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Megan’s Law and the sex offender registry: What you should know

| Dec 7, 2020 | Sex Crimes

Megan’s Law was introduced in 1994 to protect children from repeat sex offenders. While it has undoubtedly helped keep some children safe, it can have massive consequences for your future if you are wrongly convicted of a sexual offense, 

What does Megan’s Law entail?

The law requires that those convicted of certain offenses register with their local police department. They must do so every time they move for the rest of their life. This information may be made public on the internet.

The law classifies those convicted of sexually-based offenses into three tiers, based upon the supposed likelihood they may re-offend. Those classified as high risk and some considered medium risk would have their information published. In some instances, the local authority will even notify the community that you are living there. This law applies to juveniles and adults and applies whether they were convicted in New Jersey or another state.

What offenses require registration on the sex offender registry?

If you are convicted of any of these charges, Megan’s Law may apply to you:

  • Sexual assault
  • Criminal sexual contact with a child
  • Kidnapping a child
  • Criminal restraint
  • False imprisonment
  • Luring or enticing a child
  • Child pornography
  • Child prostitution

Being placed on the sex offender registry has far-reaching consequences

Imagine if your information is made public. Everyone in your neighborhood will look at you differently. Neighbors may hurl insults as you walk past. Mothers may cross the street with their children when they see you. You could even get in trouble for walking your dog through the park if there is a children’s playground there.

You will be ineligible to apply for specific jobs, and other employers may turn you down without explaining the real reason why. If you move and forget to notify the local police in time, you could face new criminal charges.

Your life will never be the same again if a court convicts you of any of the offenses covered by Megan’s Law. That is why it is vital to seek experienced legal representation to protect your freedom and privacy.