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A Glimpse Into Megan’s Law Registrant Risk Assessment Scale in NJ

A Glimpse Into Megan’s Law Registrant Risk Assessment Scale in NJ

Megan’s Law requires registration of sex offenders and bears certain notification criteria. In the Matter of Registrant P.B. was appealed following a decision by the Superior Court, Law Division in Bergen County. Every sex offender is subject to a risk assessment to determine their potential to reoffend. The Law Division Judge’s ruling that his score be set at 54, in the mid-range of “risk to reoffend,” and requiring notification to all local law enforcement, educational institutions and community organizations within a mile of his home. Additionally, his name was to appear on the sex offender registry. The score of 54 was based on the Judge’s finding that P.B.’s possession of photographs of adults in acts of penetrating children amounted to penetration by P.B. Further, the judge held that possession of photographs satisfied the duration element of the assessment. On appeal, the Court held that the penetration element of the risk assessment is not satisfied by simply possessing photos of adults in penetrative activity with children. Further, the court held that, without evidence of time of possession, the duration of offensive behavior element could not be met and no points could be assessed. Without the 15 points assessed for penetration and the 3 points assessed for duration, P.B.’s score of 54 was reduced to 36 points, which placed him in the low range of scoring as it pertains to risk of reoffense. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter. Sex offenses bear penalties which will affect you for the rest of your life, even if you reach a plea agreement that may seem favorable at first glance. If you have been charged with a sex crime you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately in order to protect your rights. For more information on sex crimes or other criminal law matters, including municipal court matters, in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com.

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