People convicted of sex offenses are not all lumped together in the justice system. Generally, they are divided into three tiers. Tier 1 is the lowest of the three and involves convicted defendants whose crimes were comparably less severe than those in other tiers, and they are perceived as less likely to re-offend.
Sex offenders are required to follow specific rules following their conviction. While many of these rules are the same across all three Tiers, a few affect Tiers differently. Tier 1 sex offenders are sometimes required to follow slightly less restrictive rules because of their low potential for re-offending. Even so, a violation of these rules can lead to very harsh consequences.
If you were convicted of a sex offense and are now a Tier 1 sex offender, you must be careful to abide by all legal requirements. Failure to do so may be met with harsh consequences. Our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys can help you. Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 for a free case review.
Registration Requirements for Tier 1 Sex Offenders in New Jersey
Defendants convicted of sexual offenses are often required to register as sex offenders. As discussed above, not all sex offenders are bound by the same rules. There are three Tiers of sex offenders, and Tier 1 is the lowest. However, even Tier 1 offenders must register on the Sex Offender Registry.
All offenders, regardless of classification, are required to register. The notification requirements are different for different Tiers. According to N.J.S.A. § 2C:7-8(3)(c), Tier 1 sex offenders are bound by the least restrictive notification requirements. Upon registration, all local law enforcement agencies are notified. For Tiers 2 and 3, other members of the public, like schools, community organizations, or even neighbors, must be notified too.
Failing to register as a sex offender when you are legally required to may be charged as a third-degree crime. Such an offense may be punished by a state prison term of at least 3 years but no more than 5. It is important to fully understand your registration requirements to avoid future criminal charges. Depending on your case, registration typically happens each year or several times a year. You also must register if you move to a new location.
Places a Tier 1 Sex Offender Must Avoid in New Jersey
In many other states, sex offenders must abide by residency requirements. These requirements often restrict sex offenders from living in certain areas. For example, some states forbid sex offenders from living within a certain distance from a school zone or public park. New Jersey had similar restrictions in the past, but those restrictions were deemed unlawful.
In 2009, the Supreme Court of New Jersey affirmed the ruling in G.H. v. Township of Galloway, rendering residency restrictions unlawful. The Court made several findings regarding the legality of residency requirements, primarily that municipalities in New Jersey cannot impose these requirements because Megan’s Law preempted them. Megan’s Law is a group of laws created by the state legislature aimed at sex offenders, and the state legislature is the only one with the power to impose these kinds of restrictions.
The Court also recognized that residency restrictions make housing very difficult to find for sex offenders and often lead to convicted defendants being driven into poverty and homelessness. As it stands now, there are no residency requirements for Tier 1 sex offenders or any other offenders in New Jersey. Contact our Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys immediately if you believe you are facing consequences or penalties for living near a school, public park, or somewhere similar. There is a good chance the law restricting your residency is invalid.
Moving to New Jersey as a Tier 1 Sex Offender
Suppose you were convicted of a sex crime in another state and required to register as a sex offender. Next, suppose you decide to leave that state and move to New Jersey. While this movement is not prohibited, it is challenging for sex offenders, even at Tier 1. When moving to New Jersey, you must abide by New Jersey’s registration requirements. If you plan to move to New Jersey, contact our New Jersey sex crimes defense attorneys about registration requirements. Failing to register on time might lead to disastrous consequences.
Even as a Tier 1 sex offender or the equivalent, when moving to New Jersey, you have only 10 days to register with your local police department. You must register in New Jersey even if you only plan to be here temporarily. For example, people attending school in New Jersey or simply working here but living in another state are still required to register.
How Long Is a Tier 1 Sex Offender Required to Follow These Rules in New Jersey
Sex offenders of every Tier are expected to register for the rest of their lives. While other states do not make registration requirements for sex offenders permanent, New Jersey operates differently. A Tier 1 sex offender must register for life in New Jersey along with Tiers 2 and 3. However, it might be possible to be removed from the list depending on your case.
Sex offenders in New Jersey can apply for removal from the registry after 15 years. You must have only ever committed one offense prior to registration and no offenses since to be eligible for removal. You must also prove you are not a threat to public safety. Our New Jersey sex crime defense lawyers can help you apply and advocate for removal.
These are very subjective requirements. How does one prove they are not a threat? Typically, your record and underlying sex offense will be heavily scrutinized. A Tier 1 offender is not guaranteed removal but probably has a greater chance than someone with a more serious conviction, like a Tier 3 offender.
Call Our New Jersey Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys for Help
If you are Tier 1 sex offender in New Jersey, you must be careful to abide by all rules and requirements imposed upon you. Our Pleasantville criminal defense lawyers can help you avoid falling off track. Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 for a free case review.