January 03, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- New Jersey's laws surrounding sexual offenses have clear guidelines and definitions, including that for statutory rape. Consequences can be severe with some even being life-long for the defendant. Understanding the different levels of sexual crimes
and associated penalties is important for anyone who may be facing such a situation.
State data from 2010 indicates that in Cape May County, six people were arrested for rape. Four of those were in Ocean City, according to the FBI. Statewide, forcible rape arrests numbered 1,035 as reported by the disaster center. These may not be excessively large numbers but they do represent lives that are often forever altered as a result of sexual assault
Standard New Jersey charges and penalties
In New Jersey, there are four primary counts a defendant can face for a sexual assault, as follows:
- First degree aggravated sexual assault carries a sentence between 10 and 20 years in prison.
- Second degree non-aggravated sexual assault carries a sentence between five and 10 years in prison.
- Third degree aggravated sexual conduct carries a sentence between three and five years.
- Fourth degree non-aggravated sexual conduct carries a sentence of up to 18 months.
For a second offense or more, a convicted defendant will receive the fixed minimum sentence with at least five years in prison with no possible parole.
Statutory rape specifics
The legal age of consent in New Jersey is 16 and the minimum age for a victim is 13. For victims between the ages of 13 and 16, a defendant more than four years older is open to prosecution for statutory rape and, if convicted, will be sentenced to a term in prison between five and 10 years. There is no minimum age for defendants meaning that the state can prosecute an alleged offender at any age.
Megan's Law and the sex offender registry
If you are convicted of a sexual offense, whether with a minor or a legal adult, registration into the sex offender database will be required. Depending upon the specific crime you are convicted of, you may eventually have the opportunity to request removal from the database.
You may file a petition with the court for removal if it has been at least 15 years since your last convicted offense. Additionally, if you were under the age of 14 when convicted but are now over 18, you may seek registry removal.
If you are a repeat offender, have been acquitted of your sexual offense charge due to an insanity declaration or who have been convicted of either aggravated or non-aggravated sexual assault, your name must be on the registry list for the rest of your life.
The right representation can help
If you are facing a sexual offense charge of any sort in New Jersey, working with an experienced lawyer is highly recommended. With strict penalties at stake, you do not want to take a chance on not ensuring the best defense possible for yourself.
Article provided by Law Offices of John W. Tumelty
Visit us at www.johntumeltylaw.com