If an individual in New Jersey is convicted of a sex crime, they’ll have to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives. This information is public knowledge and easily accessible to anyone who wants to know about sex offenders in their area. In some ways, this can be a helpful tool for parents who want to keep their children away from convicted sex offenders.
However, some people feel that reporting sex offenders can go too far. Every year, the neighborhood website Patch publishes a list of all the sex offenders in certain neighborhoods on Halloween. Ideally, this is supposed to help parents keep their children from trick-or-treating at sex offenders’ houses, but some people argue that it unfairly targets people for committing a crime that might not have anything to do with children.
A recent petition has urged Patch to stop publishing the list of sex offenders every year. According to the petition, not everyone on the sex offender registry has abused children. The petition also points out that many sex offenders already served their time and shouldn’t be humiliated in public. Additionally, the vast majority of sexually abused children are abused by relatives or family friends, not strangers.
Since the sex offenders likely already went through their trial with a criminal defense lawyer and served their time in prison, the petition signers believe that the matter should be put to rest. They also point out that the list is pointless because there’s no evidence that sexual assault crimes increase on Halloween.
Being charged with a sex crime can ruin a person’s reputation and force them to register as a sex offender. For this reason, it may be important for them to hire an attorney before their trial begins. An attorney might be able to protect their rights and reputation in court.