Jersey City Sex Offense Lawyers
Sex-related charges are some of the most serious charges our Hudson County criminal defense attorneys handle. A conviction for sexual assault, statutory rape, endangering the welfare of a child or other sexual offenses may carry a prison sentence and fines followed by mandatory registration as a sex offender.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime in Hudson County, N.J., it is essential that you retain a qualified Jersey City defense lawyer to ensure that you have the best opportunity to achieve a favorable result. Local prosecutors are aggressive and often inflexible when prosecuting sex crimes. You need the guidance of our respected criminal defense attorneys who know their way around Jersey City courtrooms and understand how to respond effectively to the sexual offense charges.
The choice of a highly qualified defense attorney is one of the most important you’ll ever make if you are facing sex offense charges in Hudson County. Individuals and families in Bayonne, East Newark, Hoboken, Kearny, North Bergen, Secaucus, Union City, Weehawken and West New York have turned to the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall for effective legal representation. They recognized the unique qualifications that our criminal defense law firm offers clients including:
- 200+ years of combined legal experience in courtrooms across Hudson County defending people from sex crime charges and other criminal allegations
- 10 dedicated defense attorneys who concentrate their practice on representing individuals facing criminal charges, such as sex crimes
- Recognition by the N.J. Supreme Court as certified criminal trial attorneys, an indication that an attorney has attained specialized knowledge in an area of law. It’s a designation that fewer than 2 percent of New Jersey lawyers can claim
- A hand-picked team of attorneys whose accomplished backgrounds include experience as former New Jersey prosecutors and public defenders who have led a Major Crimes Bureau, Domestic Violence Unit, Special Operations Unit, Guns Task Force and a Trial Division.
- A track record that includes numerous trials ending in charges against our clients being dismissed
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall offers a team of defense attorneys with the experience and skill set required to successfully defend anyone facing sexual offense charges in Jersey City or elsewhere in Hudson County. If you or a loved one of yours faces sex crime charges, contact us now in Jersey City at (877) 450-8301 or online for a free initial legal consultation.
Defense Attorneys Handling Sex Offense Cases in Hudson County, NJ
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, is considered a sex crime under New Jersey law.
Numerous offenses are considered sex crimes, from sexual assault (i.e., rape) to sexual stalking over the internet to sharing intimate photos online without the subject’s or recipient’s permission. In addition to prison time, an individual convicted of a sex crime may potentially face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and mandatory sex offender registration. Being declared a sex offender by a court carries social stigma you may never fully escape.
It is crucial to ensure that your legal rights will be protected to the fullest extent allowed by law after being arrested or indicted for a sex crime. This is only possible by engaging an experienced Jersey City criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after charges have been filed against you.
In Hudson County, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can defend you against sex offense charges such as:
- Indecent Exposure
- Invasion of Privacy
- Making or sharing 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
- Sexual Assault (Rape)
Never try to face sex crime charges on your own in Hudson County. While every case presents a unique set of facts, a strategic legal defense crafted by the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall could keep you out of prison, save you tens of thousands of dollars in fines and/or keep you from having to register as a sex offender.
‘Consent’ or ‘Lack of Consent’ and Hudson County Sex Crime Cases
In many alleged sex crimes, there are only two people who really know what happened. Many cases revolve around the question of consent.
Often, a defendant will admit that a sexual encounter took place but maintain that both partners were willing participants. Sometimes an alleged victim of a sex crime will change his or her story after realizing the potential consequences of the charges that have been brought.
New Jersey law states that some individuals who may willingly engage in sex acts cannot legally give consent to having sex. This applies to:
- Who has a diminished mental capacity, who the defendant knew or should have known was physically helpless, mentally incapacitated, or had a mental disease or condition that rendered the victim temporarily or permanently 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
- Anyone younger than 13 years old
- Individuals at least 13, but not yet 16 years old, if the alleged perpetrator is at least four years older than the alleged victim
- Individuals at least 16, but less than 18 years old and
- The other 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 other individual has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of legal, professional or occupational status
- The other individual is a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household
Punishment for Sex Crimes in Hudson County, N.J.
If you are convicted of a sex crime in Hudson County, you may expect a costly fine and, for most offenses, a prison sentence. Punishment for sex crimes grows harsher according to the amount of violence or personal violation involved, and if 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 have imposed.
For example, lewdness (exposing of the genitals) is a disorderly persons’ offense that may be filed against someone who was seen urinating in a public place or for other public nudity. But 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, it becomes a fourth-degree offense.
Sexual assault (rape) 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 that carries a lengthy prison sentence upon conviction.
