What does it mean to be a Tier 1, 2 or 3 sex offender?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2023 | Criminal Defense

When you receive a conviction for a sexually based criminal offense in New Jersey, the state places you into one of three “tiers,” or categories. When you register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law, the state places you in a particular tier, with the tier category demonstrating how likely the state thinks you are to re-offend.

Per NJ.gov., once you register as a sex offender in New Jersey, the state makes certain disclosures to law enforcement agencies, educational institutions, the public or all of the above. When doing so, it may designate you a Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 offender.

Tier 1 offenders

If county prosecutors consider you to be at a relatively low risk of reoffending, it may place you in the Tier 1 category. This means law enforcement agencies receive notification of your sex offender status.

Tier 2 offenders

A Tier 2 classification means prosecutors feel you face a moderate risk of reoffending. If you fall into this category, know that while law enforcement agencies receive word about your status, so, too, do schools, daycare centers, summer camps and registered community organizations.

Tier 3 offenders

A Tier 3 classification means prosecutors believe you face a high likelihood of reoffending. In this scenario, all of the groups outlined above receive notification about your sex offender status. However, members of the public also find out there is a sex offender living within their community.

When law enforcement agencies, schools or members of the public receive word that you are a sex offender, they get your name, photo and general physical description. They may also learn where you work or attend school and the details of your offense.