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What happens when a New Jersey sex offender fails to register?

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2022 | Criminal Defense

When you receive a conviction for a sex crime in New Jersey, the implications are far-reaching. In addition to any criminal penalties you may face, you have to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law. This holds true not only in the case of a conviction but also if a court adjudicates you as delinquent or determines that you are not guilty by reason of insanity. It also applies to adult sex offenders as well as juvenile ones.

Per the New Jersey State Police, failing to register as a sex offender in line with Megan’s Law may lead to a host of serious consequences.

What happens if you fail to comply with Megan’s Law

If you fail to register as a sex offender and comply with Megan’s Law, the state may charge you with a fourth-degree crime. If that charge leads to a conviction, you may face time behind bars, with most New Jersey sex offenders who fail to register facing between three and five years of incarceration. You may also face thousands of dollars in fines for failing to register as a sex offender, among other potential repercussions.

How long you must register

Megan’s Law asserts that, once you become a sex offender in New Jersey, you must register as one for the rest of your life. In some cases, you may be able to ask to have your name removed from the registry, provided you and your situation meet certain eligibility terms. You may be able to do so if you had just one conviction, have remained arrest-free for 15 years and demonstrate that you no longer pose a threat to others.

Megan’s Law applies to you as a sex offender even if you received your conviction in a different state. Upon moving to New Jersey, you have 10 days in which to register as a sex offender.