In any state of the US, sexual assault is a serious offense. New Jersey is no exception to the rule. The courts take a sexual assault charge very seriously, and the penalty can be harsh. Find out everything that you should know about New Jersey sexual assault laws. And if you find yourself facing a sexual assault charge, learn what you should do.
What are New Jersey Sexual Assault Laws
In the state of New Jersey, sexual assault refers to rape. By definition, it is any amount of forceful penetration or penetration in which someone is either mentally or physically incapacitated. For example, someone who is drugged may not be aware of the penetration. New Jersey would classify penetration with someone in a drugged state as sexual assault. It’s a form of mental incapacitation.
Of course, you need to understand the definition of penetration. According to state law, sexual penetration is any of the following involving insertion of the hand or penis into the anus or vagina of a victim:
Like most laws, New Jersey sexual assault laws aren’t black and white. Certain circumstances slightly change the definition of sexual assault. Here are a few examples of other types of sexual assault. The one thing they all have in common is that they can land you in prison.
1. Sexual contact with someone under 13, If the assailant is over 17
The state defines sexual contact, as intentionally touching someone intimately through their clothes or directly for the defendant’s arousal or for the victim’s degradation. It’s a type of sexual assault that can have strict penalties.
2. Sexual contact with someone that doesn’t result in the injury of the victim
It is possible for someone to face sexual assault charges if the victim has no physical injuries. This could occur if sexual penetration occurred when the victim was under control. Most commonly, this would happen if a correctional officer forced an inmate to participate in penetration. Additionally, this could occur if the victim is between the ages of 16 and 18 and has relations to the defendant. There are a few other scenarios in which this could happen; it all depends on the circumstances.
3. Aggravated Sexual Assault
Aggravated sexual assault is another form of sexual assault. You may face these charges if the victim is under the age of 13, or is a family member between the ages of 13 and 16. Or, you could face these charges if the act occurred during another crime. For example, if you sexually assaulted someone during a kidnapping, it would be aggravated sexual assault. A handicapped or incapacitated victim could also result in these charges. Finally, you could face these charges if you committed the assault while you had a weapon or threatened the use of a weapon.
The Penalty for Sexual Assault Charges
In New Jersey, sexual assault of any type is a felony. However, the punishment can vary. It depends on several factors, like the age of the victim and the nature of the crime. An aggravated sexual assault charge is a first-degree offense that can come with a maximum of 20 years in prison. However, sexual assault is usually a first-degree crime. It comes with a maximum of ten years in prison. A judge doesn’t need to send you to the maximum sentence. With good representation, you may be able to convince a judge to limit your sentence. It depends on your representation and the circumstances surrounding the sexual assault. A judge may be more lenient or harsher depending on your situation.
Even after you serve your time, your crime could follow you. Most people convicted of sexual assault need to register as a sex offender. People can identify you as a sex offender and may treat you differently. Additionally, you may have a hard time finding work or getting housing. The effects are long-lasting. For this reason, sexual assault charges are serious charges. You need to do everything you can to fight the charges and come out with a good outcome. But you can’t do it alone. This requires the expertise of a lawyer.
Coping With Sexual Assault Charges
If you find yourself with a sexual assault charge, you could be facing severe consequences. It’s important that you find legal representation as soon as possible. A lawyer can tell you what you can do to protect yourself. They can also keep you from making mistakes that could get you in more trouble.
Not all lawyers are equally prepared to handle sexual assault charges. You need to find one who has experience with New Jersey sexual assault laws. When you do, you improve your chances at getting a good outcome. And a good outcome is a possibility. Experienced lawyers know the different ways to fight the charges. With years of experience behind them, they can help you get out of trouble.