New Jersey’s sex offender registration laws are strict and require sex offender registration for a wide range of sexual offenses, especially those involving underage victims or serious force/violence. If you were already charged and convicted for a sex crime, it might be too late to beat those charges, but you can avoid further charges.
Failing to register as a sex offender as required by the judge’s sentence in your original case can constitute a separate, second offense. This offense carries serious penalties and typically qualifies as a third degree crime. If you have been charged with additional crimes for failing to register as a sex offender, contact the Atlantic City failure to register attorneys at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych today. Our attorneys offer free consultations to help you understand the charges against you and what our attorneys can do to help fight your case. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at (609) 616-4956.
When Are You Required to Register as a Sex Offender in New Jersey?
Meghan’s Law, the federal sex offender registration law (and common name of most state laws), was originally named after a murder victim from a New Jersey case. This named statute has undergone criticism throughout the years that it unfairly continues to punish those who have already paid their debt to society by paying criminal fines and serving jail time for their original offenses. However, especially in New Jersey, this statute is taken very seriously.
N.J.S.A. § 2C:7-2 requires you to register as a sex offender any time you are convicted for one of the following offenses:
- Sexual assault (simple or aggravated),
- Certain criminal sexual contact offenses,
- Certain kidnapping offenses,
- Certain offenses for endangering the welfare of a child,
- Certain child pornography offenses,
- Similar offenses from the laws of other states or the federal government.
If another state or the federal government required you to register as a sex offender, you must also register again for New Jersey’s sex offender registration database.
Failing to register under this act is a third degree crime. Third degree crimes are relatively serious offenses, but they may be lower in seriousness than many of the underlying offenses that require registration. Regardless, you can face a new arrest, criminal trial, and sentence based on a failure to register offense.
A third degree crime like failing to register can involve fines up to $100,000 and up to 3-5 years in prison. This means that, in many cases, you will spend a minimum of 3 years in prison.
In addition to the penalties for failure to register as a sex offender, you can also face additional penalties for your original offense. If you were on probation or parole, one of the terms of your supervision will be to register as required under this statute. Failing to do so likely means you also violate your probation or parole. That could mean immediately going back to jail and serving the full sentence on your original conviction. The penalties you face for failing to register could be tacked on at the end, meaning an even longer prison sentence.
What Does Sex Offender Registration Require in NJ?
Many of the requirements for registration deal with the initial registration, but there are additional, ongoing reporting requirements as well. You may be required to register and continue updating your registration for years, even if you are no longer serving probation or parole.
It is important to talk to an attorney about what is required for sex offender registration in your case. Different cases require you to register for different lengths of time or in different ways, so it is vital to confirm what is required in your case rather than relying upon general information.
N.J.S.A. § 2C:7-2(e) requires reporting your address to law enforcement. The Attorney General of NJ sets the process for how you must report your address. Depending on your registration rules, you are either required to report your address every 90 days or every year. Giving any false information can result in charges for a third degree offense.
Ending Meghan’s Law Registration
If you were sentenced to sex offender registration as part of the penalty for your offense, you must continue to register for the entire period. Some charges have limited registration for a number of years, but others continue ongoing registration for the rest of your life.
In some cases, you can apply to have your registration requirements ended. If you have been crime-free for 15 years and can prove that you are “not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others,” you can petition the court to end your registration requirements. You are not eligible for this relief if you were convicted for more than one sexual offense or certain aggravated or simple sexual assault offenses.
Atlantic City Failure to Register Attorney Offering Free Consultations
If you were convicted of a sexual offense like sexual assault or child pornography offenses, you may be required to register as a sex offender under NJ law. If you fail to follow the requirements of registration, you could be charged with additional criminal offenses and face added jail time. For help with your case, contact our Atlantic City failure to register lawyers today at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956.