If you have been charged with a sex crime that entails Megan’s Law sex offender registration, are seeking to appeal a Megan’s Law case, or are looking for help with removal from Megan’s Law requirements, you should consult an experienced attorney who can explain more about Megan’s Law and the potential implications for your case. Our highly experienced New Jersey sex crime attorneys have extensive knowledge of Megan’s Law, its applicability, and the nuances of these cases in New Jersey. If you need assistance with a Megan’s Law case, we can help. It is important to discuss the specifics of your case and to get answers that pertain to your unique situation, so call (908) 838-0150 today to speak with a lawyer. Consultations are free and completely confidential.
What is Megan’s Law?
In 1994, a seven-year-old New Jersey girl named Megan Kanka was sexually abused and murdered by a convicted sex offender who lived on her street. Megan’s parents argued in the media and to state legislators that they could have done more to protect their daughter if they had known that their neighbor was a convicted sex offender. Certain research has shown that sexual offenders are more likely to reoffend than other types of criminals.
The result of the Kanka’s lobbying was Megan’s Law, a New Jersey statute that requires certain convicted sex offenders to register, among other things, so that their neighbors will be aware of their prior sex offenses. A federal version of Megan’s Law has been adopted nationally by Congress.
New Jersey Sex Offender Registration Under Megan’s Law
Megan’s Law, as set forth in NJSA 2C:7-1 through 2C:7-11, requires individuals convicted of certain sex crimes to register with law enforcement and notify their neighbors and community organizations of their offense. The sex crimes covered by Megan’s Law include:
Criminal Restraint of a minor if the minor is not your child
Certain Child Pornography Charges
Luring or Enticing a Minor
False Imprisonment of a minor if the minor is not your child
Kidnapping of a minor if the minor is not your child
Registration Requirements under NJ Megan’s Law
Once a defendant has been convicted of a crime that requires that person to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law, they must complete a registration form and submit the form to their local police department. The registration form requires individuals to identify their home address and current employer, among other types of information. Once the form has been submitted by the sex offender to a local police station, that station passes the form along to county prosecutors. Prosecutors will analyze the convicted person’s likelihood of reoffense and assign the person to either Tier 1 (low risk of reoffense), Tier 2 (moderate risk of reoffense), or Tier 3 (high risk of reoffense). The tier to which a person is assigned determines who must be notified about them.
Assignment to the highest risk, or Tier 3, category, will result in notification to all members of the sex offender’s neighborhood and all community organizations, law enforcement agencies, day care centers, schools, and summer camps in the area. Notifications regarding Tier 2 offenders are provided to community organizations, law enforcement agencies, day care centers, schools, and summer camps. Tier 1 offenders only notify law enforcement. Notifications provided to the above groups include the sex offender’s name, address, description and photo, home and work location, a description of the person’s vehicle and license plate number, and an abbreviated description of that person’s offense.
Sex offender registry under Megan’s Law remains in effect for the remainder of the convicted person’s life; however, there are certain cases in which individuals can apply to be removed from Megan’s Law registration requirements after 15 years have passed. This is a highly complex legal process best left to an experienced attorney.
Penalties for Failure to Register per Megan’s Law
A person can be convicted of a fourth degree crime if they fail to register, update their registration, notify required parties that they are moving, or otherwise comply with any requirements of Megan’s law. Failure to register offenses are punishable by severe penalties, including up to 18 months in state prison and fines amounting to $10,000. If you have been accused of failing to abide by the rules of Megan’s Law, you should not delay in consulting with a sex crime defense attorney about how to best handle your case. The consequences for failing to comply with Megan’s Law can be extremely serious.
Contact a Cranford NJ Megan’s Law Lawyer for Immediate Assistance
If you have been charged with a sex crime facing Megan’s Law registration, you have been convicted and are seeking to be removed from the sex offender registry, or you want to appeal a Megan’s Law case, the New Jersey Megan’s Law attorneys at our Union County defense firm are here to help. Contact us at (908) 838-0150 to devise a plan in accordance with the particular facts of your case.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Mount Laurel, Point Pleasant, Princeton and Middletown. All major credit cards are accepted