If you have been charged with a sex crime, you are facing serious consequences. The state of New Jersey follows similar guidelines with most of the country on what defines a sex crime, sexual assault, the degrees of severity, and the penalties of being convicted. Speak to an experienced attorney at Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C. who can give you answers and guide you through New Jersey sex crime laws.
Sexual assault is considered a crime of the second degree. These are the most widely known sex offenses, like rape. This crime carries a possible penalty of ten years with a minimum of five years before parole. The state of New Jersey defines this as:
- Sexual contact with someone under the age of 13 while the perpetrator is over 17 years of age;
- Sexual penetration when using physical force without injury, sexual conduct with someone under your control, like a prison inmate;
- Sexual contact with a family member between the age of 16 and 18 or you have control over them; or
- The victim is between 13 and 16 and you are four years older.
Aggravated sexual assault is a crime of the first degree. These crimes carry a possible penalty of twenty years in prison. Aggravated assault is a more serious crime, defined by New Jersey as:
- A victim under the age of 13 or between the ages of 13 and 16 and you are a family member or other authority figure;
- The sexual assault happens in conjunction with another crime (murder, robbery, etc.);
- The sexual assault is committed using a weapon;
- The sexual assault is acted upon with the assistance of another person; or
- The victim is incapacitated or handicapped.
In New Jersey, if you have been convicted of a sex crime, you will be prosecuted under Megan’s Law. Megan’s law is a penalty that’s imposed on crimes of a sexual nature. These crimes range from very serious to a less significant nature, in terms of legal consequences. Improper touching, while it may seem relatively innocuous, would also carry a Megan’s Law component.
On October 31, 1994, Megan’s Law sex offender registration and community notification provisions were signed into law followed by the Megan’s Law Sex Offender Internet Registry on July 23, 2001. The law states that anyone who commits crimes of a sexual nature against children and the mentally challenged has a high risk of relapse and must be on a registry in order for law enforcement to identify and alert the public when necessary.
Megan’s Law, while obviously enacted to address a very real and very significant problem in New Jersey and in the country, imposes some very serious adverse consequences to people and to their livelihoods. It’s imperative when you’re evaluating a case that has a sexual component to it, whether it’s posting an inappropriate photograph of someone else or one’s self, inappropriate touching, harassment of a sexual nature, that you remember the very real consequences of Megan’s law. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our law offices. Attorneys at Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C. are here to assist you.