Sex crime convictions in New Jersey can be severe, including lengthy jail sentences and steep fines with the possibility of additional restitutions paid to the alleged victim. Arguably the most damaging of penalties, however, is the mandatory registration to the New Jersey sex offender list. Even people convicted of low-level, nonviolent sex crimes, such as public lewdness, will need to register.
What is Megan’s Law?
People convicted of serious or violent sex crimes will be categorized under Megan’s Law. Mandatory sex offender registry triggered by Megan’s Law is permanent. Each year, a sex offender must reregister and update their information – including photograph and where they live – or else face further legal penalties. The only way to be removed from the sex offender registry if placed there due to Megan’s Law is to not commit another sex crime for 15 years, create a solid argument that they will not be inclined to commit a similar offense ever again, and petition the court to remove them. For some violent sex crimes, such as rape, removal is never an option.
What Does Sex Offender Registration Do?
A person who must register with New Jersey’s sex offender registry is submitting their information to a public file that many people can see. Low-level offenses can only be revealed with a warrant or judge’s ruling, but most other offenses require a visitation to a website and nothing more. The idea is to allow parents to know when a sex crime convict is in their neighborhood, but the registry is more often used to strip offenders of important life opportunities.
People on the sex offender registry are less likely to:
- Be selected for employment
- Gain access to educational institutions
- Be approved for rental applications
Registered sex offenders are also banned from living in certain neighborhoods and within a certain range from schools, even if their conviction has nothing to do with child sex crimes. Some people have had to move hundreds of miles away due to the layout of cities and counties with numerous schools.
Defend Your Reputation & Future
Sex offender registrants often report feeling too ashamed to reach out for help after being placed on the list. At Brickfield & Donahue, our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys promise to provide a nonjudgmental and comfortable atmosphere when providing legal counsel or advocacy to our clients. If you need defense against sex crime allegations, or if you want to know if you can be removed from New Jersey’s sex offender registry, do not hesitate to contact our team today.