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Megan’s Law Tier Classification

In 1994, New Jersey passed Megan’s Law. The law provides additional consequences for those convicted of sex crimes, including a requirement to register as a sex offender. Aggravated sexual assault and criminal sexual contact are among the crimes that could require you to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.

In New Jersey, Megan’s Law offenders are placed into tiers depending on the severity of their crime. What do these tiers mean for your case? If you feel you’ve been placed in the wrong classification, can you challenge it? Below is a brief explanation of the tier system under Megan’s Law. To discuss specific questions that you may have about your case, contact New Jersey sex crime defense attorney Jason A. Volet. He can fully explain the law to you and how it applies to your circumstances.

What Are Tiers Under Megan’s Law?

Under Megan’s Law, convicted sex offenders are placed into different tiers based on their risk of recidivism, or the possibility that they will commit sex crimes again. The law provides three tiers:

  • Tier 1 – This tier is for low-risk offenders. In other words, the chance of committing another sex offense is low. Getting placed into this tier results in fairly minimal consequences. If you are considered a Tier 1 offender, only law enforcement agencies will be notified of your sex offender status.
  • Tier 2 – You are placed in this tier if it is determined that you present only a moderate risk of committing another sex crime. Local law enforcement will be notified of your sex offender status as will any facility that cares for children such as schools and children’s camps. If you are placed into Tier 2, you may also have to register on the state’s sex offender registry.
  • Tier 3 – This is the most severe classification. It is reserved for those considered to be at a high risk for committing another sex crime. Law enforcement and facilities that care for children will be notified of your sex offender status. You will also have to register on New Jersey’s sex offender registry.

These classifications can have a significant impact on your life after you have served your sentence. It will likely affect your ability to gain meaningful employment, and it could change the way you are perceived by your community. Mr. Volet, however, will work hard to seek getting you placed in the lowest classification possible.

Filing a Challenge Against Tier Classification

After you are placed into a tier, you will receive a letter in the mail notifying you of the decision. This letter will outline your right to challenge the classification. In most instances, you will have 14 days to notify a Superior Court Judge, along with the prosecution, that you are going to challenge it. If you challenge your tier classification, the case will be heard in the county where the offense occurred by a Superior Court judge who is assigned to review classification challenges.

These hearings are similar to other judicial proceedings in New Jersey. The prosecution will begin by producing a discovery packet. This will include the judgement of conviction, the indictment or accusation of the offense, portions of your Pre-Sentence Report and a completed registrant risk assessment scale (RRAS). Your attorney will also likely submit a packet of documents and arguments. These documents will outline your objection to the tier classification.

The judge will not hear arguments at this initial hearing. Instead, the judge will schedule another hearing. At the second hearing, your attorney can present arguments challenging the tier classification. Likewise, the prosecution will present arguments for why they placed you into a specific tier. The judge will then make a final decision on your tier classification.

What Is the Registrant Risk Assessment Scale?

Prosecutors do not simply consider your crime and determine which tier you should be placed into under Megan’s Law. Instead, prosecutors are required to score you and your offense while using the Registrant Risk Assessment Scale (RRAS). There score is based on 13 categories:

  • Whether force was used to commit the offense
  • Amount of contact with the victim
  • Age of the victim
  • Whether the victim was someone in your household, an acquaintance or a stranger
  • Number of offenses or number of victims
  • How long you engaged in the behavior
  • Amount of time that has passed since your last offense
  • History of your behavior, including withdrawing from social situations
  • Your response to any court-ordered or voluntary treatment
  • History of substance abuse
  • Therapeutic support
  • Residential support
  • Stability of your employment or educational situation.

The prosecution will assign your case a score in each category and then add those scores together to determine your tier. If you receive a score of 0 to 36, you are considered to be low risk and will likely be placed into Tier 1. If you score between 36 and 73, you are considered a moderate risk and will likely be placed into Tier 2. If you receive a score of 74 or higher, you are deemed high risk and will likely be placed into Tier 3.

