Registration As A Sex Offender in New Jersey
Megan’s Law is a framework of statutes that are intended to prevent sexual abuse by requiring mandatory registration and community notification for certain convicted sex offenders. When an individual is convicted of a sex crime falling within this framework, they are required to notify local police of their presence, the precise location where they reside, as well as other information, for example, the make and model of the vehicle they regularly operate. In many cases, this information is made available to the public on an internet registry known as the New Jersey Sex Offender Internet Registry. Failure to register as required by Megan’s Law results in an indictable felony offense of the third degree for failure to register. The law also mandates that a registrant provide notification of a change in address and, in addition, provide an annual update of their registry information. Failure to provide notification of a change of address or provide an annual update results in a fourth degree crime.
If you have been charged with a Megan’s Law violation and require representation, the attorneys at our firm possess the qualifications you need. We are a team of eight (8) criminal lawyers which is extremely rare in this state. Several members of our staff are former prosecutors that make up a group that routinely represents individuals facing criminal charges at the Superior Court in Elizabeth and in venues throughout Union County, including Linden, Roselle, Elizabeth, Plainfield and Kenilworth. An attorney is available at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall 24/7 by contacting our Union Township NJ Office at 908-272-1700.
Sex Offender Registration Under Megan’s Law in New Jeresey
N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2 sets forth those offenses that fall within the registration and community supervision for life requirements of this law. An individual convicted of the following sex offenses is subject to Megan’s Law:
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact
- Kidnapping (if the Victim is less than 16 years old and a sex offense was committed or attempted to be committed against them)
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child based on sexual conduct that impairs or debauches the morals of a minor
- False Imprisonment (if the Victim is a child and the offender is not their parent)
- Criminal sexual contact where the victim is under 18 years old
It should also be noted that registration under 2C:7-2 extends to juveniles convicted of any of the aforesaid sex offenses.
Are All Convicted Sex Offenders Treated The Same Under Megan’s Law?
No. The extent to which an individual is required to notify hinges on their assigned “risk level”. The risk is measured in terms of three (3) tiers. An individual is assigned to Tier I when there risk of re-offense is low. Tier II is for those who are assessed as being at moderate risk of committing another sex offense. Tier III are for those who are evaluated as being at high risk of a subsequent violation. Factors considered in assigning individuals to a particular tier include, but are not limited to, the severity of the defendant’s prior conviction(s), whether his/her conduct is indicative of repetitive and compulsive behavior, whether the victim(s) were children, and the defendant’s psychological/psychiatric state in terms of risk of repeating the conduct. The following notification requirements apply to each tier:
- Tier I. Notification is limited to the police chief of the municipality in which the defendant will reside, along with all other law enforcement agencies he/she is likely to encounter.
- Tier II. In addition to the notification req
- uired for Tier I, all schools, religious and youth organizations in the defendant’s community must be notified.
- Tier III. In addition to the notifications outlined for Tier I & Tier II, those members of the public who are likely to come in contact with the defendant are entitled to notification.
When Is Someone Placed On The New Jersey Sex Offender Internet Registry?
N.J.S.A. 2C:7-13 outlines those instances in which an individual shall be included on the internet registry. In this regard, an offender is included when their risk of a repeat violation is high (e.g. Tier I), they have shown a pattern of repetitive compulsive behavior, or when the court orders their inclusion in the registry.
Sex Offender Monitor
When an individual is considered a violent and violent offender, the Sex Offender Monitoring Act can also come into play. This law requires 24 hour electronic monitoring for certain Tier III offenders who have previously been committed as a sexually violent predator. When this act applies and an individual fails to comply, they are subject to prosecution for a third degree crime. It is also a third degree crime to tamper or remove an electronic monitoring device.
Third Degree Megan’s Law Violation
It is a crime of the third degree to fail to register as required by this law. An individual found guilty of this offense is subject to imprisonment for a presumptive period of 3-5 years and a fine of up to $15,000.
Fourth Degree Megan’s Law Violation
Failure to annually verify or notify law enforcement of a change of address is a fourth degree crime. A violator may be sent to state prison for a period of 18 months and fined $10,000.
Megan’s Law Defense Attorneys in Union County New Jersey
There are few criminal provisions that have the potential to negatively impact someone as much as Megan’s Law. Every effort must be undertaken to avoid the implications of this regulation and, when it does, to make sure the vicious cycle of violations does not start. The defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have all the tools necessary to provide maximum protection from Megan’s Law. We defend failure to register, provide a change in address or file an annual report, in Cranford, Hillside, Garwood, Springfield and Roselle Park, or other Union County towns. To discuss the facts surrounding your offense with a lawyer immediately, call us at 908-272-1700.