Bridgewater NJ Sexual Contact Defense Lawyer
Criminal sexual contact is not an uncommon offense in Somerset County. Individuals are arrested for inappropriate groping and other illegal contact throughout this area including in affluent municipalities like Warren, Bedminster, Watchung, Bernardsville and Montgomery Township. There is no requirement that the actor be naked, touch an intimate body part skin to skin or for there to be penetration akin to sexual assault. The common allegation is that the accused rubbed or touched a niece, grandchild, student, player or a random person in a sexually provocative manner. A conviction for this offense or, worse yet, aggravated criminal sexual contact carries potentially devastating consequences which necessitate hiring an adept lawyer. The defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall possess exceptional credentials including over 100 years of combined experience and a team of former prosecutors. To explore what our lawyers can do to help you avoid a conviction under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3, contact the Bridgewater Office of our firm for a free consultation at (908) 722-1011.
Understanding A Criminal Sexual Contact or Aggravated Sexual Contact Charge
Sexual contact occurs under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-1d when someone intentionally touches the intimate parts of another, above or below the clothing, for the purpose of degrading or humiliating the victim or for sexual arousal or gratification. If this conduct occurs when any one of four (4) scenarios exist, criminal sexual contact has occurred in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3. The first way sexual contact can result in this offense is if physical force or coercion is used by the defendant. The second factual setting that results in a violation is where the victim is a probationer, parolee, patient at a hospital or other institution or mentally defective, and the defendant has supervisory power because of legal, profession or occupational status. Third, criminal sexual contact results if the victim is at least sixteen but less than eighteen years old and related to the victim by blood or affinity, is their foster child, is their ward or to the defendant has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim. The fourth and final variety of criminal sexual contact is triggered where the victim is under sixteen but at least thirteen and the defendant is at least four years older.
Sexual contact is enhanced to the second degree crime of aggravated criminal sexual contact if:
1. The victim was at least 13 but less than 16 years old; and
1. Related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree, or
2. The actor had supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor’s legal, professional, or occupational status, or
3. The actor was a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household;
2. The contact occurred during the commission or attempt to commit a robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault on another, burglary, arson or criminal escape;
3. The actor is armed with a weapon or other object which the victim reasonably believed was a weapon was used in a threatening manner;
4. The actor is aided or abetted by one or more and uses physical force or coercion;
5. The actor uses physical force or coercion causes severe personal injury to the victim; or
6. The actor knew the victim was helpless, incapacitated, intellectually or mentally incompetent or suffered from a condition that rendered them incapable of understanding the nature of his conduct, including, but not limited to, being incapable of providing consent.
Fourth degree criminal sexual contact exposes a defendant to eighteen (18) months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A Sex Crime Victim Treatment Fund (“SCVTF”) penalty also applies in the amount of $500. Third degree aggravated criminal sexual contact results in a prison term of up to five (5) years and a maximum fine of $15,000. The SCVTF penalty is $750. In addition, a conviction for this third degree crime results in mandatory registration under Megan’s Law. A fourth degree offense for criminal sexual contact does not result in community notification and registration.
Somerville Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact Attorney
If you have been arrested, accused or are under investigation for aggravated sexual contact, it is crucial that you speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. The lawyers at Marshall, Bonus, Proetta, and Oliver have decades of first hand experience defending and prosecuting charges like criminal sexual contact. We have also handled countless offenses at the Somerville NJ courthouse. This is where you case will be heard irrespective of where in Somerset County you were charged as this is the only place felony violations can be handled. If you would like to discuss of the circumstances of your arrest in Franklin, Hillsborough, Bernards, North Plainfield or any other municipality in this area, call our firm in Bridgewater for an immediate consultation. We are available 24/7 at (908) 722-1011 to help you avoid a conviction in Somerville.