuant to section 400.00 of the penal law to a person convicted of a
    class A-I felony or a violent felony offense, as defined in subdivision
    one of section 70.02 of the penal law, permit, employment, or franchise,
    including the right to register for or vote at an election, or automatic
    forfeiture of any other right or privilege, held by the eligible
    offender and covered by the certificate. Nor shall such conviction be
    deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of any provision of law
    that imposes, by reason of a conviction, a bar to any employment, a
    disability to exercise any right, or a disability to apply for or to
    receive any license, permit, or other authority or privilege covered by
    the certificate"

    Since if I wasn't convicted of this crime I ordinarily would have the right to do things like live or work where I wish and etc, is my interpretation of the certificate law correct that it removes any such civilly imposed disability or prohibition?

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