New Jersey

When you find yourself facing sex charges in the state of New Jersey, you need a criminal defense lawyer who understands the local laws and is committed to helping you get the best results possible. Charges like these don’t go away overnight and the fall-out from such charges can last a lifetime.

You are likely ashamed of the situation you find yourself in. Friends and family may distance themselves from you and it’s not uncommon to feel like no one is on your side, particularly within the legal community. But regardless of the charges, you are innocent until proven guilty and you have constitutional rights that should remain protected throughout the criminal justice process.

New Jersey Sex Offenses – Laws and Penalties

 There are several different laws governing criminal sex offenses. What charge you face and ultimately the penalty you are dealt depend largely on the specific circumstances of your case but also your criminal history. Below provides a general overview of some of the more frequently seen charges and their potential penalties.

 Criminal Sexual Contact

 Criminal sexual contact is one of the more basic sex crimes. You could be facing this charge if you are accused of sexual contact with someone where:

a. physical force or coercion is used but the victim does not sustain severe personal injury,

b. you knew or should have known the victim was physically helpless, mentally defective, or mentally incapacitated,

c. the victim is under correctional supervision (probation, prison) or is confined to a hospital or other institution and you have power over the victim by your occupational status,

d. the victim is between the ages of 16 and 18 and is your blood relative or you have a supervisory or disciplinary status over them, or

e. the victim is between the ages of 13 and 16 and you are at least 4 years older than them.

Criminal sexual contact is considered a Fourth Degree Crime and carries a potential 18 months in prison.

 Sexual Assault

 Sexual Assault can be defined under New Jersey laws similarly as criminal sexual contact (as above) where there is sexual penetration involved or if you have sexual contact with someone who is less than 13 years old and you are at least 4 years older.

Sexual Assault is classified as a Second Degree Crime and carries up to 10 years in prison.

Aggravated Sexual Assault

The criminal offense of aggravated sexual assault is the most serious sexual offense under New Jersey law. You could be facing this charge if you are suspected of sexual assault (with penetration) where:

  1. the victim is under the age of 16 and you are related by blood or you have supervisory power over the child (in instances of caregivers, guardians, etc.),
  2. the act is committed during the commission or attempted commission of robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault, burglary, arson, or criminal escape,
  3. there is a weapon involved and you either use it or threaten to use it,
  4. you are aided by one or more people and physical force or coercion is used,
  5. the victim is physically helpless, mentally defective, or mentally incapacitated.

Aggravated sexual assault is classified as a First Degree Crime and carries up to 20 years in prison.

 There are many other New Jersey sex offenses of importance, with serious consequences.

  • Public nudity or sexual actity could result in charges of lewdness, charged as a fourth degree crime or even a misdemeanor.
  • There is also a charge of aggravated criminal sexual contact, which is a third degree criminal offense.
  • Accused of sexting? You could be charged with distribution or possession of child pornography. Or if you are an adult sending nude pictures to someone underage, you could be charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

If you are charged with any of the above crimes or even something not listed here, we can put you in touch with a New Jersey defense lawyer that will fight for you in court.