What Is Megan’s Law?
Understanding the requirements of Megan’s Law is an important step for individuals trying to move on after a sex crime conviction. Under this law, individuals convicted of certain crimes must register with a state program, providing addresses of their residence and place of employment. Certain notifications must be made to the public about the location of registered sex offenders. Following the reporting and notification requirements under Megan’s Law is a necessary part of the rehabilitation process for convicted individuals.
At Agre & St. John, we help you ensure compliance with Megan’s Law and find the right ways to move forward with your life. Call us today for an appointment: 856-422-8364.
Who Is Included Under Megan’s Law?
A person who has been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity, or is an adjudicated delinquent for the commission of specified sex offenses must follow the registration requirements.
The sex offenses include:
- Aggravated criminal sexual conduct
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Certain kidnapping crimes
- Criminal restraint or false imprisonment of a minor
- Criminal sexual conduct
- Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct, which would impair or debauch the morals of a child
- Knowingly promoting prostitution of a child
- Luring or enticing
- Sexual assault
A conviction of an attempt to commit any of the listed crimes could also result in required registration.
What Are The Reporting Requirements?
Individuals who need to register must do so at the time they are placed under community supervision as part of their probation, parole, furlough, work release or another community supervision program. Those individuals serving time in a correctional or juvenile facility must register prior to their release back into the community. Change and verification of address, which typically occurs every 90 days, must also be reported in a timely manner. New Jersey requires the names of convicted sex offenders to be entered into an online sex offender registry.
Individuals who were convicted of a sex offense and are returning or moving to New Jersey must also register. Within 70 days of the move, the individual must register with their new municipality or the Superintendent of State Police. Individuals required to register as sex offenders but fail to do so can be charged with a fourth-degree crime.
Who Gets Megan’s Law Notifications?
Megan’s Law also requires communities to be notified when a registered sex offender resides or works in the area. The type of notice depends on the likelihood the individual will recommit the crime. Factors used to determine the extent of notification required include the amount of time served for the conviction, advanced age or debilitating illness of the convicted sex offender, whether a weapon was used in the commission of the sex offense, age of the victim, treatment received by the offender, history of threatening behavior, number of prior offenses and psychological profile of the offender.
For cases where a low risk of reoffending is found, the notification must be made only to those law enforcement agencies the registered offender is likely to encounter. In cases of moderate reoffending risk, community organizations, including schools, sports organizations and church programs, must also be notified. When the factors indicate a high risk of reoffense, notification to the broader community is required.
Are You Seeking Removal From The Registry?
Convicted sex offenders do not need to remain on the registry for the rest of their lives. Individuals who can submit proof they have not committed an offense within 15 years after their conviction or release from prison can apply to the New Jersey Superior Court to end their reporting obligations. With the assistance of an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer, the applicant can show the Court they are not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others in the future.
Misuse Of Disclosed Information
The civil rights of registered sex offenders cannot be violated by the inappropriate use of the information found in the Megan’s Law registry. Registry information cannot be used to deny insurance, loans, credit, education, scholarships or other benefits. When this occurs, a registered sex offender is entitled to enforce their own legal rights.
Find Out More About How Megan’s Law Applies To You
If you or a loved one was arrested or charged with a sex crime or has questions about whether the requirements of Megan’s Law apply, the experienced defense lawyers at Agre & St. John are ready to assist you. Call our Haddonfield office today to schedule a confidential consultation at 856-422-8364 or submit an online inquiry form.