One of the biggest burdens of having a sex crime on your criminal record is being made to register as a sex offender in New Jersey. Not only is the registry made public, but there are various restrictions on what sex offenders can and cannot do.
While there is no statewide law restricting the residency of sex offenders, numerous cities and municipalities bar offenders from living near places like parks and schools. Sex offenders may also not get certain kinds of jobs, especially ones that involve working with children. A convicted sex offender might also be restricted from owning a firearm, depending on the offense. If you are a registered sex offender in the middle of divorce proceedings, a court might presume you should not have custody of your own kids unless you prove otherwise.
If you are a registered sex offender, you need to know about what you can and cannot do under the law. Our New Jersey sex crimes defense attorneys can help you stay clear of any trouble. Call us for a free case review at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956.
Where Can Sex Offenders Live in New Jersey?
There are heavy restrictions on where sex offenders are allowed to live throughout New Jersey. Keep in mind that there is no state law that prohibits registered sex offenders from living in certain areas. However, many cities, towns, and municipalities have passed their own laws and ordinances restricting where sex offenders are allowed to live. You can check with our New Jersey criminal defense attorney about the restrictions in your area to determine if you can live there.
In places where there are restrictions on where sex offenders may live, they are often prohibited from living in areas where children are known to congregate. Anywhere near schools, parks, and community centers tend to be off-limits for registered sex offenders. If you are relocating in New Jersey, you can check with local enforcement about any residency restrictions when you go to register. Your attorney can also advise you.
If you are found to be near these places, you might get in trouble with local law enforcement and possibly face additional criminal charges. If you believe you live in an area with these restrictions, speak to a lawyer right away about your living situation to make sure it is legal.
Sex Offenders and Getting Jobs in New Jersey
Registered sex offenders often find themselves being turned away from jobs. Many jobs do not allow people with convictions for sex offenses to be hired. Sometimes, jobs with high-security clearance or that handle particularly sensitive areas of work prohibit employees from having criminal records.
For example, many government jobs subject people to rigorous background checks before they are officially hired. If a potential hire is found to have a criminal record, they may be turned down for the job. In other fields, like those that involve working with children, sex offenders are also barred. This means sex offenders often cannot work in schools, daycare centers, or anywhere where caring for children is a part of the job.
It is not a good idea to try and hide your sex offender from potential employers. If you end up in a job involving children or that places you somewhere you cannot be, you may be in trouble with law enforcement.
Owning a Firearm as a Sex Offender in New Jersey
People with certain criminal convictions are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm and other weapons under N.J.S.A. § 2C:39-7. Generally, people with convictions for certain violent crimes are prohibited from having weapons and firearms because they are perceived as a safety risk. Among the list of convictions that make a person ineligible to have a firearm are certain violent sexual offenses.
If you were convicted of sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault, not only are you required to register as a sex offender, but you are prohibited from having a firearm. If the sexual offense in your case was also considered an act of domestic violence, you are also prohibited from having a firearm.
Not all sex crimes prohibit a person from being able to possess a firearm. You should talk to our Wildwood criminal defense attorneys about your situation if you want to purchase a firearm or already have one and are concerned about how to surrender it.
Can Sex Offenders in New Jersey Have Custody of Their Kids?
Issues of child custody are matters of family law, not criminal. However, people convicted of certain crimes, especially sex crimes, might jeopardize their custodial rights during divorce and child custody hearings. If you are currently facing charges related to sex crimes, our Cape May criminal defense lawyers can help you fight the charges and hopefully avoid a conviction so you can keep custody of your children.
According to N.J.S.A. § 9:2-4.1(a), any person convicted of sexual assault shall not be awarded custody or visitation rights to a minor child. This includes any children born as a result of the sexual assault. Under subsection b of this statute, any person convicted of endangering the welfare of a child will also not be granted custody or visitation to any minor child.
Not only do these convictions require registration as a sex offender, but they also can interfere with custodial rights. Under the law, the only way a person can retain custody or visitation with their children after being convicted of these offenses is by showing the court by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child.
Call Our New Jersey Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys for Guidance
If you were convicted of certain sex offenses in the past, you will find very restrictive laws that prevent you from doing certain things. Our Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys can advise you on what you cannot do so you do not run into trouble. Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 for a free case review.