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“Thanks Tara for always believing in me and making me feel like I was your only client. You made the impossible possible. Forever grateful.”

- Gabriel V.

Articles Posted in Megan’s Law

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March 18, 2020 by the Law Office of Tara Breslow

The nationwide quarantine inspired by Coronavirus (COVID-19) is unprecedented in the experience of most New Jersey residents. Citizens of New Jersey have been encouraged to shelter in place, to stay home and avoid social contact to prevent transmitting and/or contracting the respiratory disease that is proving fatal.  Unfortunately, several of our residents both in Freehold, as well as Red Bank, have been affected by the virus.   

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New Jersey’s highest court has determined that juvenile sex offenders will no longer be held on the state’s sex offender registry for life.  New Jersey, which pioneered the sex offender registry, intended on utilizing this tool in an effort to protect community members and their families from potential harm. The Supreme Court unanimously determined that placing such requirements on individuals directly violates their due process rights under the Constitution. It was determined that requiring a juvenile offender to remain on the state’s sex offender registry greatly inhibits their ability to rehabilitate and integrate back into society as they make their way into adulthood.

The landmark Megan’s Law, which initiated the sex offender registry, was enacted in 1994. In 2002, New Jersey adopted federal law which placed much more stringent punishments upon sex offenders including the lifetime registry requirement. The new legislation requires all sex offenders to register as a sex offender; however, it also allows the individual the ability to appeal if they were convicted as a juvenile. In these cases, the individual will appear in front of a judge who will determine if the offender “has been offense-free and does not likely pose a societal risk” after 15 years. In revising the 2002 additions to Megan’s Law, it became apparent that by not allowing juvenile offenders to be removed from the registry, it assumed that they posed a threat to society indefinitely. Many who had been branded by their previous actions would suffer a great deal of trouble traveling and advancing in their career. Attorneys have argued that this is a mental health issue as research suggests a low recidivism rate for those who commit these crimes at a young age.

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The tragic rape and murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka sparked outrage among New Jersey residents and prompted legislative action among New Jersey lawmakers. Megan’s killer was a convicted sex offender who lived in her neighborhood, unbeknownst to her parents. The circumstances of the case compelled New Jersey legislators to pass Megan’s Law on October 31, 1994. This landmark legislation, also referred to as the New Jersey Sex Offenders Act, requires those convicted of certain sex crimes to register with the state, provide certain personal information, and undergo long-term parole supervision. However, if the individual meets specific criteria, he or she can apply for removal from Megan’s Law after 15 years. Attorney Tara Breslow has successfully filed motions and argued for removal from Megan’s Law on behalf of countless clients across the state of New Jersey. Contact her today to discuss your case and receive a free consultation. You can also read on to learn more about New Jersey’s Megan’s Law removal policy.

Are You Eligible for Removal from Megan’s Law?

There are several circumstances under which you may be allowed to file a motion for Megan’s Law removal in New Jersey. First and foremost, you must not have been convicted of any of the sex crimes considered most serious under the New Jersey Criminal Code. Specifically, those convicted of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault involving physical force or coercion, or those convicted of more than one sexual offense, are ineligible for Megan’s Law removal.

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A Lakewood man pleaded guilty to sex crimes against a 9-year-old girl in Ocean County Superior Court recently.

The defendant in this case, 27-year-old Lakewood resident Agustin Salvidar-Delvalle, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated sexual assault before Ocean County Superior Court Judge James M. Blaney on Wednesday, July 20th.

The charges arose out of a coordinated investigation among members of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit, the Lakewood Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Department. Investigators believed that Salvidar-Delvalle sexually assault the 9-year-old girl during two separate incidents between August and December of 2015.

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If you have been on Megan’s Law for 15 years and have not committed any new offense, then you could be eligible for removal from Megan’s Law and Community Supervision for Life.

Megan’s law was first enacted in 1994 and pursuant to N.J.S.A.2C:7-1, the Legislative intent was to punish those individuals who where convicted of sex crimes, as well as create a regulated monitoring system to protect the community at large. However, the Legislator also had the foresight to envision that in some situations relief from Megan’s Law would be appropriate. Specifically, removal from Megan’s Law can be sought where an individual remains offense free for a 15 year time period and is no longer a threat to the community. In pertinent part N.J.S.A.2C:7-2(f) states:

“Except as provided in subsection g. of this section, a person required to register

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Recently, the Law Office has been successful in winning several motions to be removed from Megan’s Law in counties where no other motions have been brought before the Court other than by this office. In fact, one of these motions was objected to by the county Prosecutor’s Office, and we still won the motion to the client removed from Megan’s Law.
In both cases, over 15 years had passed since the person had been convicted of the sex crime, and there were no new arrests. We were able to prove that the person did not pose a risk to the community and in turn the motion was granted. There are some sex crimes that are disqualified from removal, but most are not. It is imperative that if you qualify for removal that you file the motion immediately, with the assistance of counsel, as it is likely that a Federal Law will come into effect in New Jersey and removal will likely not be able to be obtained within the same time periods.

