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Changes to Megan’s Law up for Approval in 2011

December 9, 2010 | Posted In Recent News - Criminal Law

Two proposed bills that are expected to come up early next year for approval could significantly change the process by which sex offenders are released back into the community.  Both of these Megan’s Law-related bills have to do with a process called tiering, or determining the offender’s risk of re-offense.

Currently, the laws require that this process of tiering not be conducted until after the sex offender has been released into the community.  This is currently being done to take into consideration the offender’s residence as a possible factor in him re-offending.  However, Assembly Bill 291 will amend Megan’s Law to require that County prosecutors determine the sex offender’s risk of re-offense before he is released from incarceration and into the community.

Another bill, Assembly Bill 502 will provide for, among other things, community notification immediately after a person begins to live in a new residence, based on the person's existing risk assessment.  If the person's risk of the offense is revised, then the authorities in charge will provide community notification based on the new risk assessment.

If you have been convicted of a sex offense, the authorities will determine your risk of re-offense after your release on the basis of certain factors, like whether you have been under supervision or parole, or residing in a home situation that provides you guidance and supervision, or are receiving counseling and treatment.  Other factors may also influence your risk assessment.  For instance, age and illness could be important factors in assessing your risk of a re-offense.  Persons who have committed certain kinds of sex offenses like those against children, or who have served the maximum term, may be categorized as being at a high risk for the offense.

The New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons who have been charged with sex crimes, DUI, drug-related crimes and other crimes across New Jersey.

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