Mandatory Registration As A Sex Offender
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 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 which can be accessed by clicking here. Failure to register as required by Megan’s Law results in an indictable felony offense of the third degree. 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. If they fail to provide notification of a change of address or provide the annual update, it is a fourth degree crime.
If you have been charged with a Megan’s Law violation or need representation defending any charge, our firm is available for free consultation 24/7 at 908-272-1700. We are a team of seven (7) criminal attorneys which, in and of itself, makes us among very limited company in the entire state. Our former prosecutors and seasoned defense lawyers work exclusively for those accused of violating the law. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is unlike any other firm in Union County and we are ready to put our experience in over 1,000 sex related cases to work for you.
Criminal Offenses That Fall Under Megan’s Law
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 required 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 Place 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.
Attorneys are available to provide immediate assistance at 908-272-1700. Give us a call for the time and attention you need.