Because of concern that those convicted of a sex offense may re-offend, New Jersey has adopted Megan’s Law. The provisions of this law require all sex offenders to register with local law enforcement and also subjects many moderate risk (Tier II) and all high risk (Tier III) defendants to community disclosure and notification. One of the biggest components of notification is a sex offender internet registry which includes name of the offender, address, photograph and nature of the prior sex offense. The intention of the registry is to alert the public of the presence of the offender in hopes of preventing future acts of sexual misconduct. The requirements and mandates of Megan’s Law make the stakes in a sex case even higher and so too the need for representation by a qualified defense lawyer. If you have been charge with a Megan’s Law-eligible offense, you definitely want to hire an attorney who is knowledgeable in the defense of sex offenses. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall possess this level of expertise with over 100 years of combined criminal experience, including years serving as a prosecutors. We are prepared to defend any Mercer County sex crime including those resulting in an arrest in Trenton, East Windsor, Hamilton, Princeton and Hopewell Township. The attorneys at the firm will do what is necessary to help you avoid a plea or conviction for a charge that triggers Megan’s Law. Contact our Hamilton Office at (609) 683-8102 for a free consultation.New Jersey Megan’s Law
The requirements of Megan’s Law apply to the vast majority of sex charges someone can face at the Superior Court in Trenton. The implications of its registration and community notification mandates can have serious ramifications so a successful defense is crucial to your future. The headings that follow highlight some of the more important aspects of this area of law.
When Does Megan’s Law Apply? N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2 sets forth those criminal charges that trigger registration and community notification under Megan’s Law. The statute applies to virtually every sex-related offense and to adults as well as most juveniles. Failure to register in accordance with the Megan’s Law statute is itself a third-degree offense. An obligation to register applies when someone has been convicted, adjudicated delinquent, or found not guilty by reasons of insanity to the following offenses:
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact
- Kidnapping a child (under 16, or under 18 if offender is not victim’s parent)
- Criminal Sexual Contact (if the victim is under 18)
- Luring or Enticing a minor
- Criminal Restraint (if victim is under 18, and offender is not victim’s parent)
- False Imprisonment (if victim is under 18, and offender is not victim’s parent)
- Promotion of Child Prostitution
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child involving sexual conduct
How Is Tier Classification Determined Under Megan’s Law? Once convicted of a Megan’s Law offense, the offender is evaluated to determine the his/her risk of recommitting a sex offense. There are three “Tiers” that vary depending on the severity of the crime and risk to the public. Tier 1 is for low-risk offenders, Tier 2 is for moderate-risk offenders, and Tier 3 is for high-risk offenders. Tier classification is initially proposed by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and then a formal tier classification hearing is conducted. At the conclusion of the hearing, a judge setting in the Criminal Division of the Mercer County Superior Court must issue a final tier classification based on factors such the nature and severity of the charge, responsiveness to treatment, and community support.
Who Receives Notification Under Megan’s Law? The question of who is notified of an offender’s information depends on what Tier the person is in. Only law enforcement is notified of Tier 1 offenders. Law enforcement, schools, day care centers, camps, and community organizations are notified of Tier 2 offenders. If someone is a Tier 3 offender, his or her information is not only provided to the organizations mentioned above, but is also put on the Internet for public view. A Tier 2 offender may also be included in the internet registration under certain conditions.
How Long Must Someone Remain on the Megan’s Law Registry? A Megan’s Law offender must remain on the registry for 15 years. After that time, the offender can request to terminate registry obligations, based on a showing of no further offenses and not being a threat to the community. Some offenders, however, cannot terminate their registry obligations, including those convicted of Aggravated Sexual Assault; convicted of Sexual Assault involving force or coercion; and those convicted of more than one sexual offense.Trenton Megan’s Law Lawyer
If you have been accused of a sex-related offense or are concerned that you may be charged, you need to obtain a lawyer as soon as possible to assist you in protecting your rights. Given that Megan’s Law has a long-lasting effect on a person’s life, a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help you avoid the potentially worst consequences of a sex-related crime. The lawyer at our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, defend sexual assault and other sex crimes throughout Mercer County, including those arrested in Ewing, Lawrence, West Windsor, Robbinsville and Pennington. Call our firm at (609) 683-8102 to speak to one of our attorneys immediately.