Motion To Terminate W.W.’S Parole Supervision for Life (PSL) Under Megan’s Law
Appellate Docket No.: A-1718-20
Decided May 4, 2022
Submitted by New Jersey Sex Crime Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark
In a recent unpublished opinion, the Appellate Division of New Jersey reviewed a denial of a motion to terminate W.W.’s Parole Supervision for Life (PSL) under Megan’s Law, prohibiting from accessing the internet or possess electronic devices with internet access.
In W.W., in 2000, following guilty pleas, W.W. was convicted of two counts of sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(c), and six counts of criminal sexual contact, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3(b). He was sentenced to an aggregate prison term of seven years to be served at the Adult Diagnostic & Treatment Center (ADTC) for sex offender treatment due to the diagnosis that his behavior was repetitive and compulsive. Because W.W.’s convictions were Megan’s Law offenses, he acknowledged he was subject to the following special PSL conditions upon his release refraining from possessing electronic devices capable of accessing the internet.
In 2007, W.W. was notified of a new parole board regulation imposing a PSL condition prohibiting him from accessing or using any social networking websites or chat rooms. N.J.A.C. 10A:71-6.11(b). Thereafter, W.W. incurred two convictions for PSL violations.
In February 2011, W.W. pled guilty in Union County to violating his PSL special conditions by possessing a Blackberry with internet access, N.J.S.A 2C:43-6.4(d). He was sentenced to county jail for thirty days and ordered not to possess an “internet device [allowing] . . . social networking use, access, or creation.” In 2016, W.W. pled guilty in Middlesex County to purposely or knowingly disobeying the 2011 court order regarding use of an internet capable device, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9(a). He was sentenced to probation for two years with a suspended county jail sentence of 364 days.
In October 2019, W.W. filed a motion in the Law Division, Warren County vicinage, seeking termination of his PSL obligations under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4(c) claiming he “ha[d] not committed a crime for [fifteen] years since [his] last conviction or release from incarceration, whichever is later, and that [he] [wa]s not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others if released from supervision.” He argued that because his PSL convictions were invalid as unconstitutional violations of his free speech rights, he was crime free for fifteen years since his underlying 2004 release from ADTC and did not pose a threat to others’ safety, thereby entitling him to removal of his PSL conditions.
The Court denied his application, finding that the previous convictions disqualified him from terminating his Megan’s Law Parole Supervision for Life (PSL). The Court acknowledged that W.W. may have a valid argument to vacate his prior convictions, but he must make an application in those courts for post conviction relief (PCR) first before applying to terminate PSL: W.W. appealed and the Appellate Division affirmed for the same reasons.
This case is important to understand a registrant may apply to terminate the obligations under Megan’s Law “upon proof that the person has not committed an offense within [fifteen] years following conviction or release from a correctional facility . . . and is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others.” N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(f). “Relief from Megan’s Law registration may be granted upon proof by a preponderance of the evidence that a person is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others.” In re J.M., 440 N.J. Super. 107, 116 (Law. Div. 2014). Similarly, an applicant may seek to terminate Community Supervision for Life, but there is a higher standard of showing clear and convincing evidence that they do not pose a threat to safety to others.
If you or someone you know seeks to terminate their Megan’s Law obligations or Community Supervision for Life, or have been charged with any indictable offense or disorderly persons involving a search and/or questioning of police, contact the experienced attorney at Hark & Hark to ensure you are adequately defended, otherwise you could have negative impacts on your case like the defendant above.
At Hark & Hark, we represent clients in Superior Court for criminal matters like the present case. We vigorously defend our clients by fighting to uphold their constitutional rights, and ensure law enforcement follow proper procedures to legally make an arrest.
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