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Sex Offender Registration & Megan's Law


On October 31, 1994 (chapters 128 and 133 of Public Laws of 1994), Megan's Law sex offender registration and community notification procedures were signed into law. These can be found under N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 through 2C:7-11. In the state of New Jersey, certain convictions for "registerable" sex offenses require mandatory sex offender registration.

In July of 1994 in the Hamilton township of New Jersey, Jesse Timmendequas raped and murdered 7-year-old Megan Kanka. At the time, the girl's parents were not aware that the man that lived across the street was a known child molester with two prior convictions for sex offenses. After the little girl's death, President Clinton signed the federal law, "Megan's Law" (H.R. 2137) which required relevant information about sexually violent offenders be made public. Varying versions of "Megan's Law" was passed in New Jersey and all states across the nation. Today, paroled sex offenders are required to register with local authorities.

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 Legislative findings and declaration, the New Jersey legislature states that the dangers of recidivism posed by sex offenders and those offenders that prey upon children require a system of registration that will enable law enforcement officers to identify and alert the public when it's necessary for the public's safety.

Under N.J.S.A.-2 Registration of sex offenders, a sex offense includes any of the following: (1) Aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, kidnapping, or an attempt to commit any of these crimes. (2) A conviction or adjudication of delinquency, or an acquittal by reason of insanity for aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, or kidnapping pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:13-1. This also includes endangering a child's welfare by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair the child's morals, or false imprisonment of a minor and the offender was not a parent, or criminal restraint, or promoting child prostitution, luring or enticing pursuant to section 1 of P.L. 1993, c. 291.

Anyone that is required to register as a sex offender who is under the supervision of a community program, or on parole, or on a work release or similar program must register at the time they are placed under supervision or no later than 120 days of when the act went into effect, whichever one comes later.

Any person that is held in a correctional or a juvenile facility that is required to register must register before they are released according to the procedures set forth by the Department of Corrections, the Department of Human Services or the Juvenile Justice Commission.

Additionally, anyone that either moves to New Jersey or returns to New Jersey from another jurisdiction is required to register with chief law enforcement officials in the municipality where the person will be living, or if their area is remote and doesn't have a police force, then they must register with the Superintendent of State Police within 120 days of the effective date of the act or within 70 days of living in or moving back to the municipality, whichever is later.

Whenever someone moves or otherwise changes their address, they are required to notify the law enforcement agency with which they are registered and they must re-register with the relevant law enforcement agency no later than 10 days before they intend to move and live at the new address.

With the exception of certain serious offenses, certain people can apply to the Superior Court of New Jersey to terminate the requirement for registering as long as they can provide proof that they have not committed an offense within 15 years of their release from imprisonment, or for any term of imprisonment imposed upon that person, whichever comes later, and providing the person is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of the community in any way.

If you have been accused of a sex crime in New Jersey, please contact me at once to discuss the details of your case and any possible defense strategies that I might employ in your defense.

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