Table of Contents
- Types of Sex Crime Cases Our Law Firm Handles
- Sex Crime Penalties in New Jersey
- Sex Offender Registration in New Jersey
- How Our Attorneys Will Help You Fight N.J. Sex Crime Charges
- How Can a ‘Victim’ Claim Lack of Consent in a N.J. Sex Crime Case?
- Contact Our New Jersey Sex Crime Defense Lawyers Today
New Jersey Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys
If you have been charged with a sex offense in New Jersey, not only do you face potential jail time for many sex crimes, a plea of guilty or a conviction could expose you to sex offender registration requirements and community supervision for life. There is also the public stigma, which will damage your ability to be employed, obtain college loans and scholarships, and pursue other opportunities.
The criminal defense attorneys of the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can provide the aggressive legal representation a New Jersey sex crimes charge requires. Our team is made up of former New Jersey prosecutors and public defenders with years of experience in courtrooms in dozens of counties and municipalities across New Jersey. As defense attorneys, we have earned a reputation for providing strategic and successful criminal defenses for our clients.
Individuals and families from across the State of New Jersey have turned to our law firm for help fighting charges of sexual assault, prostitution, lewdness and other sex crimes because:
- Our firm has focused on building one of the largest and most experienced criminal defense teams in the state, with seven lawyers who have broadly tested skills, as well as a large staff of legal professionals and extensive resources to support them.
- We are capable, in ways other N.J. law firms are not, of putting the time and energy into the detailed investigation and planning required to successfully fight serious sex crime charges.
- Our lawyers have spent decades prosecuting and defending against sex crimes in New Jersey courtrooms. We know what’s required to prove charges, and how to dismantle weak prosecution cases. We know what does and does not prove persuasive to judges and juries hearing sex crime cases, and how to build and win with a solid defense.
- Our long-term presence in New Jersey courtrooms has enabled us to develop a depth of knowledge as well as the professional relationships necessary to negotiate reduced charges, lighter sentences and other agreements that benefit our clients. We know the way, and the people who can make it happen know and trust us.
- The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can begin immediately to defend you against sex crime charges. With nine law offices across the state, we are in the position to obtain your release from custody and/or to meet with you anywhere that is convenient for you for an initial legal consultation.
Call or fill out our online form now to set up a meeting with one of our experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorneys to discuss sex crime charges filed against you. We provide initial legal consultations at no charge and with no further obligation.
Types of Sex Crime Cases Our Law Firm Handles
During our decades as prosecutors, public defenders, and now criminal defense attorneys in New Jersey, we have handled a wide range of sex crime cases. Some of the types of sex crime charge our law firm can assist you with include:
- Indecent Exposure
- Distribution of Child Pornography
- Luring, Enticing, Solicitation
- Child Pornography Possession
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child
- Criminal Sexual Contact
- Statutory Rape
- Sexual Assault (Rape)
- Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
To ensure that your rights will be protected to the fullest extent allowed by law, it is important that you engage an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after being arrested for a sex crime. Set up a free initial legal consultation with the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall at any of our nine locations in New Jersey today to get started on a strong legal defense.
Sex Crime Penalties in New Jersey
Depending on the sex crime you are being charged with, you could be facing extremely harsh punishment under New Jersey law.
For example, punishment for sexual assault (rape) in New Jersey depends on the nature of the crime and age of the victim. Generally, sexual assault is a second-degree crime and carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence. Aggravated sexual assault, which may involve use of a weapon or a forced sexual act during a kidnapping, is a first-degree crime and carries up to 20 years in prison.
Further down the scale, lewdness (exposing of the genitals for purposes of arousal) is a disorderly persons offense in most cases, but may be charged as a fourth-degree crime if a person allegedly exposes themselves or “flashes” someone who is younger than 13 and the actor is at least four years older than the child, or flashes a person who because of mental disease or defect is unable to understand the sexual nature of the actor’s conduct.
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 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 a fine of up to $10,000.
- A disorderly persons offense is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.
- A petty disorderly persons offense is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Depending on the degree of offense charged, you could face jail time, a fine, probation, or a restraining order.
Some statutory offenses have specific punishment written into the law, which in sex crimes may include registering with the State of New Jersey as a sex offender.
Sex Offender Registration in New Jersey
You may be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law if you are convicted or plead guilty to a sex crime in New Jersey. Registering as a sex offender requires the convicted individual to report to local police and may include notification of their status to schools or other organizations near the registrant’s home and place of business.
In the worst cases, names on the N.J. sex offender registry are made available to the public.
