Gloucester County Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys
Being charged with a sex offense in Washington Township, Deptford Township, Glassboro, Franklin Township, Mantua Township, Monroe Township, Swedesboro, Harrison Township, Woolwich Township, or another municipality in Gloucester County carries more than a potential penalty of prison time.
People convicted of sex offenses also face being labeled as sex offenders, with lifelong community supervision and registration requirements. The public stigma of these convictions also can narrow or prohibit access to college loans and scholarships, housing, employment, and other opportunities.
The Gloucester County criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have successfully represented individuals and families facing sex crime charges such as sexual assault, prostitution, lewdness, and other offenses. Our firm has a longstanding presence in New Jersey’s courtrooms because our legal team includes lawyers who previously worked as prosecutors and defense attorneys.
Our attorneys also draw upon 100 combined years of legal experience, with the skills and resources to understand what’s required to prove certain criminal offenses, how to dismantle a prosecution’s case, and how to negotiate reduced charges, lesser sentences, and other plea agreements that best serve the interests of justice and our clients.
Call our Woodbury office today for a free initial legal consultation, or fill out our online form to arrange a meeting with one of our experienced Gloucester County sex crime attorneys. We’ll answer any questions you have with no further legal obligation on your part.
How Our Attorneys Fight for Your Rights When Facing a Sex Offense in Gloucester County
A sex crime or sex offense is any form of unwanted, unwelcome, or coercive sexual behavior, such as touching another person or exposing another person to sexual acts or depictions of such acts. A range of offenses can be classified as sex crimes, from inappropriate touching to sexual stalking over the Internet.
At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our knowledgeable Gloucester County criminal defense attorneys have handled a vast array of sex offenses, including:
- Indecent Exposure
- Promoting Prostitution
- Luring, Enticing, Solicitation
- Child Pornography
We believe that all defendants, even those accused of sex crimes, deserve a vigorous legal defense and the chance to avail themselves of the most favorable outcome the law allows. The earlier we become involved in your case, the better we can work on your defense while ensuring that the courts uphold your rights.
Contact us now so that our Gloucester County defense team can:
- Request that you be released on our own recognizance if you are being held, or petition for your release at the lowest possible bail.
- Independently investigate the charges against you, including reviewing any evidence used to indict you and filing to exclude any disputable evidence.
- Uncover any proof of misconduct or fault during your arrest or the prosecution’s case, such as:
- Mistaken identity or a faulty identification in a lineup of suspects
- Any bias (profiling) based on ethnicity, race, religion, age, socioeconomic status, or gender
- Improper forensic testing (of a rape kit or other DNA evidence)
- False witness testimony
- Illegal search and seizure
- Fabricated or faulty evidence
- Illegal arrest
- Find witnesses to testify on your behalf.
- Examine statements from the prosecution’s witnesses, including the alleged victim.
How Can Someone Claim Lack of Consent in a Gloucester County Sex Crime Case?
Many sex crime charges are based on private moments where only two people can say what occurred. At the core of these cases, consent is often the issue. A defendant may admit to the sex act but say that the accuser consented.
New Jersey law, however, states that there are instances where a person is legally unable to consent, such as:
- Someone who is younger than 13 years old
- Someone who is at least 13 but not yet 16 years old (in situations where the accused is at least four years older than the alleged victim)
- Someone who is at least 16 but less than 18 years old, and
- Is related to the accused by affinity or blood to the third degree (for example, adopted or related by marriage, such as a stepchild, step-parent, or stepsibling)
- The accused has disciplinary or supervisory power over the alleged victim by virtue of professional, legal, or occupational status
- The accused is a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household
- Someone who has a diminished mental capacity, or who the defendant knew or should have known was physically helpless, mentally incapacitated, or had a mental defect or disease that rendered the victim temporarily or permanently incapable of understanding the nature of the sexual conduct, including being incapable of providing consent. This includes someone with a developmental disability or who was unconscious, drugged, drunk, or high.
Sex Crime Penalties in Gloucester County, New Jersey
Sex crimes in Gloucester County, like other criminal offenses, fall into different degrees. Aggravated sexual assault, or rape, is a first-degree offense, carrying the most serious penalty because it may involve a forced sex act during another crime, such as kidnapping, or a weapon. Sexual assault, or rape, without a weapon, generally is considered a second-degree offense, but this also depends on the victim’s age and the nature of the crime.
- A first-degree offense is punishable by a fine up to $200,000 and 10 to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison.
- A second-degree offense is punishable by a fine up to $150,000 and 5 to 10 years in a state prison.
- A third-degree offense is punishable by a fine up to $15,000 and 3 to 5 years in a state prison.
- A fourth-degree offense is punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and up to 18 months in prison.
At the opposite end of the scale are sex crimes that can be classified as disorderly persons offenses, such as lewdness or exposing one’s genitals for the purpose of arousal. Disorderly persons offenses, also known as misdemeanors elsewhere in the country, are punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and up to six months in the Gloucester County jail.
All of these degrees of charges can escalate, however. If a person accused of exposing themselves to someone younger than 13 and is at least four years older than this child, he or she may be charged with a fourth-degree offense, for instance.
A conviction also may result in a restraining order or other limitations, depending on the circumstances.
More commonly, some sex crime convictions require people to register with the state and be identified to the public as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.
Sex Offender Registration in Gloucester County
In Gloucester County, registering as a sex offender requires a convicted person to contact local law enforcement and provide:
- Physical description
- Home address
- License plate number
- Description of their vehicle
- Brief description of their crime
- Place of employment or school, if applicable
Megan’s Law typically requires sex offender registration if someone is convicted of the following crimes:
- Statutory Rape
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact
- Luring or Enticing a Minor
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Sexual Contact with a Minor)
- Criminal Sexual Contact (with a minor)
- Child Pornography
- False Imprisonment (of a minor and you are not a parent)
- Criminal Restraint (of a minor and you are not a parent)
- Kidnapping (of a minor and you are not a parent)
The Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office classifies each sex offender under a tier based on their level of risk, among other qualities. This tier determines whether the offender’s name is included on a public registry and other publicity, such as notifying schools near their home or workplace of their status.
If the prosecutor’s office rates a person improperly — and they have a skilled Gloucester County defense attorney on their side — a person can appeal their classification. Provided the registrant has met certain criteria, Megan’s Law also allows for the potential removal from registration after 15 years.
Contact Our Gloucester County Sex Crime Defense Lawyers Today
If you have been charged with a Gloucester County sex crime, exercise your legal right to remain silent and contact our skilled criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. Although sex crime cases often involve forensic evidence, sometimes these cases amount to one person’s word against another’s, leaving our legal team room to negotiate to have these charges dismissed or demonstrating how justice may be better served by a lesser sentence or a reduced charge.
Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall now for a free initial legal consultation, or visit our Woodbury office at 38 Cooper St., Suite 204. You also can call us today to discuss your situation and your legal options.