Being convicted of a sex crime in the state of New Jersey has serious consequences. Depending on the charges, an accused individual may be looking at a criminal conviction, jail time, and registration and community notification as a sex offender. Such penalties can overshadow every aspect of a person’s life – from getting a job to finding a place to live.
When mitigating factors make the alleged sexual assault especially brutal or severe, the charge is elevated to “aggravated sexual assault,“ a first-degree crime punishable by up to 20 years in jail. Here is some more insight into what it means to be charged with sexual assault in New Jersey.
What is Sexual Assault?
New Jersey law clearly defines sexual assault as either of the following:
- Having sexual contact with someone under 13 if you are aged 17 or over.
- Committing sexual penetration with physical force that does not result in injury to the individual
- Committing sexual penetration of a person under your control
- Committing sexual penetration of someone 16 – 18 years old and a relative or someone under your control
- Committing sexual penetration of a teen 13 – 16 years old if you are four years older
Contact is considered intentional touching by the defendant, including over the clothes, for the purpose of either humiliating the victim or sexually arousing the defendant. While every case is different, sexual assault is a generally a second-degree crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
What is Aggravated Sexual Assault?
According to New Jersey law, the elements of aggravated sexual assault involve any of the following:
- Sexual assault where the victim is under the age of 13
- Sexual assault with a victim 13 – 16 years old where the defendant is a family member or other position of authority over the victim
- Sexual assault that happens during the commission of some other crime like robbery or murder
- Sexual assault committed using a weapon or threat of a weapon
- Sexual assault committed by another offender, with force, or on a handicapped or incapacitated victim
Aggravated assault is a first-degree crime, punishable by up to 20 years in jail.
Sexual Assault Allegations in New Jersey
In New Jersey, there is no statute of limitations for reporting sexual assault. If you are convicted of a sexual assault, you will likely have to register as a sex offender in the state. To obtain a conviction of aggravated sexual assault, the state is required to prove “sexual penetration” occurred. A skilled Haddonfield criminal defense attorney will compile the necessary evidence to determine exactly what happened during the alleged assault and if it does in fact meet the state’s standards of sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault.
If you have been charged with a sex crime, you need to know that a conviction can change your life forever. From jail time to registration as a sex offender, these offenses have a significant impact on every part of your life. You need the vigorous representation of an experienced Haddonfield criminal defense lawyer with Aita Law, LLC.
Contact Aita Law, LLC to Speak to a Haddonfield Criminal Defense Lawyer Regarding Sexual Assault Charges
For more than two decades, Kenneth D. Aita has represented clients dealing with a wide variety of criminal matters in New Jersey. Sexual assault charges are far too serious to be handled by a lawyer with less experience. Call 856-287-7800 or contact us online to schedule your free initial case review with a respected Haddonfield criminal defense lawyer today. Located in Haddonfield, Aita Law, LLC assists clients throughout Cherry Hill, Camden County, and all of South Jersey.