This past month, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled unanimous that the New Jersey Parole Board could continue to utilize polygraph tests for convicted sex offenders that have been sentenced to lifetime monitoring to ensure that they follow the rules of their release.
Balancing the State’s Rights with Parolee’s Rights
In this type of case that goes before the state supreme court, it’s necessary to weight the two sides of the issue to determine the best move forward. This particular decision was based on the balance of the parolees’ right to privacy not outweighing the necessity for the state being able to ensure that the conditions of parole are being adhered to by the parolee. These conditions of parole are created to protect the community from the potential of recidivism among sex offender parolees, and that is not done lightly.
Rights after Conviction
The ruling does have one takeaway for parolees in that the parolee has the right to invoke the Fifth Amendment without repercussions. This can be used in circumstances where the answer to the question may place you under a criminal investigation as citizens have the right to not testify against themselves. In the decision, the Supreme Court noted that a criminal charge cannot be based solely on the polygraph.
Know Your Rights
No matter if you’ve been convicted of a sex crime and are currently on parole, you should know your rights. Don’t be under the mistaken assumption that your rights have been stripped from you because of a conviction. Your life is not over because you were convicted of a crime in your past. You’re not required to incriminate yourself during a polygraph test or other questioning.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation if you feel that your rights have been invaded by your parole officer or the parole board.