If you’ve been arrested for sexual assault in New Jersey, then you likely have a lot of questions. From understanding the criminal process to questioning what type of penalties you could face, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Learn everything you need to know about sexual assault charges in New Jersey below.
What You Need to Know About Sexual Assault Charges
In New Jersey, sexual assault is described as the act of non-consensual penetration that occurs with force or through coercion. It’s also considered sexual assault if non-consensual penetration occurs to someone who is physically or mentally incapacitated, under the age of 13-years-old or under your control.
Sexual assault is a serious criminal offense in New Jersey, but the severity of your defense depends heavily on the victim’s age and the level of force or intimidation used by the perpetrator. In most situations, sexual assault is charged as a 2nd-degree crime, which means a conviction could mean up to ten years in prison.
If the victim was young or you used significant force, then you might be charged with aggravated sexual assault. If convicted, then you could face up to 20 years in prison. With either offense, you’ll also need to register as a sexual offender for the remainder of your life.
How to Defend Yourself Against Sexual Assault Charges in NJ
Getting charged with sexual assault in New Jersey comes with heavy, life-long consequences. It’s necessary to hire legal representation to prevent a conviction. Here are a few defense strategies you should consider if you’re facing such serious charges:
- The other party consented to intercourse
- The police violated your rights during the arrest or investigation
- Mistake of fact (you never committed the offense)
- Faulty evidence (eyewitness testimony or handling of DNA evidence)
The defense strategy you should use depends a lot on the circumstances surrounding your arrest and the alleged crime. It’s important to consult with an experienced attorney to determine which strategy will work best in your situation. At times, the best thing you can do is plead guilty to a lesser offense to avoid such severe penalties.
Contact an Experienced Freehold Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Sexual Assault Charges in Freehold
Were you arrested or charged with sexual assault in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio LLC have successfully represented clients charged with sexual assault in Freehold, Woodbridge, Princeton, Mount Laurel, Jersey City, and throughout New Jersey. Call (800) 418-8578 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 4400 Route 9 South, Suite 1000, Freehold, NJ 07728 as well as offices located in Woodbridge, Princeton, Mount Laurel, and Jersey City.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.