Typically, registration under Megan’s Law will be required if you are convicted of:
- Sexual Assault
- Statutory Rape
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Sexual Contact with a Minor)
- Child Pornography
- Luring or Enticing a Minor
- Criminal Sexual Contact (with a minor)
- Kidnapping (of a minor and you are not a parent)
- Criminal Restraint (of a minor and you are not a parent)
- False Imprisonment (of a minor and you are not a parent)
If a defendant is required to register under Megan’s Law, the County Prosecutor’s Office will classify the registrant as either Tier I, Tier II or Tier III based on a graded scale of the risk they pose and, therefore, who should be notified of their status.
Tier I is for low-risk offenders, requiring notification of law enforcement agencies.
Tier II is for moderate-risk offenders, requiring notification of law enforcement agencies, schools, licensed daycare centers, summer camps, and registered community organizations the offender may come into contact with.
Tier III is for high-risk offenders, requiring notification of law enforcement agencies, schools, licensed daycare centers, summer camps, registered community organizations the offender may come into contact with, and members of the public through a website.
At all three levels of notification, the information provided includes:
- Name, description and photograph
- Home address
- Place of employment or school, if applicable
- A description of the offender’s vehicle and license plate number
- A brief description of the offender’s crime
The Prosecutor’s Office is 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 when grading the registrant on a numerical scale.
If the Prosecutor’s Office improperly rates and classifies an individual, the individual can appeal the decision with the assistance of a knowledgeable N.J. defense attorney. Megan’s Law also provides for potential removal from registration after 15 years if certain criteria are met.
How Our Attorneys Will Help You Fight N.J. Sex Crime Charges
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.
If you are convicted of certain sex crimes in New Jersey, in addition to facing prison time, you will be required under Megan’s Law to register with the state and could be identified to the public as a sex offender.
Despite the public condemnation linked to sex crime charges, all defendants deserve and have the Constitutional right to a robust legal defense against criminal charges and the opportunity to avail themselves of the most favorable outcome for them as allowed by law.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall provides protection to sex crime defendants across the State of New Jersey. The sooner we can get involved in your case, the better we can ensure the courts uphold your rights as we fight to rebut the charges against you.
Contact us now, so that our N.J. defense team can:
- If you are being held, immediately work for your release at the lowest possible bail or ROR, released on your own recognizance.
- Start an independent investigation into the charges against you, including examining the prosecution evidence used to indict you and arguing for the exclusion of disputable evidence from future proceedings in your case.
- Uncover evidence of faults 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 (for example, in rape kits and other DNA evidence)
- Racial, ethnic, religious, socio-economic, gender, age or other bias (profiling)
- Examine and, in discovery, question statements by the prosecution’s witnesses, including the alleged victim.
- Seek witnesses who can testify on your behalf.
Our initial objective will be to have charges dismissed or reduced, if possible. If it is necessary to go to court, we will do so prepared to closely question the prosecution’s case and vigorously defend you.
How Can a ‘Victim’ Claim Lack of Consent in a N.J. Sex Crime Case?
Most sex crime charges are based on intimate acts with only two people who can say what really happened. Often the question of consent is at the core of a sex crime charge.
A defendant may admit to the sex act alleged, but claim that the accuser consented. Sometimes the alleged victim of a sex crime changes their story about lack of consent as the potential consequences of the charges she or he has made become more apparent.
However, New Jersey law recognizes that in certain cases a person who has engaged in a sex act was unable to legally consent.
A person unable to consent to engage in sex in New Jersey is someone:
- 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 actor is related to the alleged victim by blood or affinity to the third degree (for example, adopted or related by marriage, such as a step-parent, step-child, step-brother, step-sister)
- The actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor’s legal, professional or occupational status
- The actor is a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis 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 temporarily or permanently incapable of understanding the nature of the sexual conduct, including, but not limited to being incapable of providing consent. This includes a victim who was drunk, drugged, high, unconscious, or who has a developmental disability.
Because sex crimes often come down to whose version of events is more believable, there is ample opportunity in many cases to negotiate and convince prosecutors that justice is served by a lesser charge and/or sentence. When the state’s case does not hold up, charges may be dismissed or defeated in court.
But you must have a seasoned N.J. defense attorney on your side who understands what New Jersey sex crime laws allow, and who has a relationship with the prosecution that can make a deal happen.
There are many reasons sex crime charges are dismissed or reduced before a case goes to court. Sex crime cases are often based on one person’s word against another’s. Prosecutors and juries ultimately side with defendants every day.
If you have been arrested for a sex crime anywhere in New Jersey, the sooner you get the legal team from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall working on your case, the sooner we can challenge the evidence against you or even how you were arrested.
Contact Our New Jersey Sex Crime Defense Lawyers Today
If you have been arrested for a sex crime in New Jersey, exercise your right to remain silent and call our experienced criminal defense attorneys as soon as you can. Our team will move promptly and work diligently to keep you from facing the severe punishments available to N.J. courts in sex crimes. Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall now for a free initial legal consultation.