New Jersey Megan's Law Criminal Defense Lawyer
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall represent clients charged with sex offenses including criminal sexual contact, luring, and aggravated sexual assault throughout New Jersey including in Jersey City, Morristown, Elizabeth, and Hackensack. Contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers for a free initial consultation at (877) 450-8301.
Megan’s Law in New Jersey
Megan’s Law was enacted by the New Jersey legislature in 1994 and requires certain individuals who have been convicted of sexual-related offenses to register with their local police department. Some of the enumerated offenses which trigger Megan’s Law registration include:
- Criminal Sexual Contact
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Kidnapping (in certain cases)
- Endangering the Welfare of a Minor (in certain cases)
- Luring or Enticing a Minor
- False Imprisonment (in certain cases)
If a defendant is required to register under Megan’s Law, the local police department may notify schools in and around the registrant’s home and business. Moreover, the registrant’s photo can be placed online in an internet database of Megan’s Law offenders. Whether or not these events occur depends on the registrant’s tier classification and the associated risk to the public.
Megan’s Law Tier Classification and Appeals
If a defendant is required to register under Megan’s Law, the County Prosecutor’s Office will classify the registrant as either Tier I, Tier II, or Tier III based on a grading scale. Tier I is a low risk offender. Tier II is considered a moderate risk offender. Tier III is classified as a high risk offender.
The Prosecutor’s Office considers the nature of the prior offense, the registrant’s criminal history, any rehabilitation or counseling since the offense, as well as the registrant’s support in the community when grading the registrant. If the registrant’s score is less than 37 on the scale, he or she will be classified as Tier I. If the registrant receives a score of between 37 and 73, he or she will be classified as a Tier II offender. Finally, if the registrant’s score is over 73, he or she will be considered a high risk Tier III offender.
The Prosecutor’s Office can make mistakes when conducting this scoring. As a result, a seasoned criminal defense lawyer can file an appeal of this classification and have the matter litigated before a Superior Court Judge at a formal hearing. If you are classified at a higher tier than that which is appropriate, it will effect who is notified of the registrant’s Megan’s Law status (i.e. schools, local businesses, day care centers, etc.). Therefore, it is imperative that you contact a lawyer at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall for immediate assistance. There is a short window in which the registrant is permitted to file an appeal of the classification. Call us at (877) 450-8301 for a free initial consultation anytime.