New Jersey Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact Defense Lawyer

Our Former County Prosecutors & Certified Criminal Trial Attorneys Are Ready To Fight For You

The offense of aggravated criminal sexual contact can have a devastating impact on your life. A New Jersey conviction carries significant penalties that go well beyond fines or even risk of incarceration. You will be labeled as a sex offender, placed on parole supervision for life, required to register under Megan’s Law and be subjected to other negative collateral consequences. You are clearly exposed to dire risk if you have been charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact in NJ and absolutely must hire a lawyer who is skilled in defending sex crimes.

We are the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, a major New Jersey criminal defense firm with attorneys that have over 200 years in practice combined. Our lawyers have a long track of aggressively and competently defending clients who have been arrested for aggravated criminal sexual contact and similar offenses throughout the state. Irrespective of where in NJ you are facing a third-degree crime for this offense, we have an attorney with the time tested skills to ensure you have the opportunity to avoid a conviction. Our abilities in the courtroom are certainly well-documented and we welcome the opportunity to put our skills into action on your behalf.

Our team of attorneys has credentials that we genuinely believe are rare in the state. The qualifications of our firm include:

  • A group of ten (10) attorneys that make up one of the state’s largest firms specializing in the defense of those accused of criminal violations like aggravated criminal sexual contact.
  • Members that have gained invaluable insight serving as county prosecutors for decades and in positions like Director of Major Crime, Special Operations, Juvenile Division, Drug Task Force and even as the head of the entire Trial Division. No matter the complexity of your sex offense—rest assured—we have what it takes to capably defend you.
  • Lawyers whose experience is so extensive that they are among less than 2% of those licensed in New Jersey who are certified criminal trial attorneys.
  • Veteran litigators that have been defending sex crimes such as criminal sexual contact for decades in courtrooms across the state. We know our way around and more importantly what it takes to effectively represent clients facing criminal cases like yours.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of New Jersey law so that we can make not only effective arguments on behalf of clients but also identify the legal shortcomings in the prosecutor’s case.
  • A visible presence in counties around the state so that we develop relationships with prosecutors, judges and court personnel that allow us to navigate the court system as effectively as possible, including negotiating favorable pleas,  reduced sentences and resolutions that are favorable to a client.
  • Offices located in Jersey City, Freehold, Camden, Somerville, Mount Holly, New Brunswick, Toms River, Hackensack, Newark, Mays Landing, Flemington and other municipalities to conveniently serve our clients.
  • A clear commitment to fighting for our clients as manifested by our record of success and strong reputation statewide.

If you are facing a charge for aggravated criminal sexual contact and would like the opportunity to discuss your offense with an attorney who is highly knowledgeable and experienced in this area of law, contact our firm. A NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer is available 24/7 to assist you by calling 1-877-534-7338.

How Is "Sexual Contact" Defined?

It is illegal to engage in “sexual contact” with another person without their consent. N.J.S.A. 2C:14-1(d) defines this term as:

d. “Sexual contact” means an intentional touching by the victim or actor, either directly or through clothing, of the victim’s or actor’s intimate parts for the purpose of degrading or humiliating the victim or sexually arousing or sexually gratifying the actor. Sexual contact of the actor with himself must be in view of the victim whom the actor knows to be present;

The contact or touching must involve the “initmate parts” of the victim. This means that you must have touched the sexual organs, genital area, anal area, inner thigh, buttock or breast of the victim.

 

 

When Does Sexual Contact Become Aggravated?

Sexual contact is aggravated in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3(a) when one of the five (5) circumstances set forth under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a)(2) through (7) are present. An aggravated sexual assault offense arises when the actor has “sexual contact” under the following circumstances:

  1. The victim is at least 13 years of age but less than 16 years of age and the accused was either (i) related to the accused by blood or affinity to the third degree, (ii) in a supervisory or disciplinary role over the victim (e.g. teacher, coach, boss, etc.); or (iii) a resource parent, guardian or stands loco parentis within the victim’s household (i.e. temporary care giver, guardian or someone who takes on some of the responsibilities of a parent).
  2. The conduct occurs during the course of commission of a robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault on another, burglary, arson or criminal escape.
  3. The actor is armed with a weapon or what appears to be a weapon and the victim is threatened with the object.
  4. The actor used force or coercion and severe personal injury (i.e.severe bodily injury, disfigurement, disease, incapacitating mental anguish or chronic pain) was inflicted on the victim.
  5. The victim was physically helpless or incapacitated, or suffered from a mental disease or defect that made them incapable of understanding the nature of the conduct (e.g. consent).

