Flemington Criminal Defense Firm Comprised Of Former Prosecutors With Decades Of Experience Defending Sexual Assault, Criminal Sexual Contact, Lewdness, Endangering the Welfare Of A Child, Child Pornography & Luring Charges
Sex charges are some of the most complex and highly contested criminal offenses litigated in Hunterdon County. The stakes are extreme with little room for inexperience when someone is facing allegations of rape, sexual abuse or others falling under this category. It is crucial that an individual retains an attorney with significant experience if they are charged with a sex crime. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall possess the pedigree needed to effectively defend any case of this nature with over two centuries in practice, including significant time serving as prosecutors. Our ten (10) defense attorneys know how to analyze the facts so that weaknesses can be pinpointed and a case dismantled. If you would like the opportunity to speak to a lawyer on our team in a free consultation, contact our Flemington Office at (908) 824-0855.
Sex Crime in Hunterdon County New Jersey
There are numerous criminal charges that can be categorized as a sex crime. The headings below outline some of the most common violations that someone can face at the Hunterdon County Superior Court in Flemington.
- Possession of Child Pornography. It is a crime of the first degree (i.e. 100,000 or more images), second degree (i.e. at least 1,000 but less than 100,000 images) or third degree (i.e. less than 1,000 images) to possess images that depict a child engaging in a prohibited sexual act, simulation of such an act or depicting them in a sexually suggestive manner. You should also know that a presumption of incarceration is triggered whenever someone possesses 100 or more images, even if the accused is a first time offender.
- Distribution of Child Pornography. It is also illegal to distribute, sell, possess with intent to distribute or participate in a file sharing network involving child pornography. It is a first-degree crime where this conduct is committed with 1,000 or more images containing sexual exploitation or abuse of a child. It is a second degree crime where less than 1,000 images are involved. There is also a mandatory minimum term of at least five (5) years that must be imposed if the number of images distributed is at least twenty-five (25) but less than 1,000.
- Luring. It is a second-degree crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6 for someone to use the internet or other avenues to lure a child to a motor vehicle, structure or isolated area. Luring is a third degree crime when electronic means such as the internet is used to lure or entice an adult.
- Sexual Assault. A sexual assault occurs if an actor has sexual contact with a victim under 13, uses physical force or coercion to engage in penetration, or there is sexual penetration with a victim under 16 and the defendant is in a supervisory position or at least four (4) years older than the victim. Sex assault is also referred to as rape and is a second-degree crime.
- Aggravated Sexual Assault. A sexual assault is elevated to “aggravated” if there is penetration with a victim under 13 or with a child who is at least 13 but less than 16 and the accused is in a supervisory capacity, penetration occurs during commission of a robbery, aggravated assault, kidnapping, homicide or burglary, penetration is committed while armed or penetration occurs while the victim is incapacitated. Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree crime.
- Criminal Sexual Contact. Criminal sexual contact arises under the same circumstances as a sexual assault except that the conduct involves touching as opposed to sexual penetration. Criminal sexual contact is a fourth-degree crime.
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact. Aggravated criminal sexual contact is a third-degree crime and arises when someone has sexual contact under the circumstances set forth for aggravated sexual assault.
- Lewdness. Unlike most sex offenses, lewdness typically falls under the jurisdiction of a municipal court such as the one in Readington, Clinton Township, Raritan Township or Lebanon. An individual engages in lewd conduct in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-4 if they do any “flagrantly lewd or offensive act” knowing that it is likely to be seen my a nonconsenting third party. If the conduct is observed by a child less than 13 or someone who suffers from defect that renders them unable to appreciate the nature of the conduct, lewdness results in a fourth-degree crime.
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child. One form of endangering the welfare of a child set forth in 2C:24-4 involves sexual conduct which impairs or debauches the morals of a child. Sexual assault and criminal sexual contact would obviously satisfy this definition although the breath of this law goes much further. Examples of acts that result in this offense include inappropriate hugging and kissing, performing sexual acts in the presence of a child, exposing a child to obscene materials, or coaching a child into masturbation. Endangering is a second-degree crime when someone responsible for a child engages in this type of conduct.
- Human Trafficking. The offense of human trafficking is a first-degree crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:13-8.
- Prostitution. Charges for prostitution and promoting prostitution are set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1. Prostitution is the exchange of money or something of value for sex or an agreement to engage in such a transaction. Promoting prosecution results where the actor manages or organizes a prostitution operation, solicits individuals to act as prostitutes, solicits buyers of sex, leases or provides a house of prostitution or transports prostitutes.
- Failure to Register. Failure to register, failure to file an annual address verification or failure to register access to a computer or internet device is a third-degree crime.
Attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall defend clients charged with sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, lewdness, luring, endangering, child pornography and prostitution throughout Hunterdon County, including charges arising in Raritan Township, Tewksbury, Clinton Township, Readington, Lebanon, Lambertville, Bethlehem, Kingwood, East Amwell, Holland, Alexandria and elsewhere in the region.
Serious Penalties That Include Megan’s Law & Parole Supervision for Life (PSL)
A conviction for a first-degree sex crime results in 10-20 years in prison. The period of incarceration for a second-degree sex crime is 5-10 years. An individual faces up to 5 years in prison for a third-degree sex crime. A fourth-degree sex crime carries up to 18 months in state prison. The lowest grade of sex offense is a disorderly persons offense that can land someone in the county jail for up to 6 months. In addition, an individual must register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law if they are convicted of sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, criminal sexual contact involving a minor, endangering the welfare of a child based on sexual misconduct, luring a child and second-degree distribution of child pornography.
Flemington NJ Sex Offense Defense Lawyers
Just about every sex offense previously discussed has the potential to gravely affect your life. In most cases, a conviction will result in registration as a sex offender. This is one of many reasons why you need to select your attorney carefully. Do not be swayed by catchy sales pitch and take a close look at the experience of every lawyer you are considering. We are confident that you will contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall if you are looking for bona fide experience in handling sex cases. For a consultation with one of the lawyers immediately, call (908) 824-0855.