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Proposed New Jersey Law Would Require Sharing of Sex Offender Status on Social Networking Sites

September 4, 2012 | Posted In Criminal Law - Sex Crimes, Social Media |

New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys Believe Proposal Would Marginalize Offenders

If new legislation proposed by New Jersey Senator Christopher Bateman is passed, persons convicted of sex offenses in New Jersey will be required to have their offender status publicized on all social networking sites that they frequent.

The bill seemed redundant even before it was been proposed because New Jerseyans who have been convicted of sex offenses are already subject to a number of requirements that make people aware of their offender status.  For instance, a person who has been convicted of a Tier 2 or Tier 3 sex offense in New Jersey must register as an offender under Megan's Law.  This registration alerts people of a sex offender’s move into their neighborhood, among other things.

Additionally, persons convicted of sex offenses may also be under parole supervision for life. Those who have been convicted of sex offenses in the last 18 years are also banned from using social networking sites including Facebook.  In fact, if a person has used a computer to break any sex crime laws, he is also banned from using the computer for any purpose. In addition, many social networking sites like Facebook already ban offenders from using their sites.

With all these restrictions, it is hard for New Jersey criminal defense attorneys to understand why there is any need for sex offenders to proclaim their offender status on their Facebook profiles.  In fact, it is difficult to see any benefits from having sex offenders make their status clear on their Facebook profiles, and evidence suggests that such a practice would actually be counterproductive. The way to increase recidivism among persons convicted of sex offenses is to marginalize and ostracize them, which this legislation would help to accomplish.

The New Jersey criminal defense attorneys at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons charged with DUI, assault, fraud, murder, and other crimes across New Jersey.

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