Warren County Failure to Register Under Megan’s Law Attorneys
Hackettstown Failing to Register as a Sex Offender Defense Lawyers
New Jersey takes sex crimes very seriously. Since 1994, under state law called Megan’s Law, certain sex offenders must register with the state to be put in a sex offender database. The public can access the registry to allow New Jersey residents to protect themselves from potential predators who may pose a substantial risk to the community at large. Failing to register as a sex offender can mean prison time and expensive fines.
Our sex crimes lawyers in Sussex and Warren County have represented countless clients across New Jersey who were facing allegations of serious sex crimes. Additionally, our sex crime defense attorneys have also helped clients who were accused of failing to register as a sex offender pursuant to Megan’s Law. New Jersey law requires that convicted sex offenders register their address with the local police and provide updates if there are any changes in address, employment, or school enrollment. The failure to do so is third degree crime, so if you are accused of failing to register as a sex offender in Lopatcong, Newton, Greenwich, Hackettstown, Frankford, Sussex or Warren County, the potential consequences are severe, and you should not hesitate to contact the experienced sex crime defense attorneys at our firm. To get a free consultation with a member of our team of attorneys, call 973-755-1695 or complete the online form.
Requirements to Register as a Sex Offender in Sussex County, NJ
N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2 sets forth that a person who fails to register as a sex offender as required by law is guilty of a crime of the third degree. The sex offender registration law states: (1) A person who has been convicted, adjudicated delinquent, or found not guilty by reason of insanity for commission of a sex offense as defined by law shall register as provided in subsections c. and d. of this section. (2) A person who in another jurisdiction is required to register as a sex offender and (a) is enrolled on a full-time, or part-time basis in any public or private educational institution in this State, including any secondary school, trade or professional institution, institution of higher education or other post-secondary school, or (b) is employed or carries on a vocation in this State, on either a full-time or a part-time basis, with or without compensation, for more than 14 consecutive days or for an aggregate period exceeding 30 days in a calendar year, shall register in this State as provided in subsections c. and d. of this section.
Who is Required to Follow the Megan’s Law Registration Steps?
Over a dozen specific charges require a person to register as a sex offender. They all relate to sex crimes against minors, kidnapping, luring, or criminally restraining minors as well. Individuals on probation, parole, a work release program, or furlough must register when they are placed under supervision for any of those programs. If someone is still in prison, they must register 48 hours before their expected release with the correctional facility where they had been serving their sentence. Within 48 hours after their release, they must register with the police chief of the municipality where they will reside. A person moving to New Jersey or someone from another state who is attending college in New Jersey must register with the police chief of the municipality where they will reside within ten days of their arrival. Additionally, anyone working in New Jersey for more than 14 consecutive days or more than 30 days a year must register with the police chief within ten days of starting work.
Understanding Failure to Register as a Sex Offender under NJ Law
For the purposes of Megan’s Law and sex offender registration, “sex offense” shall include: (1) aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, kidnapping pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection c. of N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1 or an attempt to commit any of these crimes if the court found that the offender’s conduct was characterized by a pattern of repetitive, compulsive behavior, regardless of the date of the commission of the offense or the date of conviction; (2) a conviction, adjudication of delinquency, or acquittal by reason of insanity for aggravated sexual assault; sexual assault; aggravated criminal sexual contact; kidnapping pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection c. of N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1; endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child pursuant to subsection a. of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4; endangering the welfare of a child pursuant to paragraph (3) or (4) or subparagraph (a) of paragraph (5) of subsection b. of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4; luring or enticing pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1993, c.291; criminal sexual contact pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3 b. if the victim is a minor; kidnapping pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1, criminal restraint pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2, or false imprisonment pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:13-3 if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim; knowingly promoting prostitution of a child pursuant to paragraph (3) or paragraph (4) of subsection b. of N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1; or an attempt to commit any of these enumerated offenses if the conviction, adjudication of delinquency or acquittal by reason of insanity is entered on or after the effective date [Oct. 31, 1994] of this act or the offender is serving a sentence of incarceration, probation, parole, or other form of community supervision as a result of the offense or is confined following acquittal by reason of insanity or as a result of civil commitment on the effective date [Oct. 31, 1994] of this act; and (3) a conviction, adjudication of delinquency, or acquittal by reason of insanity for an offense similar to any offense enumerated in paragraph (2) or a sentence on the basis of criteria similar to the criteria set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection entered or imposed under the laws of the United States, this State or another state.
