New Jersey Aggravated Sexual Assault Lawyer
Aggravated Sexual Assault is one of the most severe crimes in New Jersey and prosecutors will litigate these charges very aggressively in order to make examples out of certain defendants to create deterrence for others in the future. If you have been charged with a crime of aggravated sexual assault you most likely need to prepare yourself for a long, tough and drawn-out fight because these cases almost always end in litigation and trial since plea deals often cannot be worked out when the state could be going after you for life in state prison. In these cases in particular, it is essential for the defense to conduct their own thorough investigation which can include requesting DCPP or DYFS records from past or present events involving the victim and retaining a private investigator to conduct interviews of potential witnesses. Moreover, in some circumstances a polygraph examination, or lie detector test may be used to bolster the defendant’s case. Our New Jersey sex crime attorneys are experienced and well versed in handling the intricacies of aggravated sexual assault cases and we tailor specific defenses to each of one client’s different circumstances and facts. To learn more about how we may be able to help you or your loved one, contact us today at (201) 793-8018 for a free and confidential consultation.
Sex or Penetration with a Minor under 13 Years Old
Any time there is an allegation of sexual penetration or intercourse with a minor less than 13 years old, you will be charged with a 1st degree aggravated sexual assault, whether it is consensual or not.
Sex or Penetration with a Minor Who is 13, 14, or 15 Years Old
In some circumstances, you can be charged with a first degree aggravated sexual assault even if the alleged victim is older than 13 years old but less than 16 years old. We have listed examples of these situations below:
- You are related to alleged victim by blood or affinity to the third degree (such as a third cousin)
- You hold a supervisory role over the alleged victim and can exercise disciplinary power over the victim by through your job or legal status.
- You are a parent or guardian of the alleged victim or hold a similar role in the child’s household.
1st Degree Forcible Rape
It is always a first degree aggravated assault if you physically force or coerce another to have sexual intercourse or sexual penetration and serious injury is sustained as a result. This could be a laceration or cut that requires stitches, severe bruising or internal bleeding and broken bones.
However, under some circumstances serious injury does not need to occur and what would normally be a second degree sexual assault will be upgraded to a first degree aggravated sexual assault. For instance, if an act of sexual assault is committed during the commission of various crimes such as robbery, kidnapping, burglary, or aggravated assault then the charge is upgraded to an aggravated assault.
Moreover, the threat or presence of a weapon also makes it a first degree aggravated sexual assault. It should be noted that it is not a defense that you did not harm the victim or cause serious injury. Lastly, if you the defendant is aided by one or more individuals who use physical force or coercion then the crime is upgraded to a first degree aggravated sexual assault. These circumstances address scenarios where the victim is alleging a “gang bang” where multiple individuals force themselves on the victim.
Sex or Sexual Penetration with a Helpless Person
Committing sexual acts with a “helpless” victim will also be charged as an aggravated assault. When many people think of a helpless victim as someone who is in a coma after an accident but in fact most of these cases deal with alcohol intoxication after a night of partying and whether the victim was in a position to give consent. These case facts can be messy because normally it is a “he said, she said” and both individuals were intoxicated and their memories can be blurred from the alcohol or drugs. Moreover, this statute applies to victims who suffer from a mental disease or incapacity and where the defendant knew or should have known they were mentally disabled. Therefore even if the mentally incapacitated person gave consent it would not matter. This again can cause serious proof issues as to what the defendant actually knew at the time of sexual acts.
What are the Penalties for Aggravated Sexual Assault?
As a first degree charge, aggravated sexual assault is normally punishable by a period of state prison incarceration of 10 – 20 years. Moreover, there is a presumption of incarceration if you are found guilty or plead guilty to those charges which means that even if you have never been in trouble in your life, you are presumed to go to prison. This period of incarceration is also subject to N.E.R.A. which is the No Early Release Act and means that you will have to serve at least 85% of your sentence before even being considered for parole release. Moreover, a conviction for aggravated sexual assault requires sex offender registration under Megan’s Law.
When the victim is a minor under the age of 13 years old the penalties are actually increased to provide for a longer term of incarceration. In these cases, the defendant is facing a period of incarceration between 25 years to life in prison. Moreover, there is a mandatory period of parole ineligibility for the first 25 years which means you cannot get out any sooner.
Aggravated Sexual Assault Attorneys with Office in Jersey City
Our office handles cases throughout Hudson County and surrounding areas including Union City, Bayonne, North Bergen, Kearny, Weehawken, Bloomfield and West New York. If you want to discuss the specifics of your case with one of attorneys during a free consultation, the give us a call today. We can schedule you for a phone conference or in-person meeting depending on your needs. Our phones are answered 24/7 and we speak Spanish if you need translation.