Charged With Failure To Register in Monmouth County
Megan’s Law, passed in October of 1994, mandates sex offender registration upon conviction for certain criminal offenses. All individuals falling under the law must register with their local police and comply with other requirement the extent of which hinge on their Tier Classification. Those individuals who are deemed at “high risk” for re-offending fall with Tier III classification whereas those who present “low risk” are classed as Tier III offenders. Tier II covers those sex offenders who are assessed to be of “moderate risk” for committing another offense. When an individual fails to register, fails to report a change in address, fails to provide an annual address verification, or fails to report access or use of a computer or internet device, they are subject to a criminal offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2 , commonly referred to “Failure to Register”.
If you are facing a charge at the Monmouth County Superior Court, Freehold NJ, for failure to register or report under Megan’s Law, our former prosecutors are qualified to assist you. We have been defending failure to register and failure to report charges at the Freehold Courthouse for over twenty years and possess the experience you are looking for to insure that you have the best chance of avoiding this violation. If you were arrested by the police in Freehold, Eatontown, Hazlet, Howell, Middletown, Tinton Falls or another department in the county, do not hesitate to contact our office. A Megan’s Law offense defense lawyer at our Freehold Criminal Firm is available at 732-462-1197 to discuss your case.
Megan’s Law Offenses
Megan’s Law is strictly applied with little flexibility shown by police, probation officers, prosecutors, and even judges. Not surprisingly, violations for failure to register/report are issued swiftly and seamlessly, with almost no room for explanation. Whether failure to comply is the result of a genuine personal or logistical issue, there is rarely leniency. The logic behind the tight application of Megan’s Law stems from the high rate of recidivism by sexual offenders (i.e. likelihood that they will commit another sex offense). The following are those offenses which require registration in New Jersey under Megan’s Law:
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child by either engaging in sexual conduct or photographing or videotaping a child in a prohibited sexual act (or simulation of such act)
- Distribution of Child Pornography
- Knowingly Promoting Prostitution of a child
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Sexual assault
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact
- Kidnapping a victim (under the age of 16) to commit sexual assault or sexual contact
If an individual is convicted of one of these offenses, the registration requirements set forth under N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2 apply.
Reporting & Registration Requirements Under Megan’s Law
Megan’s Law imposes certain registration and reporting requirements that must be adhered to or a criminal offense may be issued. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2, a Megan’s Law offender must:
- Release From Imprisonment or Commitment. An offender must notify the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (“CLEO”) of the town where he residing within 48 hours of release.
- Change of Address. The defendant must notify the CLEO of both the town he is moving from and the new town no less than 10 days before he/she intends to first reside at his new address.
- Address Verification. Anyone convicted of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, or kidnapping to commit a sex crime, must provide a verification of address to law enforcement every 90 days. In all other Megan’s Law cases, the address verification must be provided annually.
- Moving Back Into New Jersey. A Megan’s Law eligible offender moving to or returning to New Jersey State must register with the CLEO of the municipality in which the person will reside within 10 days of first residing in or returning to a municipality.
- Change of Employment or School Enrollment. No later than five (5) from the date of the change in employment or school enrollment, the offender must notify the supervising law enforcement agency of the change.
Penalties for Failure to Register or Report
N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2 makes it a third degree crime to failure to comply with any of the reporting and notification requirements previously set forth. An individual may be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison and fined up to $15,000 for third degree failure to register. There is no period of parole ineligibility or mandatory minimum sentence in failure to register/report cases.
Release from Megan’s Law Registration Obligations
An offender who was required to register under Megan’s Law may petition the Superior Court to be released from Megan’s Law registration IF they can prove that they have gone at least 15 years since conviction or release from prison (whichever is later) without re-offending. This displays that they no longer pose a threat to the community. This release provision does NOT apply to persons with convictions for multiple Megan’s Law-eligible sex offenses.
Freehold NJ Failure to Register Defense Attorneys
A conviction for failure to register can easily result in jail given the fact that the offense is a third degree crime that only applies to someone who already has a felony criminal record. There is no presumption against incarceration if you are found guilty so it is extremely important that you secure representation by an attorney who is skilled in the intricacies of Megan’s law. It also helps if they have long standing relationships with the prosecutors in Monmouth County. The criminal lawyers in our Freehold NJ Office possess both of these attributes and have defended countless clients who were arrested in municipalities like Keansburg, Wall, Union Beach, Bradley Beach, Englishtown and Long Branch. To discuss the facts of your case in a free initial consultation, call our Freehold NJ Failure to Register Defense Lawyers at 732-462-1197.