UNDER NEW JERSEY’S MEGAN’S LAW, MANY SEX OFFENDERS MUST REGISTER FOR LIFE
A Hunterdon County man charged with sexually assaulting six teenaged boys has reached a plea deal with prosecutors. Under New Jersey’s Megan’s Law, the man will be required to register for life on the state’s sex offender list.
The man pleaded guilty to three charges of sexual assault and three counts of child endangerment. The man formerly worked with and near the children in his community as a school bus driver and volunteer firefighter. He was first charged with molestation in 2008 and then more victims came forward. The new plea deal will add 13 years onto the four year term he is currently serving.
Under the provisions of New Jersey’s Megan’s Law, the Hunterdon County man will be supervised for life and forced to register as a sex offender until he dies.
Brief Overview of Megan’s Law
Megan’s Law establishes a state sex offender registry and determines how communities will be notified when sex offenders are released from prison. It also outlines new classifications for sex offenders based on their likelihood to reoffend.
Under the law, many sex offenders must register on the sex offender list for life. More serious offenses require offenders to check in every 90 days and lesser offenses once a year. Offenders must report their names, legal permanent addresses, temporary addresses if applicable and dates and places of employment. The registry is available to the public over the Internet.
Sex offenders must also notify their communities of their presence no less than 10 days prior to moving into the neighborhood. Those offenders with low risk of reoffending must notify law enforcement, while those with a moderate risk to reoffend must notify law enforcement who in turn notifies community organizations. In the case of offenders with a high risk of reoffending, law enforcement must notify community organizations, schools and neighborhoods within a specified radius of the offender’s residence and workplace.
Some Offenders May be Able to Terminate Registration
Registering for life places a large burden on individuals, especially if they no longer pose a threat to the public and have not committed a sex offense for many years. In these circumstances, it may be possible to terminate the mandatory registration provision.
Sex offenders who have been on the registry for at least 15 years, have not had any subsequent convictions and who are no longer threats to their communities may apply to terminate the registration requirements of Megan’s Law. Though it is easy to prove compliance with the first two factors, proving an offender is no longer a threat is a bit trickier.
For this reason, it important for sex offenders who believe they are eligible for a termination of registration requirements hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help them compile the evidence needed to prove a threat no longer exists
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