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Removal from sex offense registration

On behalf of Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf LLP | Dec 28, 2018 |

We are approaching what many people feel is the official start of the long holiday season in the U.S. It begins with Halloween on Oct. 31. Tradition calls for children to mark Halloween night by dressing in costumes and going door to door for treats. Some news outlets choose this moment to provide information about certain convicted sex offenders registered with authorities as living around Saddle Brook.

The registering and tracking of offenders is required by state and federal law. At the same time, there can be no denying that inclusion on the roster carries negative consequences for those listed in every facet of life. It is understandable then that individuals on the registry might desire removal. fortunately, the law makes provision for such action, under specific circumstances.

The necessary criteria

New Jersey ranks convicted offenders by three categories of risk: Tiers One, Two and Three. Those in Tier One, prosecutors consider to be at low risk of offending again. Individuals in Tier Two are deemed at moderate risk of re-offending. Those in Tier Three are considered high risk. These classifications influence who is likely to see a petition for removal succeed.

To be eligible, a convicted individual must:

  • Have a record clean of any crime for 15 years from the date of the sex crime conviction or completion of any imposed sentence, whichever is later.
  • Be able to prove, often through expert testimony, that he or she poses no danger to others.

If these standards are met, a person may be able to petition to the appropriate court for removal from the registry. However, if the original conviction was for aggravated sexual assault or assault involving force or coercion, registration is for life.

Clearly, the best way to avoid inclusion on the registry is to avoid being charged with any sex crime at all. Alternatively, if facing charges, there might be ways to keep them minimal. And to understand your rights and options, you should speak first with an experienced criminal attorney.