A criminal defense attorney like Jason A. Volet who is familiar with Megan’s Law can estimate how you will score on the RRAS. He can use this information to determine if the prosecution has classified you appropriately. If it appears that you were placed into the wrong tier, he will inform you and begin the process of challenging your classification.

Get Help from an Experienced New Jersey Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

After you have been convicted of a sex crime and possibly even served time for it, you will want to put the case behind you as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, that won’t be easy. The prosecution must still determine your classification under Megan’s Law, and you may have to challenge it. If you have been charged with a sex crime, contact The Law Office of Jason A. Volet through our offices in Freehold and Neptune. We will fight to protect your rights and pursue the best possible outcome for you.

3 Common Questions You May Have About Your Miranda Rights

When a person is arrested, the police are supposed to read them their rights as a person facing criminal allegations. This reading, sometimes known as a Miranda warning or a reading of the Miranda rights, is a basic part of most arrests and is required in many cases. However, not all arrests require the reading of these rights at the time of arrest.

If you have been arrested and are facing criminal charges, it is important that you obtain vigorously committed legal representation in your case. For a free consultation regarding your case, contact the New Jersey criminal lawyers of the Law Office of Jason A. Volet at (732) 863-5050.

Do the Police Have to Read the Miranda Rights Every Time?

It is not required that police officers always read a person their Miranda rights if they want to question them. In some cases, officers may stop someone on the street or take them to the police station and ask them about a crime without reading these individuals their Miranda rights. This is typically acceptable because these individuals are not in police custody at the time of questioning.

What Are the Miranda Rights?

The Miranda rights are a set of warnings issued to a a person being questioned by the police which are intended to prevent them from self-incrimination. These rights insulate a person against unfair interrogation or being forced by the police to make a false statement. They include the right to remain silent, the right to seek a legal advisor, and the right to stop speaking to a police officer at any point during an interrogation.

Contact New Jersey criminal defense attorney Jason Volet today for a free consultation.What Happens if These Rights Are Not Read?

If an officer is supposed to read these rights, but fails to do so, the information obtained through subsequent questioning cannot be used in court. This includes any confessions that may have been issued.

What are My Rights if I am Arrested in New Jersey?

When you are arrested for a crime, you are still entitled to certain inalienable rights under the law. The police cannot take these rights from you, and if they do violate them by making a wrongful arrest or neglecting proper procedure, the charges against you may be dropped.

Under the U.S. Constitution you have the following rights:

  • The right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself.
  • The right to hire a lawyer or have one provided for you by the state.
  • The right to a fair trial before your peers.
  • Protection against improper search and seizure.

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If you were arrested, taken into police custody, and questioned, you should have received a reading of your rights. If the police failed to do this, a skilled and experienced criminal attorney may be able to have related evidence excluded from consideration of your case.

An experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer can help to explain your rights and your options during questioning, your hearing, and your trial. To speak with an attorney about your criminal charges and organizing your legal defense, contact the Law Office of Jason A. Volet at (732) 863-5050.

 

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me?

With a multitude of internet resources and books available regarding how the law works, many people believe that they are capable of handling their own defense if charged with a crime. However, even minor criminal convictions can have significantly greater effects than a person may first realize. Additionally, criminal defense cases can prove complicated in some cases, virtually requiring professional legal help.

When you are arrested for a crime, the prosecution will likely take an aggressive stance to try to convict you as quickly and as severely as possible. You need an experienced New Jersey criminal lawyer who understands your rights and criminal charges and can fight back in your defense. A criminal attorney can help you through all steps of your criminal case, from advising you during police questioning to gathering evidence and testimony in your defense.

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me?

