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Key Considerations when Seeking to Terminate Megan’s Law or Parole Supervision for Life in New Jersey

July 5, 2024

Getting Off Megan's Law and Parole Supervisions for Life in NJ

Megan’s law came about after a tragic kidnapping, rape, and murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka in 1994. Megan’s law mandates sex offenders to register with local police in charge of adding them to the New Jersey Sex Offender Internet Registry. Offenders are forced to register so law enforcement and sometimes, the community knows of their presence, a form of advanced policing. Parole Supervision for Life (PSL) is another mandate for convicted sex offenders to remain under close supervision of a state parole board officer while remaining in the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections. Depending on the circumstances of your case and whether you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be able to terminate your requirements to register under Megan’s Law, as well as your Parole Supervision for Life (PSL).

Our Burlington County sex crimes attorneys at Proetta, Oliver, & Fay have vast knowledge and experience in this realm of New Jersey law and we have successfully assisted many clients with motions to be relieved of sex offender registration and PSL obligations. We understand how much these obstacles can negatively impact your life and your future and our defense lawyers are prepared to help. Contact us anytime at (609) 850-8284 for a free consultation to discuss ending your Megan’s Law and PSL in New Jersey.

NJ Sex Offender Registration vs. Parole Supervision for Life (PSL)

Though both Megan’s Law registration and PSL are intended to police sex offenders, registration requires the offender to annually verify their address and other information on a form in writing. In that way, the police and potentially the public are always aware of the offender’s whereabouts. With parole supervision for life (PSL), the offender reports to a parole officer and is subject to drug testing, electronic device monitoring, and housing, employment, and association (friends, children, criminals, for example) restrictions.

Criteria for Terminating Megan’s Law and PSL Obligations in New Jersey

Megan’s Law registration and PSL also differ when it comes to ending registration and PSL obligations. Some similarities do exist. Both restrict the offender from petitioning for termination until they can prove 15 years of no criminal justice encounters elapsed after their sentence or custody release, whichever is later. Both registration and PSL termination also require the petitioner to prove they are no longer a danger to the community through psychological evaluations.

However, for post-January 2002 cases, Megan’s Law restricts certain sex offenders from petitioning to terminate registration requirements. Those who have more than one sex offense conviction and those convicted of specific sex offenses, such as aggravated sexual assault, are ineligible for registration termination. In addition, parole violations that lead to new criminal charges and convictions bar registration and PSL termination.

Parole Violations Handled Administratively vs. Criminally can Impact Eligibility for Relief from Megan’s Law and PSL

Case law of parole violations preventing applicants from terminating registration and PSL requirements reveals that a parole violation does not necessarily bar an applicant’s motion, especially when the parole violation is not a charged offense. When a parole violation does not manifest as new criminal charges, then the petitioner should not be barred from terminating Megan’s Law registration and parole supervision for life requirements.

Sometimes, a parole violation will be handled administratively, as opposed to criminally. A parole board administrative decision is not the same as a criminal offense. Administrative violations are not criminal in nature. This means that the case will be resolved at the administrative level before the parole board, as opposed to being heard and decided by a Superior Court judge in the County Superior Court, Criminal Division.

Additionally, parole violations that the parole board administers may not disqualify an applicant’s termination motion, but that does not mean the applicant is off the hook. The prosecutor’s office may still charge them with criminal parole violations, which would then disqualify them from termination relief. However, even violations that do not lead to new charges may be used to counter proof that the offender is no longer a danger to the public. Lastly, numerous parole violations may be used to prove that the moving party is dangerous to society.

Additional Ways NJ Prosecutors Oppose Megan’s Law and PSL Termination Motions

So long as an eligible applicant (meaning not convicted of certain sex offenses) has been clear of legal trouble for 15 years and can prove they pose no danger to society, they should be able to terminate Megan’s Law registration or PSL requirements. However, some prosecutors oppose termination motions based on unofficial requirements. For example, they may request investigation records of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) regarding the offender’s charges from 15 or more years ago. However, those documents may not exist, but the time it takes to verify whether there was an investigation could delay the termination motion decision.

Other legally unnecessary prosecution tactics include challenges to the psychological evaluations without interviews from family members or others close to the applicant. The prosecutor may insist that a psychological evaluation is insufficient in the absence of discussions with people like the applicant’s spouse or members of their family to discover how they view the termination of registration and supervision requirements. This requirement is not legal or logical since family members living with the applicant obviously do not feel endangered by them.

Also, the prosecutor’s office’s requirement for written proof that mandated counseling is complete is unnecessary. The proof already comes from official offices since the court orders counseling or mandates counseling as a condition of parole. Moreover, any problems successfully completing counseling would have been noted in the court or parole file. So, when the court or parole board can provide such proof, the offender applicant should not have to provide it.

Contact the Lawyers at Proetta, Oliver, & Fay to Discuss Your Eligibility and Handle the Process to Terminate Sex Offense Conviction Obligations in New Jersey

It’s not easy to know when or if you should apply to terminate registration or PSL requirements. Your best advice is to consult a legal professional who can answer your questions about timing and eligibility, such as those on our criminal defense team at Proetta, Oliver, & Fay. You can outline your conviction history, subsequent run-ins with the law (if any), and current situation. Once our attorneys determine you are eligible to motion the court to terminate your Megan’s Law and/or parole supervision for life, we can prepare for likely objections and delay tactics by the prosecutor’s office, and handle the entire process on your behalf.

Besides determining your eligibility, our criminal defense attorneys will prepare the paperwork you need to file a motion to terminate Megan’s Law registration obligations and PSL, including the required attachments to prove your argument. We will also represent you and respond to any requests or demands from the prosecuting attorney opposing your motion. Finally, our dedicated lawyers will argue the termination motion to a judge to persuade them that you are not a danger to the community and will continue to be a productive and upright member of society.

You deserve a second chance when you can prove you paid your debt to society. Get help from a skilled criminal defense attorney at Proetta, Oliver, & Fay to prepare your termination motion and show the court how much life restrictions have held you back, as well as how your rehabilitation has made you ready, willing, and able to return to the community without debilitating roadblocks. To speak with a member of our firm about terminating your sex offender registration or PSL obligations in New Jersey, contact us 24/7 online or by calling (609) 850-8284.

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525 Highway 73,
Suite 104, Marlton,
New Jersey 08053
Phone: 609-850-8284
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New Jersey, 08691
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Suite A, Point Pleasant,
New Jersey 08742
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Middletown Township,
New Jersey 07748
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