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S. Huband, Esq.
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
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i was put under a law in which wasnt passed yet in new jersey.

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i was put under a law in which wasnt passed yet in new jersey. after my sentencing later that year was passed. i did 2 years probation after 8 years i receive a call from the court house asking me if was suppose to be registering as an offender. and told me to go in or i was going to have a warrent for my arrest. and went in and started registering. i totally understand i made a mistake in life and been labeled an offender.but what to do this law is still haunting me when it wasnt in effect ian my sentencing?
Thank you for the opportunity to assist you.

Q) This law is still haunting me when it wasn't in effect in my sentencing?

I'm sorry to bring you bad news, but a state's law requiring a person to register, even if a registry did not exist at the time of offense or sentencing, has been ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

What you're talking about is called an ex post facto law. They are prohibited by the constitution, and are specifically prohibited by Article 1, section 9, clause 3 of the federal constitution.

An ex post facto law is a law that is passed and made retroactive. For example, say I get convicted today of a crime where the maximum punishment is a fine of $500.00. Tomorrow, the legislature changes the law and raises the punishment to a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail. That new punishment (30 days in jail) cannot be applied to me. It's ex post facto.

While some states require violent offenders (i.e. murder, robbery, etc.) to register, registry issues are usually related to so called "sex offenders." Thus, the vast majority of the challenges to registry issues have been in cases where the accused was a "sex offender."

In Smith v. Doe (2003), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the retroactive element of Alaska's sex offender registry law was permitted under the federal constitution as it deals with civil proceedings and post-conviction management and is not a "punishment" per se. (While I completely disagree with the court's ruling, it is the law.) Thus, the ex post facto clause of the constitution does not apply to a requirement that a person register even if the requirement to register did not exist at the time of sentencing.

Some states have found a retroactive application of their particular law to violate the particular state's constitution. Hawaii and Missouri are two examples that come to mind. I do not know of any challenges in NJ.

I hope I have been helpful to you. If you have additional concerns, please let me know. Otherwise, please rate my answer positively so that I can receive credit for my work. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.

Take care,
S. Huband, Esq. and 4 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again,

I was notified that you rated the answer I gave positively, and I am very pleased and gratified that I was able to help you. I sincerely hope the matter(s) we discussed turn out well for you.

Please ask for me in the future if you have additional questions or concerns. Thank you very much for the opportunity to assist you.

Take care,