Attorneys can provide invaluable services during a person’s criminal defense case. Some defendants may not see the point in hiring an attorney, however. This is especially the case if they intend on pleading guilty or don’t believe that the penalties are serious enough to warrant a legal advisor’s help. However, a lawyer can provide the following important services:

  • Work through important legal procedures and paperwork.
  • Prepare a strong legal defense against a criminal charge.
  • Take some of the burden of dealing with legal problems.
  • Provide advice when difficult decisions arise.

Even seemingly minor criminal charges can have long-term consequences for a person, making his or her criminal defense case all the more important.

If you’re facing criminal charges and are thinking about representing yourself in court, you may want to at least speak with an attorney first to learn more about your options. For a confidential consultation, contact me today. Once I have learned about your case I can explain the options available.

Having a knowledgeable, competent lawyer on your side during your criminal trial can make all the difference in your case. Our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys understand the ins and outs of the criminal system and will work aggressively to pursue a favorable resolution for your case.

What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney

When a person is facing prosecution for criminal charges, they may want to find a legal defender who can provide a strong defense for their rights. The criminal defense process can be particularly complex at times, making it all the more important for a legal defender to have a strong understanding of the law and how to use it to defend a client. With this in mind, it’s important for a person facing criminal accusations to find a worthwhile attorney.

There are thousands of criminal defense attorneys in the state of New Jersey, making the choice of picking a single representative more difficult. However, there are some important indicators that a person may want to look for when searching for legal help. These things include:

These important pieces of information can help a person get a clearer picture of who an attorney is and how capable they are of successfully working with clients.

Who is the Best New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer for Your Case?

When searching for the best New Jersey criminal defense lawyer for a case, people often turn to the Internet to look for search rankings or some other type of objective criteria, such as a list. As with all professions, there is not a single objective measure of what constitutes the “best.” There are, however, certain criteria that may be important for you or your case, such as the following:

Certification by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney

In New Jersey, experienced criminal trial lawyers can apply to be certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney. To learn more about New Jersey criminal trial attorney certification, please read the articles on this site. Certification requires meeting a number of standards, including recognition by other attorneys. I am one of a limited number of attorneys in New Jersey who have been certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney.

Litigation and Trial Experience

Another aspect to consider in choosing a criminal defense lawyer is the amount of experience that the lawyer has. I have been an attorney focused on criminal law matters for more than 15 years, and have worked on more than 2000 cases, starting as a former Assistant Prosecutor in Monmouth County. Having formerly served as a prosecutor, I know what it’s like to practice criminal law as both a prosecutor and defense attorney.

Trust and Dedication

Criminal matters are serious. If you’ve been charged with a crime, you need an attorney not only whom you can trust, but one who will work tirelessly in seeking to achieve for you the best outcome possible given the facts and circumstances of your case.

I and my firm have the experience, dedication, and trust that are often highly sought after in searches for a criminal defense attorney. We provide all of our clients with tenacious representation and full attention to their matter.

If you need a criminal defense lawyer, we would look forward to meeting with you and learning about the events pertaining to your charge, whereupon we can explain how we can help if we are retained. Please call our firm to schedule an appointment at your convenience.

Never Try to Represent Yourself Against a Serious Criminal Charge in Criminal Defense Case

In the legal world, there is a saying that “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.” This adage recognizes that even lawyers should retain legal counsel in serious legal matters rather than representing themselves.

If a lawyer, who has the legal education and perhaps many years of legal practice, should retain another lawyer instead of representing himself or herself, so too should non-lawyers retain a lawyer for a legal matter.

In criminal matters, the law is complicated and prosecutors work hard in seeking to convict. They want their conviction rate to be high so that their record looks good. Their job is not to care about how a legal conviction may affect the life or family of a person charged with a crime.

An experienced criminal defense attorney often will have years of practical experience and be in a much better position to advocate strongly and develop solid legal strategy than a person who has no training in the law.

