Recently, the NJ Appellate Division published a decision that could benefit many registered sex offenders. It affects the ability of certain sex offenders to get off Megan’s Law. In the case, In the Matter of Registrant, G.H. and G.A., the court ruled that a certain bars to petition for removal from the registry could not be applied to certain registrants. The part of Megan’s Law that was at issue was: “Subsection (g)” of N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(g). This portion of Megan’s Law prohibits certain people from ever getting off the registry. Specifically, Subsection (g) applies to those who were convicted of more than one sex offense, or who were convicted of certain violent sex offenses. Therefore, this provision has kept some registrants on NJ’s Megan’s Law for the rest of their lives.
In the Matter of Registrant, G.H. and G.A.
The two people in this case were convicted of sex offenses before Subsection (g) took effect (January 8, 2002). Both were convicted of Aggravated Sexual Assault, and one of the registrants also had multiple sex offense convictions. But, these two registrants did not commit further offenses since their release from prison.
After they petitioned the court to get off CSL, the trial court removed them from CSL, but denied their petitions to get off Megan’s Law. The trial courts found that Subsection (g) applied to them. As a result, the trial court held that both registrants were required to remain on Megan’s Law for life.
G.H. and G.A. Appeal to get off Megan’s Law:
On appeal, the registrants argued that because they were convicted before subsection (g) became effective, that part of Megan’s Law could not be applied to them. The Appellate Division agreed and held that the Subsection (g) provision did not apply to G.H. and G.A.
The court concluded that the NJ Legislature did not intend the “lifetime provision” of subsection (g) to apply retroactively to those who were “convicted or released” prior to January 8, 2002. Such application of Subsection (g) to G.H. and G.A. was “manifestly unjust.”
How This Case May Affect You:
Prior to this case, many registrants who were otherwise eligible to get off Megan’s Law, were prevented from ever getting off solely because of the Subsection (g) provision.
Now, however, more individuals will be eligible to get off New Jersey’s Megan’s Law. Such individuals must still satisfy other requirements in New Jersey’s Megan’s Law statute. That is why it is crucial to hire an experienced law firm to file a petition with the court for removal from Megan’s Law.
If you are a registered sex offender in New Jersey and were convicted of a sex offense before January 8, 2002, and either of the following applies to you, you may be eligible to get off Megan’s Law:
- 1) You were convicted of more than one sex offense,
- 2) You were convicted of either: Aggravated Sexual Assault or Sexual Assault by force or coercion
Call Maynard Law Office, LLC:
At Maynard Law Office, LLC, we have helped get countless of individuals removed from Megan’s Law and CSL/PSL. Our experienced legal team takes the necessary time and attention to obtain the best possible legal outcome for our clients. Call us today at (973) 540-0054 for a free consultation!