Under a New Jersey law known as Megan’s Law, individuals convicted of certain sexual offenses are required to register as sex offenders in New Jersey. This law, which was originally enacted in 1994, was expanded in 2002 to impose a lifetime registration requirement. If you are sentenced to lifelong sex offender registration in NJ, it can have a devastating impact on your personal life and career prospects. It is important to know that, if you are eligible, it may be possible to submit a motion to terminate your registration obligation.
What Is Megan’s Law?
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(f), “Megan’s law” requires individuals convicted of certain sexual sex crimes in New Jersey, including false imprisonment of a minor if the offender is not the victim’s parent, promoting prostitution, luring or enticing, child pornography, endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual contact, criminal sexual contact with a minor, aggravated sexual contact, sexual assault, and aggravated sexual assault, to register as sex offenders.
Megan’s law requires those convicted of sex crimes to register with the local police of the town or city where they reside and update their address whenever they move. The police notify local schools in the area and, depending on the classification tier of the offender, may also inform the person’s employer.
If an individual fails to register or provide police with information about their place of residence, employment, or any other required information, they can be charged with a fourth degree indictable crime for failing to report, which carries a potential sentence of up to 18 months in prison and fines.
Who Can Apply to Terminate a Sex Offender Registration Requirement?
If you were sentenced to Megan’s Law registration and it has been 15 years since your conviction or release from a correction facility—whichever is later, you provide proof that you have been free of any other offenses, and you do not pose a threat to the safety of others, you may be eligible to apply to terminate your sex offender registration obligation with the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Notably, individuals convicted of aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault are permanently ineligible for removal from NJ sex offender registration requirements.
In addition, if you were under the age of 14 when you committed a sex crime requiring Megan’s law registration and you are not now over the age of 18, you can apply to the New Jersey Supreme Court to be removed from the registry. Eligible juvenile offenders will be removed if the Court finds clear and convincing evidence that the juvenile is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Megan’s Law Removal in New Jersey?
While you are not required to hire a lawyer to apply for removal from the sex offender registry in New Jersey, doing so can be extremely helpful. The entire process of applying to the NJ Supreme Court for removal from Megan’s law can take several months. You or your lawyer will need to request certain documents including your conviction, probation, and tiering records, as well as police reports, and prepare a notice of motion, draft a brief in support of your motion, and obtain an expert opinion. With the complexity of the Megan’s Law Removal process in New Jersey, it is highly advisable to enlist the help of an experienced sex crime attorney who can ensure you are positioned for the best possible outcome.
If you have questions about your eligibility to apply for removal from the sex offenders registry or you need assistance with this process, contact our knowledgeable New Jersey Megan’s law attorneys today at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation.
You can read more about Megan’s Law in New Jersey by accessing this resource.