Sex Crimes & New Jersey
Allegations and criminal convictions pertaining to sexual misconduct or sex crimes are obviously serious and New Jersey, like Pennsylvania, maintains harsh sentencing statutes for those convicted of these offenses. The Garden State, however, in addition to registration requirements under Megan’s Law, subject convicted individuals to an additional requirement known as Parole Supervision for Life (PSL). When a person is convicted of certain sex based offenses pursuant to 2C: 43-6.4, the following offenses would require a person to register under New Jersey’s parole supervision for life statute. They include:
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated criminal sexual contact
- Criminal sexual contact
- Endangering the welfare of a child
- Possession/distribution of child pornography
- Luring, kidnapping (judge’s discretion)
PSL Doesn’t Take the Place of Megan’s Law in New Jersey
This requirement is in addition to any sentence of incarceration or probation that a judge imposes. While PSL technically does not expire, a person may petition the court for release from supervision after serving 15 years on parole supervision without any issue. Parole supervision means that a person will have a parole officer who can limit a person’s access to the internet and computers. Further requirements of PSL can prevent an offender from living with certain individuals or in a household with children. A violation of PSL is a separate crime in and of itself which can also include a person being returned to prison for a violation.
Registration As a Sex Offender and Future Prospects
Most people don’t even realize that a conviction for a sex crime may lead to lifetime registration in New Jersey under PSL and Megan’s Law. A sex crime conviction often makes it difficult to qualify for professional licensing, find a job, or even find a place to live. If you are a registered sex offender you must register with the local police and in some situations your information may be posted online in New Jersey’s sex offender registry.
PSL was originally known as Community Supervision for Life (CSL) but was changed in 2013. CSL was created in 1994 as part of a group of sex offender statutes that included Megan’s Law. It is a mandatory sentence. Following sentencing, there is a mandatory evaluation which determines a person’s level of classification.
Most sex offenders will receive a prison sentence and so their supervision will not begin until their release. Prior to their release an inmate must submit an address where they expect to live upon release which is then investigated by the state parole board who is responsible for supervision.
If you are charged with a sex crime in New Jersey, you must speak to your criminal defense attorney about PSL as it should factor into your intent to proceed to trial or enter guilty. Remember that while New Jersey judges aren’t bound by plea agreements, they are required to enforce any statutory sentence requirements like PSL. I have written other articles about New Jersey and mandatory sentencing (Graves Act) and I encourage you to read them as well.