Sex Offenders and Relocation
Defendants charged with sex offenses can find themselves subject to parole supervision for life, or PSL. Once the defendant is convicted of one of the sex offenses listed in the applicable New Jersey statute, they will be required to live in the community under the supervision of a parole officer for a minimum of 15 years from when they complete the sentence imposed in connection with their offense. At the end of the 15-year period, they can petition the Court to remove them from PSL.
Life under parole supervision is not easy. A parole officer can dictate where the defendant can live, or work, what kind of job s/he can have, and where and with whom the defendant can socialize. Sex offenders cannot just sign a lease for an apartment or buy a home. Nor can they simply accept any job that is offered to them. All of these things have to be investigated and pre-approved by parole. The officer will purportedly determine whether the proposed living or work situation will bring the offender into unsupervised contact with children, and will bar the offender from the residence or job if s/he believes this could happen. The defendant's physical movement can even be restricted to a particular geographic area. If this happens, the defendant must request special permission to leave that area whenever they seek to do so. Some defendants have even been barred from attending family events because of an unfounded fear that they would be left alone with children.
James S. Friedman, LLC, understands the special challenges that sex offenders face throughout every stage of their case:
Initial charges - The first issue to address in these cases is whether the charges as set forth in the complaint or indictment are supported by the underlying facts and circumstances. If they are not, it may be possible to obtain a "downgrade" to a lesser charge that does not implicate Megan's Law and/or PSL. Attorney Friedman thoroughly reviews the defendant's discovery and negotiates aggressively with prosecutors with an eye toward obtaining any available downgrade. In the appropriate case, the charges may be resolved without subjecting the defendant to the consequences of Megan's Law or PSL.
Tiering proceedings - If the defendant is ultimately convicted of an enumerated sex offense, they will have to undergo an evaluation for tier placement so as to determine the level of their supervision and the extent of their reporting requirements. There are three tiers. "Tier One" involves the most lenient or least restrictive requirements, whereas "Tier Three" is the most restrictive and burdensome. The results of the tiering evaluation cannot be accepted at face value, since it is performed by the county prosecutor's office. James S. Friedman, LLC, reviews the results of the tiering evaluation to ascertain whether the defendant's score and accompanying tier placement is appropriate.
Mr. Friedman also represents defendants seeking to challenge their score and reporting requirements at tiering proceedings. Defendants can be subject to re-tiering at any time during their term of PSL. If this happens, the defendant will receive a notice asking them whether they intend to challenge the prosecutor's tier assignment in court. If the defendant fails to respond to that notice within the appropriate timeframe, they will be placed in that tier, and subjected to all of the associated registration, reporting and supervision requirements, without any further notice or opportunity to challenge the prosecutor's decision. We advise defendants to protect all of their rights by acting promptly to challenge the prosecutor's decision.
Relocations Proceedings - Sex offenders seeking to relocate to another County in New Jersey, or to another State, face a series of challenges and must comply with special procedures governing relocation. The firm advises offenders seeking to relocate and, where necessary, represents them in court concerning their relocation.
Motions for Removal from PSL - The firm also represents sex offenders seeking to be removed from PSL. If the offender has completed their 15-year term of supervision and is otherwise eligible, James S. Friedman, LLC, will prepare and file a motion for an order removing them from PSL, and will represent them at the hearing on the motion.
If you have been charged with a sex offense, or if you have already been convicted and must now address issues concerning tiering, registration, reporting, relocation, supervision, or removal from PSL, contact James S. Friedman, LLC, to learn about all of your options. Call the firm at 800-361-6554 (toll free) or contact us online to schedule an appointment.