If charged with a sex offense in New Jersey, the authorities classify the case as one of three tiers – low risk, moderate risk and high risk. Megan’s law, a state statute enacted in 1994, requires those convicted of offenses classified as tier two, moderate risk, or tier three, high risk, to provide information to the state’s sex offender registry.
Due to the impact that it may have on your personal and professional life, you will likely benefit from understanding what registering as a sex offender under Megan’s law means for you.
According to the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, under Megan’s law, you will provide the local law enforcement agency with detailed information. This includes your address, as well as employment and schooling details. Additionally, you must verify the information you provided every three months. Should you move, change jobs or have other such changes in circumstances, you must notify the authorities.
Duration of the registration requirement
Unlike many penalties that have an end date, Megan’s law generally requires you to register as a sex offender for life. The law does include provisions to allow exceptions under certain circumstances.
Failure to register
Failing to comply with your registration requirement may lead to additional charges and penalties. The state charges failing to register as a fourth-degree offense, which may result in a prison sentence of up to 18 months.
A guilty plea or conviction of a qualifying sex offense will likely have significant effects on your life now, as well as in the future. Therefore, you may benefit from considering all your options with a legal professional for a solid defense or to seek an exemption to the registry under the law.