Sex crimes under New Jersey law include offenses that can be filed as a disorderly persons offense up to first-degree offenses, depending on the crime and circumstances.
- A disorderly persons offense is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.
- A fourth-degree offense is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- A third-degree offense is punishable by 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
- A second-degree offense is punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
- A first-degree offense is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000.
New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2) requires that, when sentenced to prison for certain violent crimes, including Sexual Assault and Aggravated Sexual Assault, the person convicted must serve 85% of the term before becoming eligible for parole. After release from prison, parole supervision lasts 5 years for a first-degree crime and 3 years for a second-degree crime. The seriousness of these punishments underscores the importance of seeking the help of a highly qualified Jersey City criminal defense to defend you.
In addition, certain statutory offenses under New Jersey law have specific punishment written into them. Certain sex crimes in New Jersey may also be punished by:
- 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
“Megan’s Law” requires certain convicts in New Jersey to register as a sex offender after being convicted or pleading guilty to a sex crime. This includes individuals convicted of:
- Sexual Assault
- Statutory Rape
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact
- Criminal Sexual Contact with a Minor
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Sexual Contact with a Minor)
- Child Pornography
- Luring or Enticing a Minor
- Kidnapping of a Minor
- Criminal Restraint of a Minor
- False Imprisonment of a Minor
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office must classify such sex offenders convicted in local courts as either Tier I, Tier II or Tier III offenders based on a graded scale of the risk the individual poses. The Prosecutor’s Office is to consider the nature of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history, any counseling or rehabilitation since the offense, and whether the defendant has any community support.
The tiers determine who must be notified that the individual is 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 license plate number and description
- Crime (a brief description)
Megan’s Law allows an individual to petition to be removed from the N.J. sex offender registry after 15 years if the individual has met certain criteria.
How Our Attorneys Fight Sex Crime Charges in Hudson County
Regardless of the sex offense charges, Hudson County Superior Court must presume that the defendant is innocent unless a prosecutor can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. At the same time, any defendant has the Constitutional right to a legal defense that seeks the most favorable outcome available by law.
Our Jersey City sex crimes defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall protect the rights of those accused in Hudson County. We will track down every lead to find a defense strategy that calls into question the prosecution’s case.
Alleged sex crimes are often the ultimate “he said/she said” cases. A verdict or even a decision to proceed with charges often comes down to whose version of events is more credible. It is not unusual for our investigation to turn up evidence that police proceeded with charges without having the full facts.
Inconsistencies or questions about an accuser’s claims open the door to persuading prosecutors that allowing the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser charge serves the interest of justice. When prosecutors realize their case has weaknesses, they may be receptive to a resolution of the charges without going to court. If it is necessary to go to court, we will use evidence in your favor and our extensive criminal defense litigation experience to refute or mitigate the impact of any testimony or evidence the prosecution presents.
Contact us now, so that our respected legal team can begin to develop a defense for you by:
- Investigating the charges against you, including examining the evidence used to indict you and arguing for the exclusion of disputable evidence from future proceedings in your case.
- Questioning prosecution witnesses’ statements in discovery, including the alleged victim’s statement.
- Seeking witnesses who can testify on your behalf.
- Uncovering evidence of errors or misconduct in your arrest or the prosecution’s case, such as:
- Illegal arrest
- Illegal search and seizure
- Mistaken identity or a faulty suspects lineup
- False or impeachable witness testimony
- Faulty or fabricated evidence
- Faulty forensic testing in rape kits and other DNA evidence
- Issues with the police chain of custody of forensic testing results
- Racial, ethnic, religious, socio-economic bias
- Other prosecutorial and/or police misconduct
To ensure that you have the opportunity to prevail or obtain a more favorable outcome when charged with a sex crime, you must be represented by a seasoned N.J. defense attorney who understands New Jersey sex crime laws. And to be sure that prosecutors will listen when your attorney proposes alternate theories of the case and/or reasons to reduce or drop charges, you need a respected Jersey City criminal attorney with experience in local courts.
Contact Us About a Hudson County Sex Charges Case
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will defend your rights and fight to ensure your freedom if you face sex crime charges in Hudson County, New Jersey. Our sex offense defense attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience defending individuals charged with criminal charges in Hudson County and across New Jersey.
Contact us ASAP about charges of sexual assault, statutory rape, lewdness / indecent exposure, or prostitution originating in Bayonne, East Newark, Hoboken, Kearny, North Bergen, Secaucus, Union City, Weehawken, West New York or another Hudson County township. Call our Jersey City office at (877) 450-8301 or contact us online. We respond 24/7, and initial legal consultations are always free.