Tips to help you understand Megan’s Law

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Today, social media, the internet and news stations are great ways to get information about criminals. However, one essential resource that all states must have is a way to report sex offenders.

Everyone needs to know about Megan’s Law and how to use it.

Megan’s Law’s origins

In 1994, a neighboring sex offender kidnapped, raped and murdered seven-year-old Megan Kanka. The state produced Megan’s Law, and a federal law followed. Now, all states must have a registry where the public can get information on convicted offenders and notify the public of any new additions.

Before this, an act demanded that the government keep tabs on sex offenders. However, it only required that states maintain an up-to-date address database. Megan’s Law built on this by requiring a public notification.

Megan’s Law today

The federal government leaves the specifics up to the state governments as long as they require a sex offender registry and notify communities of these individuals. States generally collect the following:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Picture
  • Offense

The easiest way to access this information is through the state’s sex offender registry website, where the state publishes the data.

New Jersey’s sex offender registry

One quick way to ensure your community is safe is to use the online New Jersey sex offender registry. You can put in your address and see a list of convicted offenders nearby and see their name, aliases, a physical description, their current address, a picture and a description of their crimes.

Megan’s Law demands that all convicted sex offenders register within the state where they reside. Although this can make life more difficult for these convicts after serving their sentences, the government uses it to protect the public.