New Jersey Juvenile Megan’s Law Attorney
Juvenile Sex Offender Defense Lawyers in Hackensack, New Jersey
In New Jersey, Megan’s Law refers to the sex offender registration and community notification program that was implemented through legislation in October 1994. The intention of Megan’s Law is to protect the public from sexual violence by allowing police to track and identify sex offenders and alert the public of their whereabouts when necessary for the public safety. Under New Jersey law, a juvenile sex offender is a person who commits a sex offense while under the age of eighteen. If a juvenile is convicted of a sex crime while legally a minor, they are required to register as a sex offender just like an adult. Of course, being adjudicated delinquent of any crime as a young person can spell serious consequences, but the damning effects of a sex crime conviction can follow you around for the rest of your life. Alissa Hascup is a highly skilled juvenile Megan’s Law defense attorney who aggressively defends minors charged with sex crimes subject to Megan’s Law in courts throughout New Jersey. As a former prosecutor, she has a wealth of knowledge about how the State prosecutes sexual offenses, which she uses to her advantage when formulating the best defense strategies for her clients. If your child is facing juvenile Megan’s Law sex offender registration in Bergen County, Morris County, Passaic County, Essex County, Union County, or elsewhere in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Alissa Hascup today at 862-257-1200 to discuss their specific case and find the answers you need.
Juvenile Megan’s Law Sex Offender Registration in New Jersey
The provisions that govern Megan’s Law are outlined in sections N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 through N.J.S.A. 2C:7-11 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. According to its dictates, individuals who are convicted of certain sex crimes must register as sex offenders by filling out registration forms which they then submit to their local police department. A sex offender in New Jersey is required to provide personal information including their name, social security number, age, race, sex, date of birth, home address, school location, place of employment, etc. This information is maintained by the New Jersey Division of Police in the Sex Offender Registry. If the person moves from their primary residence, they are required to notify the police department where they are registered and then re-register with their local police department at their new address with 10 days. If a person fails to register or fails to notify police of a change, they can be charged with Failure to Register, which is a fourth degree crime in New Jersey subject to serious penalties.
What Juvenile Sex Offenses Involve Megan’s Law
New Jersey requires a juvenile who is adjudicated delinquent (similar to a conviction for an adult) of any of the following offenses to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law:
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated criminal sexual contact
- Kidnapping if the victim is under the age of 16 and a sex crime was attempted or committed against them
- Endangering the welfare of a child when the offense involves sexual conduct
- Luring or enticing
- Criminal sexual conduct if the victim is a minor
- Criminal restraint
- False Imprisonment if the victim is a minor; OR
- An attempt to commit any of the above, or a similar offense, if the court determines that the conduct represents a pattern of repetitive, compulsive behavior
Juvenile Megan’s Law Risk Assessment Scale
When a juvenile is convicted of a sex crime and required to register as a sex offender, he or she is evaluated according to the Juvenile Risk Assessment Scale, and subsequently classified among the tiers as a low risk, moderate risk, or high risk, sex offender. This becomes important because it determines whether or not the juvenile’s information will be available on the Internet Sex Offender Registry and how often he or she will be required to update personal information with the State. The Juvenile Risk Assessment Scale is divided into three areas: sex offense history, antisocial behavior, and environmental characteristics. Sex offense history includes degree of force, degree of contact, age of victim, victim selection, number of offenses/victims, duration of offensive behavior, length of time since last offense, and victim gender. Antisocial behavior involves history of antisocial acts and substance abuse. Lastly, environmental characteristics are comprised of factors that have been shown to affect the person’s risk of reoffense, including: response to sex offender treatment, sex offender specific therapy, residential support, and employment/educational stability.
Can You be Removed from Megan’s Law for a Juvenile Sex Crime
If you are a juvenile required to register as a sex offender, you can petition to be removed from Megan’s Law registration after 15 years if you have not committed another offense during the 15-year period and you can demonstrate (typically through expert evaluation) that you are not likely to reoffend. However, if you are a juvenile under the age of 14 at the time the initial offense was committed, you can apply for removal from Megan’s Law when you reach the age of 18.
Contact a New Jersey Juvenile Sex Offender Defense Lawyer for Immediate Assistance
If you are a juvenile or the parent of a child charged with a sex crime in New Jersey, it is absolutely essential to enlist experienced legal counsel. Not only are you required to have any attorney during juvenile court proceedings, but you will absolutely need the most comprehensive defense possible to prevent the long-term consequences of being adjudicated delinquent of a sex offense, particularly when you are exposed to Megan’s Law registration. Juvenile sex cases are by no means cut-and-dry. In fact, many times they are a complete misunderstanding or interactions among kids that are completely blown out of proportion. At The Law Offices of Alissa Hascup, we know what is necessary to win juvenile Megan’s Law cases and we are committed to protecting your innocence. Contact our offices today at 862-257-1200 for a free consultation with a New Jersey juvenile sex crime defense lawyer who can immediately assist you.
For more information about Megan’s Law in New Jersey, access the following resources: