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Megan’s Law – Failure to Register as a Sex Offender Defense Lawyer in New Jersey

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For many people, the punishment for a sex crime goes far beyond incarceration and fines. In New Jersey, people who have been convicted, adjudicated delinquent, or found not guilty by reason of insanity for commission of a sex offense must register with law enforcement under Megan’s Law. Contact our New Jersey failure to register as a sex offender defense lawyer today.

If you’ve been charged with some type of sexual offense in Freehold, New Jersey, you may be subject to what everybody understands to be Megan’s Law, which is essentially a registration program. What it means is is that if you are convicted or you plead guilty to one of the offenses that fall under Megan’s Law – it could be an aggravated sexual assault, it could be a sexual assault, it could be endangering the welfare of a child, it could be a kidnapping that has sexual components to it – you would be forced to register with your police department and again, depending on the crime, it could be once a year or it could be 90 days.

What if I Fail to Register as a Sex Offender in New Jersey?

If you fail to register with your police department, you could be charged with a third-degree offense of failure to register, which is punishable with three to five years in state prison. So it’s important that if you are facing a charge that entails Megan’s Law that you hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience dealing with it.

A woman is sad after meeting a sex offender.Being registered as a sex offender can make it difficult for you to find housing and employment, as well as prevent you from getting a fresh start. However, failing to register as a sex offender can result in additional charges and harsh punishments. Seasoned litigator Jason A. Volet has extensive experience helping those who are accused of failing to register as a sex offender. A former Monmouth County criminal prosecutor-turned-defense attorney, Mr. Volet has argued more than 2,000 cases in his career, and he knows how the prosecution thinks.

Whether you misunderstood the requirements for registering as a sex offender in New Jersey or just made a mistake, our dedicated sex crimes defense attorney is here to help. We know the frustrations people face when they feel like they can’t escape their pasts, and we don’t want to see you caught in a cycle of being punished. Contact us for a free consultation today.

What Is ‘Megan’s Law’ in New Jersey?

“Megan’s Law” is a law that New Jersey enacted in 1994 in response to the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in Hamilton Township by a man who had two prior sex crime convictions involving young children. The man lived across the street from the girl. Her parents claimed that if they had known of the man’s presence in their neighborhood, it could have saved their child’s life.

Today, the law is found at N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 to 2C:7-23. It includes a major update in 2001 which established the Megan’s Law sex offender Internet registry. The law requires sex offenders to register their current address and to notify local law enforcement officials when they change their address. It also requires the information about where convicted sex offenders reside to be made available to the public. In other words, if someone is concerned about a sex offender living in their neighborhood, Megan’s Law allows them to investigate the matter. Many states have enacted laws that were based on the New Jersey law.

Keep in mind: New Jersey established the Megan’s Law sex offender registry to give the public information which they can use to protect themselves and their families. People cannot use the registry to harass or threaten people who have been convicted of sex crimes in their past. 

Crimes That Require You to Register as a Sex Offender in N.J.

New Jersey Megan’s Law indicates that the registry should include anyone who has committed a “sex offense.” This includes:

  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated criminal sexual contact
  • Kidnapping
  • Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct
  • Criminal restraint
  • False imprisonment
  • Knowingly promoting prostitution of a child
  • Child pornography

If you are charged with a sex crime or have been accused of failing to register as a sex offender, you need to know your rights. Contact our knowledgeable sex crimes attorney today to discuss how our law firm can help you.

What Are the Tiers of Sex Offenders In New Jersey?

When you register as a sex offender, you will be assessed to determine what type of risk the court feels you may pose to the community. You do have a right to a hearing before the court makes its decision on classification. Depending on the outcome, you may be classified as:

Tier 1: You are deemed to have a low risk for re-offense. Tier 1 sex offenders are not included on the Internet registry. Law enforcement agencies in your community will be notified of your registration.

Tier 2: You are deemed to be a moderate risk, and your information is included on the Internet registry. Law enforcement, schools, religious and youth organizations, and other community organizations will be notified of your registration.

Tier 3: You are deemed to be a high risk, and your information is included on the Megan’s Law Internet registry. Members of the public who are likely to encounter you will be notified, in addition to law enforcement, schools, religious and youth organizations, and other community groups.

With such a vast difference in the ramifications for being labeled Tier 1 versus Tier 3, it is crucial that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to represent you during this part of the process.

Some of the factors that may be considered in assessing a person’s risk of re-offense include:

  • Whether the person is receiving counseling, therapy, or treatment, or is under supervision
  • The offender’s response to treatment
  • Physical conditions such as advanced age or illness
  • Criminal history
  • Whether the person’s psychological or psychiatric evaluations indicate a risk
  • Recent behavior, including actions while in prison or while under supervision

If you are categorized as a Tier 2 or 3 sex offender, information that may be disclosed on the Internet registry includes your name (and aliases), age, race, sex, height, weight, hair and eye color, any distinguishing scars or tattoos, a photo of you, your address, information about your vehicle, and details about the offense.

What Are the N.J. Sex Offender Registry Requirements?

A sex offender is touching a woman wrongfully.New Jersey has strict requirements for when a person has to register for the sex offender database. It can be easy for a person to slip up or miss a deadline and be accused of failing to register. You should know:

Incarcerated offenders must register prior to their release.

Offenders who need to change their address within New Jersey must notify the law enforcement agency they are currently registered with at least 10 days prior to the move. If they are planning to move to another town, they must register with the new law enforcement agency at least 10 days before moving.

Offenders who are planning to move to New Jersey must notify the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which they plan to live or the state police within 10 days of arrival.

New Jersey resident offenders who are employed or go to school in another state must also register in that state to be in compliance with nonresident procedures.

New Jersey resident offenders who attend or work at institutions of higher education must also register with the school’s law enforcement unit within 10 days of commencing attendance or employment. If there is no campus police unit, the person must register with the local law enforcement agency that serves the campus. Offenders must also notify the appropriate law enforcement agency no later than 5 days after a status change in enrollment or employment.

Nonresident students and school workers must register as sex offenders in New Jersey within 10 days of starting attendance or employment. The person must register with the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality where the school is located or the superintendent of state police.

Even after you have gone through the process of sex offender registration, you are required to verify your address with the appropriate law enforcement agency once a year. Under certain circumstances, some offenders are required to verify their address every 90 days.

Can You Be Removed from the Sex Offender Registry in New Jersey?

There are opportunities to request to be removed from the N.J. sex offender registry. If you are considering requesting removal, you should know:

  • Those who qualify must have committed only one sex offense.
  • In addition, you must have not committed any other offense for 15 years.
  • You must also be able to prove that you are unlikely to be a threat to others.
  • If you were younger than 14 when you committed the offense and are now 18 or older, you can also request removal.

People who have been convicted of certain sex crimes, such as aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault involving the use of force, may not qualify for removal from the sex offender registry. Talk to our experienced criminal defense attorney today to learn about your options.

Let Our N.J. Failure to Register as a Sex Offender Defense Lawyer Help You

A man is arrested for failure to register as a sex offender.At the Law Office of Jason A. Volet, our team believes that you deserve a fresh start after you have “paid your debt” to society. However, we also know that getting a fresh start can be hard when you must register as a sex offender. Don’t let a simple mistake or oversight lead to another mark on your record.   

Schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable New Jersey criminal defense law firm today. We work with clients throughout South Jersey, including in Freehold, Marlboro, Middletown, Wall Township, Manalapan, Howell, Rumson, Red Bank, Ocean Township, Colts Neck, Holmdel, Asbury Park, and throughout Monmouth County.

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