In New Jersey, convictions for certain sex offenses can result in an individual having to register as a sex offender pursuant to Megan’s Law. An individual required to register under Megan’s Law might also be sentenced to Community Supervision for Life or Parole Supervision for life, depending on the nature of the offense for which he or she was convicted. Despite how it may sound, however, a sentence to register under Megan’s Law or to participate in Community Supervision for Life or Parole Supervision for Life is not necessarily a life sentence.
After fifteen years have passed, an individual subject to Megan’s Law Tier classification is entitled to bring forth an application to the courts, seeking to relieve himself or herself from the Megan’s Law registry obligation. N.J.S.A. § 2C:7-2f. That statute provides as follows:
Except as provided in subsection g. of this section, a person required to register under this act may make application to the Superior Court of this State to terminate the obligation upon proof that the person has not committed an offense within 15 years following conviction or release from a correctional facility for any term of imprisonment imposed, whichever is later, and is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others…
Ibid. Subsection g of N.J.S.A. § 2C:7-2 prohibits from making such an application those defendants who have been convicted of more than one sex offense and those defendants who have been convicted of aggravated sexual assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a or sexual assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2c(1).
Our legislature has imposed two conditions upon a registrant’s right to seek termination of the registration requirements: first, the registrant must prove that he or she has not committed any offense, be it a sexual offense or otherwise, within fifteen years following conviction or release, and second, the registrant must prove that he or she is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others. If a registrant can prove these two elements, he or she will be alleviated from an otherwise lifetime requirement to register. Needless to say, proving the second element can be more challenging than the first, and an applicant seeking to remove himself or herself from the registration requirements may need to enlist the aid of a mental health expert, such as a forensic psychologist, to convince the State and the court that the applicant does not pose a safety risk to the community.
The South Jersey criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of Agre & St. John know the intricacies of criminal law. Our legal team can be the advocates you need if you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in South Jersey. To learn more about how we can defend your rights, call our Haddonfield, New Jersey offices at 856-428-7797 or contact us online.