After an individual has been charged with a sex crime, there is a certain system in place in New Jersey that involves categorizing them by risk level based on a psych evaluation, programs they have attended, the severity of the crime, and etc. Depending on the tier level that the person is placed in will also determine a variety of things including informing the community, appearance on the state sex offender registry, and life factors like the potential for getting hired afterward. Garber Law can help those in NJ charged with a sex crime in court by proving innocence or reducing conviction penalties. If you have been accused of a sex crime and need a quality New Jersey defense attorney to stand by your side, call Garber Law at (866) 556-296.
Mercer County Tragedy and the Birth of the New Jersey Sex Offender Registry
In 1994, a man named Jesse K. Timmendequas, a twice-previously convicted sex offender, raped and killed 7-year-old Megan Kanka in Mercer County. This spurred the NJ people into action and birthed the NJ Online Sex Registry. Since then, all 50 states have followed suit to keep people safer and properly categorize convicted sex offenders. This 3-tier system for determining how dangerous an NJ sex offender is used for the benefit of both the community where the offender lives and the offender. For the community, people are made aware of potentially dangerous criminals in their area who have served their time. Police can also be made aware to keep a watchful eye.
For the offender, it gives those who have either been wrongfully charged or been charged with less serious crimes a second chance. A low-tiered individual has a higher chance to reintegrate into society, make friends, have a family, find a job (particularly challenging), and basically have a restart. It helps to keep people who maybe have been wrongfully accused or under the influence and not fully aware of their actions, the chance to have a life again.
There are three tiers for NJ sex offenders, and each level has different results that come with it:
- Tier 1 (0-36 points): Lowest severity level. They are not registered on the online registry, and only the local cops are notified.
- Tier 2 (37-73): Mid-severity level. They are usually registered on the online NJ registry and both the cops and community are notified if they move into the area. There are special exceptions that can get some tier-2 offenders off the registry on a case-by-case basis.
- Tier 3 (74-111) : High-severity level. The offenders most likely to recommit a sex crime. They are ALWAYS on the NJ Sex Registry and both police and community members are notified.
Note: The information people can see about a sex offender on the NJ registry can include: Names, photos, addresses, crime details, and news, etc.
There are many factors that are carefully analyzed by psychiatrists, police, the judge, and other analytical professionals in New Jersey. These 13 factors are part of the “Registrant Risk Assessment Scale”.
There are four categories that are looked at and a wide variety of factors for each category:
- The seriousness of Offense considers:
(1) degree of force, (2) degree of contact and (3) the age of the victim
- Offense History looks at:
(4) victim selection (Was the victim a family member, acquaintance or a stranger?), (5) number of victims/offenses, (6) duration of offensive behavior, (7) length of time since last offense and (8) history of anti-social acts
- Characteristics of Offender looks at:
(9) response to treatment and (10) substance abuse history
- Community Support evaluates:
(11) if the offender is receiving any sort of therapy, (12) if the offender lives in an appropriate residential setting with any sort of support services and (13) if the offender has a stable job or attends school
Back in 2013, another tragedy hit New Jersey, this time in Middlesex County. Aryeh Goodman, 35, was ranked as a tier-3 after indecent sexual assault charges while living in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, he immediately moved to New Jersey after being asked to register as an offender. Middlesex County officials mistakenly put him in a tier that kept him off the registry. Goodman ended up sexually assaulting someone else after the move.
Because of situations like this, New Jersey takes any sex offenders moving to the state very seriously. The sex offender must immediately give his address to the local police and officials must re-assess the individual (both for the benefit of the community and the offender). If the individual showed significant improvement, they may have a chance to get off the registry and restart life, but if not, all local community members are warned. The re-assessment involves using the 13 factors stated above, a psychiatric evaluation, and a professional decision is made thereafter.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a New Jersey Sex Crime Defense Attorney
Getting arrested on sex crime charges can often be a terrifying and life-damaging situation. Whether you committed the crime or not, Garber Law will stand by your side and defend you. We will do everything we can to prove your innocence if you are and everything we can to reduce the permanent damage to your future if you did commit the crime. If you want to get the sex crime lawyer support you really need contact Garber Law now!
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.