The legal term for rape in the state of New Jersey is known as sexual assault. Individuals who are charged with the offense can face consequences that significantly impact them for the rest of their life. These are consequences that do not simply require them to pay a debt to society. Instead, actions of sexual assault can leave the mark of being a sex offender on their personal record. This can make life very complicated moving forward, which is why it is crucial for those accused of sexual assault to contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney to defend them.
What are the Elements of Sexual Assault?
In the state of New Jersey, sexual assault as “the penetration, no matter how slight, in which physical force or coercion is used or in which the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated.” The following actions are considered sexual assault:
- Having sexual contact with someone under the age of 13 if you are over the age of 17
- Committing sexual penetration when using force, when the victim is under your control as a prison inmate or probationer, when the victim is between the ages of 16 and 18 and you have control over them/are related to them, or when the victim is between the ages 14 and 16 and you are four years older than them
It is important to know that these charges can be upgraded in the event of certain circumstances. When this happens, it is known as aggravated sexual assault. This may be the case in the event of the following:
- The victim is under 13 years old
- The victim is between the ages of 13 and 16 and you are a family member or have control over them
- The act is committed during the commission of another crime such as assault, murder, robbery, kidnapping, etc.
- The act is committed using a weapon or the threat of a weapon
- The act is done with the assistance of another person, using force, or the victim is handicapped or incapacitated
What are the Penalties of Sexual Assault?
When a person commits sexual assault, the consequences they face can vary depending on the nature of the crime and the age of the victim. However, all consequences are serious and can detrimentally impact the offender’s life. Generally, sexual assault is a second-degree crime that results in a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree crime that can result in up to 20 years in prison.
All individuals who are convicted of sexual assault in New Jersey are required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law. Individuals who are registered as sex offenders can have their registration and information regarding the conviction viewed by others. This may be friends, neighbors, potential employers, and more. In addition to this, they are required to notify law enforcement of their new address if they wish to move to a new location.
Contact our Firm
Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.