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New Jersey sex crime convictions could mean lifetime supervision

Sex crime convictions in New Jersey can be devastating. Particularly with the application of Megan's Law throughout the state, a conviction can mean that an individual will be subjected to lifetime community supervision. This means that information regarding the individual's status as a sex offender could be made publically available.

A former police officer pleaded guilty 12 years ago to sexual assault. He completed his sentence of three years of probation in 2003. Then in 2007, the state parole board said that the sentencing was incorrect and more lenient than it should have been under the law. Accordingly, the state attempted to have the man remain under community supervision for the remainder of his life in accordance with Megan's Law. This was not a term of the original sentence.

Convicted individuals subject to Megan's Law must enroll in a registry that makes public knowledge several details surrounding the individual's conviction, their place of residence and other pieces of information not typically received well by the public. A lifetime of this scrutiny is certainly not going to garner a convicted sex offender many new friends.

Further, under lifetime community supervision, this man would have needed to receive permission to relocate or take a new position. He would have also been forced to undergo random drug and alcohol testing, and polygraph examinations each year.

The state argued that this would be a remedial action, because the original sentence was incorrect. However, the Supreme Court ruled that revising the punishment after the man already served his sentence would be unjust according to the terms of double jeopardy.

This man likely escaped more serious consequences in large part to a strong criminal defense. Particularly in crimes as sensitive in nature as sex crime accusations, it is imperative to mount a strong criminal defense to fight the allegations in pursuit of the best possible outcome.

Source: SF Gate, "Ex-NYC cop escapes supervision as a sex offender," David Porter, Oct. 22, 2012

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