Charged With Sexual Assault, Criminal Sexual Contact, Endangering the Welfare of a Child or Luring in Mount Holly New Jersey
Few things incite emotions the way an allegation of a sexual offense does. Prosecutors are aggressive and frequently inflexible when it comes to litigating charges of sexual assault, rape, indecent exposure, child pornography and other sex crimes. The social consequences of being judged a sex offender may be harsher than the prison sentence. The stigma certainly lasts longer than most sentences handed down.
Whether a sex crime charge in Burlington County is a disorderly persons offense or a first-degree crime under New Jersey law, individuals facing sex crime charges cannot count on the usual flexibility offered first offenders or nonviolent offenders. If you were arrested and charged with any crime falling in the category of sexual offenses, it is crucial that you obtain an experienced Burlington County sex crimes defense lawyer to present your best possible defense. The failure to hire a strong attorney to defend you leaves you exposed to harsh penalties if convicted and could jeopardize your future.
Individuals and families from Mount Holly, Evesham, Pemberton, Medford, Delran, Florence and elsewhere in Burlington County have turned to the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall for help fighting charges of lewdness, prostitution, sexual assault and other sex crimes. Our criminal defense team at the Law Offices of Jonathan Marshall offers unique qualifications including:
- More than 200 years of combined experience defending people facing sex crime charges and other criminal allegations in courtrooms in Burlington County and across New Jersey
- 10 defense attorneys dedicated exclusively to representing individuals facing criminal charges, including any allegation of sex offenses
- Attorneys recognized by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as certified criminal trial attorneys—a distinction held by fewer than 2% of lawyers licensed in New Jersey
- Former prosecutors and public defenders from across New Jersey whose backgrounds include leadership of a local Major Crimes Bureau, Domestic Violence Unit, Special Operations, Guns Task Force and a Trial Division
- A track record with numerous sex crime trials ending in charges against our clients being dismissed.
Despite the legal and societal pressure to convict anyone charged with a sex crime, prosecutors still must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction. Our hardnosed defense attorneys will protect your rights and challenge the charges at every opportunity.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has an office in Mount Holly, N.J. and offers the resources and knowledge of one of the largest criminal defense teams in New Jersey. If you or a loved one of yours faces a sex crime charge in Burlington County, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall without delay. Call us at (877) 450-8301 for a free initial legal consultation and/or to have you released from custody. You can also reach us by completing our online form.
Sex Offense Charges We Handle in Burlington County
A sex crime is any form of unwanted, unwelcome or coercive sexual behavior, including touching another person or exposing another person to sexual acts or depictions of sexual acts. Sex crimes may range from sexual stalking over the internet to inappropriate touching or penetration without the victim’s consent or with a victim who is unable to consent.
To ensure that your rights will be protected to the extent allowed by law after being arrested for a sex crime, it is important to retain an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Whether you face a lower-level offense in a municipal court or have been indicted on sex charges to be heard in Burlington County Superior Court, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is ready to assist you in rebutting the charges.
The types of sexual offense cases we handle in Burlington County:
- Indecent Exposure / Lewdness
- Sexual Assault (Rape)
- Invasion of Privacy (Peeping and/or making intimate images without consent)
- Promoting Prostitution
- Luring, Enticing, Solicitation
- Child Pornography
- Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child
- Criminal Sexual Contact
- Statutory Rape
Never face New Jersey sex crime charges on your own. If you have been arrested or indicted on allegations of a sexual offense in Burlington County, speak to the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall as soon as possible so that we have an opportunity to develop a strong defense for you. A strategic legal defense could keep you from going to prison, from paying tens of thousands of dollars in fines and/or from being publicly labeled a sex offender.
‘Consent’ and New Jersey Sex Crime Cases
Most sex crime charges are based on intimate acts between two people who are the only ones who know what really happened. The question of consent is often at the core of a sex crime case.
It is not unusual for a defendant to acknowledge that an alleged sex act occurred but maintain that the accuser consented. Nor is it unusual for an alleged victim of a sex crime to change his or her story as the potential consequences of the charges become more apparent.
Under New Jersey law, some individuals who may have engaged in a sex act are legally unable to consent. This includes anyone:
- Younger than 13 years old
- At least 13, but not yet 16 years old if the actor is at least four years older than the alleged victim
- At least 16, but less than 18 years old and
- The accused individual is related to the alleged victim by blood or affinity to the third degree (i.e., adopted or related by marriage, e.g., a step-parent, step-child, step-brother, step-sister)
- The accused has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of his or her legal, professional or occupational status
- The accused is a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in for the parent within the household.
- With diminished mental capacity, who the defendant knew or should have known was physically helpless, mentally incapacitated, or had a mental disease or defect that rendered the victim incapable of understanding the nature of the sexual conduct, including being incapable of providing consent. This includes a victim who was drunk, drugged or unconscious, or who has a developmental disability.
Sex crime cases often come down to whose version of events is more believable. In many cases, inconsistencies or questions about an accuser’s claims provide an opportunity to persuade prosecutors that justice is served by allowing the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser charge. When it becomes clear that the state’s case will not hold up, charges may be dismissed without going to court.
But you must have a seasoned Burlington County criminal defense attorney who understands New Jersey sex crime laws to advocate for you. You need a defense attorney with experience in Burlington County courts to be sure that prosecutors will listen.
Penalties for Sex Crimes in Burlington County
The sentences available to Burlington County courts after a defendant is convicted of a sex crime vary according to the crime and the victim of the crime. In general, punishment is harsher for crimes of sexual violence and when the victim is underage. The use of a gun or another weapon to threaten or harm the victim of a sex crime also increases the penalties a convicted defendant will likely face.
