Megan’s Law Explained

What are the sex offender registration requirements in New Jersey?

Sex crimes are some of the most serious offenses you can face in New Jersey.  If convicted of a sex offense, you could be sentenced to years or even decades in prison.  In addition to prison time, sex offenders will be forced to comply with New Jersey’s sex offender registration law, known as “Megan’s Law.”  Megan’s Law enacts strict requirements for sex offenders that can be life altering.  Our Burlington County, New Jersey Megan’s Law attorneys explain the basics of Megan’s Law below.

Who Must Register Under Megan’s Law?

Megan’s Law is set out in N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 through 2C:7-11.  Under the law, people convicted of the following sex crimes must register as a sex offender:

  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Criminal sexual contact
  • Aggravated criminal sexual contact
  • Child pornography
  • Luring
  • Endangering the welfare of a child
  • Kidnapping (where the offender is not the parent of the minor)
  • Criminal restraint and false imprisonment (where the offender is not the parent of the minor)

How Might Sex Offender Registration Impact You?

Sex offenders in New Jersey must fill out a registration form and submit it to your local police department.  The form will include personal information, such as your home address and place of employment. You will need to update your information as it changes.  Once your registration form is complete, prosecutors will analyze your deemed risk to the community.  This will be based on your offense and the likelihood that you will commit another crime.  You will be ranked as either low risk (Tier 1), moderate risk (Tier 2), or high risk (Tier 3).  

Your risk level will determine who must be notified of your sex offender registration.  Tier 1 defendants will only need to notify law enforcement agencies.  Tier 2 offenders will need to notify all schools, day care centers, summer camps, and registered community organizations, along with law enforcement officers.  Tier 3 sex offenders must notify members of the public in addition to those organizations outlined above.  

Sex offender registration could negatively impact your ability to earn a living, enroll your children in school, and make friends.  As such, it is critical that anyone charged with a sex offense diligently defend against these serious charges.  If you are a sex offender that has lived a law abiding life for over 15 years, contact an attorney as you could be relieved of your obligations under Megan’s Law.