How is the NJ Sex Offender Registry Categorized?
A three-tier system based on the probability of recidivism determines whether an offender’s registered information is made public. Some of the factors used to make this decision are the individual’s criminal history, the victim’s age if the individual was violent or had a weapon, the amount of contact with the victim, and whether the victim was a relative, acquaintance, or stranger. Other factors include the number of offenses committed, the amount of time since the last offense, and how long the offender engaged in those behaviors. In terms of personal development, how they responded to rehabilitation and mental health treatment, their psychological profile as determined by a mental health professional, therapeutic support, if they are working or studying, and whether they are on probation also factor into the decision.
Tier one is for low-risk individuals whose chance of recidivism is low. There are few consequences, and only law enforcement officials can access your sex offender information. Tier two individuals present a moderate risk of recidivism. Law enforcement and any place that cares for children, such as schools, daycare facilities, and children’s camps, will have your sex offender status available to them. Some Tier two offenders could also be required to register in the state sex offender database. Tier three members are considered at high risk for becoming repeat offenders. Their sex offender status will be made known to law enforcement and facilities where there are children, such as schools, daycare, and camps. All offenders in this tier must register at the state level.
Penalties For Failure to Register in New Jersey
Failure to register as a sex offender is a third degree offense. Although not all third-degree crimes have a presumption for incarceration, sex offenders have a prior criminal record for a serious offense, making it more likely that they will be sentenced to jail for this offense. A conviction for failure to register can mean up to five (5) years in state prison and fines of up to $15,000. If an individual is on parole and does not register as a sex offender as per the requirements of their parole, they will receive the additional consequences of their parole violation.
Information That Must Be Provided When Registering
All of the following must be submitted to the proper authorities and placed in the sex offenders registry: name/aliases, social security number, date of birth, home, work, and school addresses, palm and fingerprints, a physical description including identifying features such as scars or tattoos, date of conviction, description of the crime, a recent photograph, a copy of a driver’s license, and the description and license plates of any owned vehicles, all email addresses, screen names, or other online identities, a copy of a passport or immigration documents.
Managing Address Changes Guidelines
Tier one offenders appear annually at their local law enforcement offices to confirm or update any of their personal information. At the same time, those in Tier two must go twice a year, and those in Tier three must go four times a year. If an offender moves to a different address, they have ten days to report it.
Impact on Use and Computer Access
In 2002, in Durham, North Carolina, Lester Packingham was convicted of a child sex offense and had to register as a sex offender. At the time, North Carolina prohibited registered sex offenders from using social media sites. Lester posted some good news regarding a traffic ticket dismissal, and a police officer saw the post. Packingham was convicted of violating the law regarding using social media sites. He was never accused of doing anything inappropriate, trying to contact minors, or doing anything illegal on the Internet.
Packingham took his case to the Supreme Court, which decided in 2017 that it was against his First Amendment right to free speech to prohibit his use of social media on the Internet. It is not unconstitutional to request all email addresses, screen names, or other online identities when a sex offender registers. States are invited by the Court to pass legislation that could limit certain areas of internet use, but the original restriction set by North Carolina was too broad.
Possible Rebuttals If You Have Been Charged with Violating N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2
The prosecution must prove every element of the crime to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. If so much as one element provides doubt, you could be exonerated. Maybe you have registered as required, and the prosecution has made a mistake. Your attorney can present the evidence to show that you are not guilty. Then there is the “nobody is perfect” defense, which honestly isn’t a defense; however, once given all of the facts, the prosecutor may drop or lower the charges if it was an honest mistake.
Our seasoned sex crime defense attorneys will look at the circumstances of your failure to register and build a defense that is customized and fit to your particular case. We are ready to do whatever it takes to provide you with the best possible outcome, whether that means a plea deal with a prosecutor or going to trial. We are always prepared to confidently defend you in court.
Talk to Our Sparta Sex Crime Defense Lawyers Today
If you have a previous conviction for a sex offense in New Jersey or another jurisdiction and you are currently residing in New Jersey, contact our attorneys to learn more about Megan’s Law and the sex offender registry in Phillipsburg, Frankford, Stillwater, Andover, Hopatcong, Sparta, and other towns in Sussex and Warren County. But, more importantly, if you are accused of failing to register as a sex offender, the penalty includes a prison sentence of three to five years, and your liberty is at stake. The sex offense lawyers on our staff are always available to help, no matter your criminal legal needs; call us today at 973-755-1695 for a free consultation.