What Happens if I’m Convicted of a Sex Crime in New York City?

Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction in NYC

Being convicted of a sex crime in New York City can have severe and long-lasting consequences. From having to register as a sex offender to facing years in prison, a conviction will dramatically impact your life. This article provides an overview of the key penalties for common sex crimes in NYC.

Prison Time

Many sex crimes like rape, sexual abuse, and possessing child pornography carry multi-year prison sentences under New York law. For example:

  • Rape in the first degree is a Class B felony punishable by 5-25 years in prison .
  • Persistent sexual abuse is a Class E felony with up to 7 years in prison .
  • Promoting a sexual performance by a child under 17 is a Class D felony with up to 7 years behind bars .

The actual length of your prison sentence will depend on the severity of the charges and your criminal history. But all sex crime convictions in New York carry the possibility of years-long sentences.

Sex Offender Registration

If convicted of a registerable sex offense in New York, you will be required to register as a sex offender. This means your name, photo, address, and other information will be publicly listed in an online sex offender registry .You may have to register for a minimum of 20 years or even for life, depending on the charges . Failing to properly register can lead to additional felony charges. Registered sex offenders also face severe residency and employment restrictions.Some of the most common registerable sex crimes in New York include :

  • Rape
  • Criminal sexual act
  • Aggravated sexual abuse
  • Course of sexual conduct against a child
  • Possessing a sexual performance by a child
  • Promoting or directing a sexual performance by a child

Probation and Parole

Instead of or in addition to incarceration, those convicted of sex crimes may be sentenced to probation or parole supervision. This involves strict conditions like :

  • Mandatory sex offender treatment programming
  • Restrictions on accessing pornography or sexually stimulating materials
  • Limitations on using the internet or specific websites
  • Curfews and geographic restrictions
  • Drug and alcohol testing and treatment
  • GPS monitoring

Violating any terms of probation or parole can lead to re-incarceration.

Financial Penalties

On top of other penalties, those convicted of sex offenses also face heavy fines and fees. For example, a rape conviction carries up to a $5,000 fine . You may have to pay for probation supervision, court costs, victim restitution, sex offender registration fees, and more. This can amount to tens of thousands of dollars in legal financial obligations. Failure to pay can result in probation violations or civil judgments.

Sex Offender Stigma

Beyond formal legal punishments, those convicted of sex offenses also suffer informal social consequences like :

  • Loss of relationships with friends and family
  • Difficulty finding housing and employment
  • Being ostracized and harassed by neighbors
  • Psychological issues like depression or anxiety
  • Self-esteem and self-worth challenges

Dealing with the stigma of being a registered sex offender leads some people to suffer emotional distress for years or even decades after their conviction.


The effects of a sex crime conviction in New York City are severe and long-lasting. Years in prison, public registration as a sex offender, strict parole conditions, unpayable fines and fees, and permanent stigma are just some of the possible consequences. Anyone facing sex offense charges needs an experienced criminal defense lawyer to try and mitigate these penalties. But if ultimately convicted, be prepared for sex crime penalties to impact the rest of your life.


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