Cranford NJ Sexual Assault Lawyers
Defense Attorneys for Sex Crime Charges in Union County, New Jersey
In New Jersey, sexual assault charges are taken very seriously and the law imposes significant terms of imprisonment on those convicted of sexual assault. There are several circumstances in which an individual may be charged with sexual assault, a second degree crime, or aggravated sexual assault, a first degree crime. Both of these sex crimes are governed by Section 2c:14-2 of the New Jersey Criminal Code of Justice. Depending on the degree of sexual assault charges, a person may face up to life in prison and 25 years before becoming eligible for parole. Other potential penalties for those convicted of sexual assault in New Jersey include Megan’s Law sex offender registration and community supervision for life. The criminal consequences of a sexual assault conviction are coupled with the damaging nature of mere sexual assault allegations. If you have been charged with sexual assault or are under investigation for a sex crime in Union County, New Jersey, you must take a proactive approach to your defense. At Proetta & Oliver, we know the perilous situation these accusations put you and your family in and we are dedicated to fighting for your rights. Our attorneys zealously defend those arrested for sexual assault and other criminal offenses in Elizabeth, Mountainside, Westfield, Summit, Scotch Plains, Linden, and throughout New Jersey. Our experienced Union County sex crimes lawyers are here to assist you, so call our Cranford office at (908) 838-0150 for a free consultation. We maintain complete confidentiality and will be happy to answer all of your questions.
NJSA 2c:14-2 New Jersey Sexual Assault Law
The statute that explains sexual assault crimes in New Jersey can be found in NJSA 2c:14-2. According to this section, an individual is guilty of the second degree crime of sexual assault if they have sexual contact with a child who is under 13 years old and the accused is at least 4 years older than the child. Sexual assault also occurs when an individual uses physical force or coercion to sexually penetrate a victim (with no severe personal injury to the victim) or if the accused has power over the victim’s legal, professional, or occupational status.
If the victim is at least 16 years old but under 18 years old and a blood relative or close relative to the victim commits an act of sexual penetration against them, the offender is guilty of a sexual assault offense. Sexual assault can also arise if an act of penetration is committed when the accused has power over the victim in a supervisory or disciplinary role or if the accused is a guardian of the victim. An act of penetration against a victim who is over 13 years old but less than 16 years old by an individual who is at least 4 years older than the victim is also sexual assault under NJ law.
Second degree sexual assault is punishable by between 5 and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, as well as mandatory sex offender registration under Megan’s Law. A person convicted of sexual assault in New Jersey will also be under community supervision, possibly for life.
There are certain circumstances in which sexual assault will be elevated to aggravated sexual assault. Aggravated sexual assault is a first degree crime and carries potential imprisonment of 25 years to life. A person sentenced to life in prison for aggravated sexual assault will be required to serve 25 years before becoming eligible for parole. First degree aggravated sexual assault is also subject to Megan’s Law sex offender registration.
An individual is guilty of aggravated sexual assault if they sexually penetrate a victim who is less than 13 years old or the victim is at least 13 years old but less than 16 years old and the accused is the victim’s blood relative, close-relative (affinity to the 3rd degree), guardian, resource family parent or acts as the child’s parent, or has power over the victim’s legal, professional, or occupational status. Aggravated sexual assault also occurs when a person sexually penetrates a victim while committing or attempting to commit murder, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated assault, arson, burglary, or criminal escape. If an individual sexually penetrates a victim while armed with a weapon or while threatening to use a weapon, they are guilty of aggravated sexual assault.
Additional circumstances in which a person is guilty of aggravated sexual assault include when they sexually penetrate a victim with physical force or coercion and are aided or abetted by at least one other person or the physical force causes the victim severe personal injury, or if the accused knew or should have known the victim was physically, intellectually, or mentally incapacitated and incapable of giving consent.
Contact an Elizabeth NJ Sexual Assault Attorney to Discuss Your Case
If you have been charged with sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault in Union County, New Jersey, it is essential that you retain an experienced sex crimes lawyer to defend you against the charges. The lawyers at our firm have defended numerous sexual assault cases and we are thoroughly prepared to devise your best defense. Contact us today at (908) 838-0150 to speak with a Union County sexual assault attorney about your legal options. We can be reached anytime and consultations are always provided free of charge.