 

Elements of Proof

The elements of proof that must be demonstrated by the prosecutor, beyond reasonable doubt, are different depending on which section of the NJ aggravated criminal sexual contact law has been charged. The chart below summarized the proofs required in order for the state to obtain a conviction for each form of this offense.

Offense Elements of Proof
2C:14-2(a)(2)The defendant purposely committed an act of sexual contact on the victim or touched himself/herself and the touching was in the view of the victim;

The victim was at least 13 but less than 16 years of age; and

The defendant is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the first, second or third degree; the defendant had supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim because of his/her legal, professional or occupational status; or the defendant is a resource family parent, guardian or stands in loco parentis.

2C:14-2(a)(3)The defendant purposely committed an act of sexual contact on the victim or touched himself/herself and the touching was in the view of the victim; and

The act of sexual contact occurred during the commission or attempted commission during a robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault, burglary, arson or criminal escape.

2C:14-2(a)(4)The defendant purposely committed an act of sexual contact on the victim or touched himself/herself and the touching was in the view of the victim;

At the time of the sexual contact, defendant was armed with a weapon or armed with an object fashioned in such a manner as to lead the victim to believe it was a weapon; and

The defendant threatened by words or conduct to use the weapon/object.

2C:14-2(a)(5)The defendant purposely committed an act of sexual contact on the victim or touched himself/herself and the touching was in the view of the victim;

The defendant was aided or abetted by one or more other persons to commit the sexual contact; and

The defendant used physical force or coercion to commit the act of sexual contact.

2C:14-2(a)(6)The defendant purposely committed an act of sexual contact on the victim;

The defendant used physical force or coercion; and

The victim sustained severe personal injury as the result of the defendant’s conduct.

2C:14-2(a)(7)The defendant purposely committed an act of sexual contact on the victim or touched himself/herself and the touching was in the view of the victim;

The victim was physically or mentally incapacitated, helpless or lacked capacity because of mental defect at the time of the conduct; and

The defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the victim lacked capacity to consent.

Fines, Prison & Other Penalties

As previously stated, aggravated criminal sexual contact is a third degree crime. The standard penalties for third degree aggravated criminal sexual contact include up to five (5) years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Several special assessments, surcharges and penalties must also be imposed upon conviction for a New Jersey aggravated criminal sexual contact offense including a Nurse Examiner Program Fund Penalty of $800, a Prevention of Violence Against Women surcharge of $100 and a Sex Offender Assessment of $750.

Second or Subsequent Conviction. If the conviction represents a second or subsequent sex crime conviction, the court must impose a mandatory term of imprisonment of at least 5 years during which the defendant is ineligible for parole.

 

Megan's Law & Parole Supervision For Life ("PSL")

A New Jersey Superior Court judge is required to impose registration as a sex offender under Megan’s Law at the time of sentencing for aggravated criminal sexual contact. This means that the defendant must register annually with his or her local police department, notify law enforcement of a change in address and may also have their name, address and photograph posted on the Sex Offender Internet Registry.

A special sentence of Parole Supervision For Life (“PSL”) must also be imposed by the court at the time of sentencing for a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3(a). This subjects a defendant to parole, restrictions in internet access, random inspections and other conditions. Violation of PSL conditions results in a separate third degree crime.

Statute Of Limitation

There is an extended period for filing a criminal charge for aggravated criminal sexual contact as compared to the typical third degree crime. The statute of limitation is two (2) years from the date of discovery of the offense or five (5) years from the date of a minor victim reaching eighteen (18), whichever date is later. The charge is timely filed provided a complaint or indictment is filed within this time frame.