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Ms. Breslow was successful last week in getting an individual removed from Megan’s Law, where the individual currently resides outside the State of New Jersey. Often times, a person who was put on Megan’s Law more than 15 years ago will decide to leave the state for one reason or another. Of course, other states have reciprocal Megan Law systems, so the person will have to register and often times he or she will be put on the internet. However, if someone has remained arrest free for more than 15 years since the date of conviction or release from incarceration, and the offense is one that is eligible for removal, then through an attorney the person can file a motion to be removed from Megan’s Law.

Being taken off Megan’s Law will have tremendous effects on one’s life, no longer facing the embarrassment they have encountered from neighbors, co-workers, loss of work, etc. Of course, the person needs to be evaluated by a psychologist, and there needs to be a recommendation submitted to the court with the motion papers.

If an individual resides out of state, the motion is filed in the county where the person was originally put on Megan’s Law. This is where the motion will be heard before a Superior Court Judge who is often assigned to Megan Law matters.

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If you are eligible to apply for removal from Megan’s Law, it is important that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. This office has successfully won many motions of this type in several different counties. It is imperative that you understand the legal process as well as undergo the proper medical evaluations in order for the motion to be granted.

If you are not sure if you are eligible for removal from Megan’s Law requirements, it important that you meet the following requirements. First, it has to be at least 15 years since the date you were convicted of the sex crime. Second, there can be no criminal convictions since the date of conviction of the sex crime. Third, the sex crime can not be of a serious nature. Although there are other criteria that the court will take into consideration in determining whether to grant the motion, these are the initial requirements that must be met.

I have watched many of my clients finally feel free from the shame and stigma of Megan’s Law. The Legislature’s intent in enacting this statute was to free those individuals who are truly changed individuals, and/or more mature adults who no longer must suffer from past mistakes.

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The Law Office of Tara Breslow was successful in winning another Motion for Removal from Megan’s Law this week. This means that for a prior offender, who has remained arrest free for the past 16 years, that he will no longer have to face the embarrassment and other related problems resulting from registering for Megan’s Law. There are a classification of sexual offenses which are eligible for removal from Megan’s Law. This is liberating for those who committed sexual offenses when they were young or possibly when they suffered from a substance abuse problem. Since the time of the incident, the person seeking the removal must have completely changed and no longer suffer from the issues that they once did when the offense was committed. Many people filing this motion are productive members of society who are good parents as well as having other positive life experiences.
An experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney must file the motion after the person seeking removal is evaluated by a doctor and an evaluation is written. A very detailed brief should be written sighting reasons why the person should be removed from Megan’s Law. In addition, the lawyer is required to argue the Motion before a Superior Court Judge.

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Sex Offenders who are living under the confines of Megan’s Law, can now make an application to the Superior Court to get off of Megan’s Law after a showing of 15 years of good behavior. When Megan’s Law was first enacted on October 31, 1994, there were provisions allowing some sex offenders to get out of the lifetime parole supervision and registration requirements if they have been in the community for 15 years without re-offending and can prove they no longer pose a threat to the community. Sixteen years have past since Megan’s Law was originally enacted and the opportunity has come for those sex offenders, who were convicted of non-serious sex offenses, to make an application to the Court to get off of Megan’s Law.

The motion to get off of Megan’s Law needs to be filed in the county that the offender was convicted of the sex offense. It is highly recommended that the petitioner meet with an experienced psychologist in order to prove rehabilitation as well as a lack of threat to the community. A New Jersey criminal defense attorney will then file a petition and rely on the doctor’s evaluation in order to make a showing of rehabilitation.

I believe that when the Legislator enacted this statute 16 years ago, the intent of the Legislator was to allow those less serious sex offenders who committed offenses when they were young to have the opportunity for a second chance if they led a law abiding life and no longer posed a threat to the community. If someone is truly rehabilitated this allows them to become a productive member of society after a long period time, and not have to suffer the embarrassment as well as the other obstacles that a sex offender faces under Megan’s Law.
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