New Jersey classifies sex crimes as anything from first- to fourth-degree offenses, and potentially a disorderly persons offense. Under New Jersey law:
- A first-degree offense is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000.
- A second-degree offense is punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
- A third-degree offense is punishable by 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
- A fourth-degree offense is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- A disorderly persons offense is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.
For example, sexual assault is a second-degree offense. But aggravated sexual assault, which may involve using a weapon or a sexual assault upon a kidnapping victim, is a first-degree crime.
At the other end of the scale, lewdness (exposing of the genitals) is a disorderly persons offense if the perpetrator does it and “knows or reasonably expects (it) is likely to be observed by other non-consenting persons who would be affronted or alarmed.” This could lead to a charge filed against someone who was urinating in a public place or for other public nudity.
However, it is a fourth-degree offense if the actor exposes him or herself for their own or another person’s arousal or sexual gratification and “knows or reasonably expects” they are likely to be seen by:
- a child younger than 13 years old and the accused is at least four years older than the child
- a person who because of mental disease or defect is unable to understand the sexual nature of the actor’s conduct.
In addition, New Jersey law includes certain statutory offenses, which have specific punishment written into the law. Statutory punishments required for certain sex crimes in New Jersey may include:
- Suspension of your N.J. driver’s license for up to 2 years if a motor vehicle was involved in the crime
- Forfeiture of a public office
- Registering with the State of New Jersey as a sex offender.
- Sex Offender Registration in New Jersey
In New Jersey, “Megan’s Law” requires certain people to register as a sex offender after being convicted or pleading guilty to a sex crime. Registration as a sex offender requires reporting to local police and potentially notifying schools or other organizations near the registrant’s home and place of business. In some cases, names on the N.J. sex offender registry are made available to the public.
Megan’s Law allows an individual to petition to be removed from the New Jersey sex offender registry after 15 years if the individual has met certain criteria.
Typically, registration as a sex offender in New Jersey will be required if you are convicted of:
- Sexual Assault
- Statutory Rape
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact
- Criminal Sexual Contact with a Minor
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child
- Child Pornography
- Luring or Enticing a Minor
- Kidnapping of a Minor
- Criminal Restraint of a Minor
- False Imprisonment of a Minor.
The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office is required to classify anyone who must register as a sex offender as either Tier I, Tier II or Tier III based on a graded scale of the risk the individual poses. The Prosecutor’s Office is required to consider the nature of the offense, the registrant’s criminal history, any rehabilitation or counseling since the offense, and the registrant’s support in the community.
The tier determines who must be notified of the convict’s status as a sex offender:
- Tier I low-risk offenders must notify law enforcement agencies.
- Tier II moderate-risk offenders must notify law enforcement agencies, schools, licensed day care centers, summer camps, and registered community organizations the offender may come into contact with.
- Tier III high-risk offenders must notify law enforcement agencies, schools, licensed day care centers, summer camps, registered community organizations the offender may come into contact with, and members of the public through a website.
Regardless of the tier or recipient, notification must include the individual’s:
- Name, description and photograph
- Home address
- Place of employment or school, as applicable
- Vehicle description and license plate number
- Crime (a brief description; not simply the charge).
How Our Attorneys Will Help You Fight N.J. Sex Crime Charges
Despite the societal shock and condemnation that generally follows sex crime charges, a defendant is presumed innocent unless a prosecutor can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. An individual facing sexual offense charges has a Constitutional right to a robust legal defense.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall protects the rights of sex crime defendants in Burlington County. We will work to develop a defense for you that raises doubt about the prosecution’s case and seek the most favorable resolution of the charges. If you are being held, we can immediately secure your release at the lowest possible bail or in some cases get you released on your own recognizance.
Depending on the facts of the case, our initial objective will be to have charges dismissed or reduced. If it is necessary to go to court, we will do so prepared to question the prosecution’s case and vigorously defend you.
Contact us now, so that a Mount Holly sex crimes defense attorney can:
- Start an independent investigation into the charges against you, including examining the prosecution’s evidence used to indict you and arguing for exclusion of disputable evidence from future proceedings in your case.
- Examine and challenge statements by the prosecution’s witnesses, including the alleged victim.
- Seek witnesses who can testify on your behalf.
- Uncover evidence of errors or misconduct in your arrest or the prosecution’s case, such as:
- Illegal arrest
- Illegal search and seizure
- Mistaken identity or faulty lineup of suspects
- False witness testimony
- Faulty or fabricated evidence
- Faulty forensic testing (e.g., in rape kits and other DNA evidence)
- Problems with “chain of custody” of forensic testing results
- Other prosecutorial and/or police misconduct.
- Sex crime cases are often the ultimate “he said/she said” cases, and it is not unusual for police to proceed without all the facts. Police and prosecutors can make mistakes after an arrest that proves fatal to their case.
Prosecutors will avoid going to court when they know their case is not solid. Our legal team includes former county and municipal prosecutors and we can identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. We use that insight to challenge the prosecution’s case against you. When cases go to court, juries ultimately side with defendants every day.
Contact Our Talents Attorneys to Discuss Your Burlington County Sex Charge
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will work to protect your rights and your freedom if you face sex crime charges in Mount Holly or elsewhere in Burlington County, New Jersey. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience defending individuals charged with sex offenses and other criminal charges in Burlington County and across New Jersey.
Contact us as soon as you are able about charges of sexual assault, statutory rape, prostitution, lewdness / indecent exposure, etc., originating in Evesham, Pemberton, Medford, Delran, Florence or elsewhere in Burlington County. Call our Mount Holly Office at 609-491-2110. Lawyers are available 24/7 to help you, and initial consultations are always free.