Being charged with a sex crime in New Jersey can disrupt every aspect of a person's life. A sex crime refers to any criminal activity involving sexual behavior. Crimes like sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, and molestation fall under the umbrella of these offenses.
If you have been charged, you'll be facing an uphill battle. Due to the public's perception of sex offenders, the odds of receiving sympathy or any type of leniency from a judge or jury are very slim. This is why you need the help of a knowledgeable New Jersey criminal defense attorney.
The Sex Offender Registry
Sex offenders who have been convicted of a sex crime since the adoption of Megan's Law in 1994 are required to register. Immediately after prosecution, offenders are required to fill out a form and submit it to their local police department. This form requests very personal information of the offender, including their full name and aliases, a residential address, license plate and registration numbers, workplace locations, email addresses, any online usernames and identities, a description of the crime, their level of risk, a recent photograph, and more.
All of this information will be sent to all the community members in the offender's neighborhood. This information is also available online.
Offenses that Require Registration
Offenses requiring registration include:
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Criminal sexual contact
- Aggravated criminal sexual contact
- Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct
- Promoting prostitution of a child
- Luring or enticing
- Criminal restraint
- False imprisonment
In New Jersey, refusing to register or failing to report any changes in personal information to the authorities is a fourth-degree crime.
Stripped Civil Liberties
Offenders convicted of felony sex crimes will experience steep consequences. One serious repercussion in post-conviction life is the impairment of your core civil liberties. Privileges you were once granted, such as owning a firearm, serving on a jury, or ever holding a public office will be stripped.
Limited Employment Opportunities
In an already tough job market, having a sex crime on your record can make finding a decent job all the more difficult. A criminal record is a public record, which means that it is accessible to employers. It's common for employers to conduct background checks to select qualified employees in the hiring process. Depending on the occupation, employers may be reluctant to hire you over another person who either was convicted of a minor crime or doesn't have a record at all.
Restricted Access to Benefits
A sex crime on an offender's record will also disqualify them from receiving aid from state and federal government programs. Unfortunately, those who wish to receive a loan for school, gain access to Medicare/Medicaid, or reap other benefits provided by the government, will be denied.
New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney
Oftentimes, the consequences of sex crimes are more detrimental to a criminal offender than legal penalties. People tend to underestimate post-conviction consequences, and this is dangerous. If you have been arrested and charged with a sex offense, it's imperative you retain a seasoned criminal defense attorney. With all that is at stake, you can't afford to skip out on obtaining legal representation.
Skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience helping clients who've acquired sex crime convictions achieve true justice, and he can do the same for you. To set up a consultation or if you need more information about Mr. Lento's representation, contact the Lento Law Firm either online or by phone at 888-535-3686.