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Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer in NJ: Understanding Megan's Law

Sex offenses in New Jersey have serious consequences, many of which are a result of Megan's Law. Megan's Law is a federal law, and most states have their own statutes to address it. If allegations are made against you concerning a violation of Megan's Law, you need to act fast. County prosecutors do not take these matters lightly and will throw the book at you, so to speak.

At the Law Office of Charles Dawkins Jr. LLC, our Megan's Law violations defense attorney in New Jersey will advise you on New Jersey's statute dealing with Megan's Law and guide you through the process. We will be proactive and use our resources to minimize or avoid any criminal consequences. Contact us today at (908) 962-9929 to schedule a Consultation.

What is Megan's Law?

Megan's Law is named after a 1994 Hamilton Township, Mercer County New Jersey case., Megan Kanka was raped and murdered in New Jersey by a twice-convicted sex offender who had previous convictions for sexually assaulting girls.  The intended purpose of Megan's Law is to protect the public, especially children from sexual predators and the recidivism of many sexual predators.

The case gained national attention and as a result, federal legislation was introduced in 1996 and subsequently enacted, requiring states to maintain a sex offender registry. The federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) sets out national standards for the registration, monitoring, and notification of sex offenders. 

It also requires states to notify the community of the presence of a sex offender, where appropriate. 

Every state has its own set of laws enacting Megan's Law.

Under Megan's Law, convicted sex offenders in every community, including communities in New Jersey, must provide certain information to law enforcement authorities in the area where they live, work, or attend school. The authorities can share this information with specific organizations or the wider community, depending on the circumstances. 

WHO MUST REGISTER UNDER MEGAN'S LAW IN NEW JERSEY

Any person who has been convicted, adjudicated delinquent, or found not guilty because of insanity for the commission of a sex offense defined in the statute shall register under the respective provisions of Megan's Law. Moreover, a person in another jurisdiction is required to register as a sex offender and (a) is enrolled on a full-time or part-time basis in any public or private educational institution in New Jersey or is employed or carries on a vocation in the New Jersey with or without compensation for more than 14 consecutive days or an aggregate period exceeding 30 days in a calendar year shall register in the State provided in the subsection.. N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2

It is significant to note that juveniles who have been adjudicate delinquent are subject to Megan's Law

What Crimes Are Associated with Megan's Law in New Jersey?

Megan's Law applies to certain sex crimes including:

  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Endangering the Welfare of a Child
  • Promoting Prostitution of a Child

The above charges fail to encompass all the allegations that a person will need to register under N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2. The criminal defendant needs to seek counsel ASAP when charged with an Megan's Law Offense in Criminal Court or Juvenile Court.

Repercussions of a Conviction in New Jersey Associated with Megan's Law?

If you plead guilty to or are convicted of a sex crime subject to Megan's Law in New Jersey, you face a range of penalties including fines, probation, and lengthy periods of incarceration. 

In addition to these penalties, you could also be required to provide your personal details to local law enforcement authorities. The authorities will add a description of the offense to the sex offender registry, as well as your:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Residential address
  • Employment address
  • Photograph
  • Physical description
  • Vehicle details

After receiving this information, the local prosecution office assesses and classifies your level of risk of reoffending. Your risk level determines how widely your information is shared. 

For example, if you're assessed as low-risk, then your details may only be provided to the local police. The information on high-risk offenders can be made public, usually via a website. 

Your risk level also determines how long you remain on the registry. Low-risk offenders can remain for a fixed period, typically starting at ten years. High-risk offenders may be permanently added to the registry. 

If you fail to register or regularly update your details with local law enforcement authorities, you can be charged with further offenses. 

New Jersey has a 3 tier risk system in determining the level of disclosure must be made to law enforcement and the public.

Five Reasons Why You Need a Sex Crimes Defense Attorney in New Jersey

If you've been charged with a sex crime in New Jersey, you should immediately speak to a criminal defense attorney at Law Office of Charles Dawkins Jr. LLC who has experience handling allegations of this nature. These kinds of convictions carry serious repercussions, some extending beyond the term of the sentence itself. 

In particular, you may be at risk of becoming a registered sex offender under Megan's Law. This can have serious, long-term consequences on your ability to find work, where you choose to live, and your social well-being. 

Here are five reasons why you should retain our sex crimes defense attorney in New Jersey if you have been charged with a sex crime or a Megan's Law violation.

  1. We use expert witnesses. A case can win or fail based on the experts provided. Expert witnesses can testify about psychological disorders or behaviors, and disprove the validity of sexual abuse, among many other things -- all dependent on your unique case.
  2. We thoroughly investigate your case. You can't depend on the State's investigation because they already assume you are guilty. Any investigation flowing from a guilty assumption will fail to uncover evidence that proves your innocence. We investigate thoroughly so that when a false allegation is made, we can successfully defend against it.
  3. We seek to minimize reputational damage. There may be nothing worse aside from murder that can damage your reputation than an allegation of a sex crime. We work with you to help manage the public fallout of your case and to minimize or avoid prosecution or conviction.
  4. We know how to negotiate. We know how to mitigate punishment if you are ultimately convicted or agree to a plea deal. We know how to negotiate for better outcomes and/or reduced sentences.
  5. We go above and beyond. We know these types of allegations lead to life-long consequences that do not end in the criminal justice system. You may face civil liability and have problems obtaining higher education or getting a job. We help minimize the impact of a sex crimes allegation and the consequences that may follow a conviction. In many cases, we can help insulate you from some of these collateral consequences.

Contact a Megan's Law Violations Defense Attorney in New Jersey Today

A criminal defense attorney can explain your rights and options available to you. They can also help you prepare an effective defense against the charges to avoid becoming a registered sex offender. To schedule a Consultation with an attorney at Law Office of Charles Dawkins Jr. LLC, fill out an online contact form or call us today at (908) 962-9929.

Also Serving Elizabeth, Newark, Plainfield, Woodbridge & All Of New Jersey!

The Law Firm represents clients in all New Jersey Counties and municipalities including the following counties: Union County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Hudson County, Mercer County, and Camden County.

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