On October 31, 1994, New Jersey enacted Megan’s Law. Named for Megan Kanke, the seven-year-old victim of rape and murder, the law establishes sex offender registration and community notification rules. Additional internet registration provisions were added in 2001.
Risk assessment and classification
To determine the type of registration needed, prosecutors classify sex offenders into three tiers. These tiers are based on the degree of risk offenders pose to the public. State prosecutors use the Registrant Risk Assessment Scale (RRAS) to assess a convicted offender’s likelihood of reoffending. The assessment contains 13 criteria-based questions with low, moderate and high-risk answer options worth different point values.
Typically, offenders who score over 74 points get classified as Tier 3, which is the highest risk category. Tier 3 offenders have the most notification requirements to satisfy. The offender’s profile must contain their current address, a photo and details of their crime. It’s important to note that convicted sex offenders have a 14-day window after receiving their classification to challenge the assessment. Also, sex offenders registered in other states must undergo the RRAS rating and reclassification upon moving to New Jersey.
Common sex crimes leading to a Tier 3 classification include:
- Aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault
- Criminal sexual conduct
- Kidnapping, criminal restraint or false imprisonment of a child
- Endangering the welfare of a child
- Promoting prostitution of a child
Substantial limitations after serving time
Sex offender classification and registration carry a deep social stigma. In addition to altering the way family, friends and community members perceive you, Tier 3 classification places substantial limitations on you for the rest of your life. Most notably this will impact where you live and work.
Let The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo help you avoid the ongoing struggle of a sex crime conviction and subsequent registration. Schedule a free consultation online or call the office at 908-643-6801 to learn more.