Experienced criminal lawyers know how to spot evidence that may be inadmissible, and how to move to seek that such evidence is never introduced at trial. In the case where the prosecution’s main evidence is likely to be inadmissible, a criminal attorney may remind the prosecutor of the prosecutor’s legal duty to dismiss a case if there is not credible and admissible evidence upon which a conviction may be obtained. Experienced criminal lawyers thus not only focus on winning a case at trial, but also on strategies to have cases dismissed or charges reduced wherever possible prior to trial.

When charged with a crime, you should never try to go it alone.

The stakes are usually too high. If you’ve been charged with a crime, please call our office to schedule an appointment to learn how we may be able to help.

This informational blog post was brought to you by Jason A. Volet, an experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer.

I Failed to Register as a New Jersey Sex Offender

Part of the requirements after being convicted of a sex offense may be that you have to register with your local police department, and that registration may be once a year or again, depending on the type of charge you plead guilty to, could actually be every 90 years. Failure to register with that local police department is in it of itself, a separate crime of failure to register. That crime is a third degree indictable offense heard in the superior court, which is punishable by between three and five years in state prison. If you’ve been charged with this offense, it’s important to find an attorney who can discuss all of your legal options with you and any defenses you may have to this charge.

This informational blog post was provided by Jason A. Volet, an experienced New Jersey Sex Crime Lawyer.

Consequences of Violating a PSL in New Jersey

If you’ve been convicted of certain sexual offenses, you may be on parole supervision for life. If you’re on parole supervision for life, which is, again, depending on which charge you’re on for, a minimum of fifteen years, you are subject to certain requirements by parole, and those could be limiting access to the internet, it could be indicating who you’re allowed to live with, what areas you’re allowed to be in, and if you violate the conditions of your parole supervision for life, it can have very serious consequences for you. For each violation of a condition of parole supervision for life, you are facing between 12 and 18 months in state prison, and if you are indicted for a violation of one of the conditions of your parole supervision for life, you are looking at an additional 18 months in state prison on top of the 12 to 18 months you may be facing for the violation itself. So if you’ve been charged with violating a condition of your parole supervision for life, it’s important to contact an attorney who’s experienced with these types of cases.

This informational blog post was provided by Jason A. Volet, an experienced New Jersey Sex Crime Lawyer.

PSL or Parole Supervision for Life in New Jersey

If you’ve been charged with certain sexual offenses such as sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and a number of other offenses, you may fall under the parole supervision for life category. What does that mean? That means that you will be, in addition to having the registration requirements under Megan’s Law, you will be subject to a minimum of 15 years of parole supervision. What does parole supervision mean?

You will have a parole officer and that person can limit your access to the internet, to computers. They can make requirements such as rehabilitation, they can determine who you may or may not live with – and that can include family members – so again, these are very, very strict regulations and if you violate any of these regulations you can be charged with separate crimes and be placed back in prison on the parole violations of themselves. So it is very important that if you are charged with an offense that may require you to register for parole supervision for life that you meet with an attorney who has the experience of dealing with these types of cases in order to better protect your rights.

This informational blog post was provided by Jason A. Volet, an experienced New Jersey Sex Crime Attorney.

How Do Criminal Cases Typically Proceed?

The basic process of a criminal case begins with a defendant being arrested and charged with committing a crime. The government is responsible for proving that there is irrefutable reason to believe that the defendant committed the crime. The following process then takes place:

  • Bail hearing – The defendant appears at a hearing and the presiding judge will decide if the defendant will be let out on bail or kept in custody.
  • Probable cause hearing – The judge will decide if there is enough evidence to support charging the defendant with the crime.
  • Arraignment – This is where the defendant enters the plea, such as guilty, not guilty, or guilty but mentally unstable.
  • Trial – If the defendant pleads not guilty, the criminal trial is often the next step.
  • Acquittal or sentencing – The defendant is acquitted of the crime if found innocent or is sentenced to various penalties if found guilty.

If you are currently facing a criminal case, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable defense lawyer. Contact the experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Jason A. Volet at 732-503-8968.

This informational blog post was brought to you by Jason A. Volet, an experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer.

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