Hudson County Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact
Under certain circumstances, a criminal sexual contact can be upgraded to an aggravated sexual contact. A charge for aggravated criminal sexual contact is a third degree indictable crime that is punishable by up to 3 – 5 years in state prison. To make matters worse, there is a typically a prohibition about against Pre-Trial Intervention for defendants charged with sex crimes such as aggravated crime sexual contact. A common example of aggravated sexual contact is when two people go out for a night of drinking and then end up “hooking up” such as kissing and groping but not sex and the next day one of them feels they were taken advantage of based on their intoxication. Moreover, these charges can also arise in situations where the victim makes allegations involving a caretaker or even a boss making unwanted advances. If you or your loved one has been charged with aggravated sexual contact, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can challenge the allegations.
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact vs. Criminal Sexual Contact
Much like criminal sexual contact, aggravated criminal sexual contact can apply to situations where a defendant touches a victim in a sexual manner and the victim is under the age of “consent” (which is 16 years old in New Jersey) but is at least 13 years old. However, the charges will be upgraded to aggravated criminal sexual contact if the defendant is related to the victim or has some sort of supervisory role over them such as a foster parent or teacher. It is important to note that if the victim is younger than 13 years old and the defendant is at least 4 years older than the charges will be further upgraded to a sexual assault. Moreover, the criminal sexual contact will be upgraded to aggravated sexual contact if the alleged touching or groping happened the commission of a crime, the defendant uses force or threatens to use a weapon, or if the victim was physically or mentally helpless. Under these scenarios if there is an allegation of sexual penetration then the charges will be most likely be further upgraded to an aggravated sexual assault.
What Happens If I’m Charged With Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact?
Upon being charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault you may not be released immediately and may actually have to have a detention hearing, depending on the circumstances. This may require you to appear before a judge for them to screen your “PSA” or public safety assessment to determine if you should be released pending the outcome of the case. Normally a defendant should be considered for release if they do not have an extensive prior record because charges for aggravated criminal sexual contact are third degree and there is a presumption against state prison for a first time offender. Upon release, you will most likely be required to appear in “CJP” or Central Judicial Processing at the Hudson County Superior Court for the prosecutor’s office to screen your case and determine whether they will consider a remand or if they will prosecute it as an indictable crime. However, as a matter of routine, the prosecutor’s office normally does not remand alleged sex crimes and the case will most likely then be scheduled for pre-indictment court in an attempt to negotiate a plea and resolution prior to sending the case to grand jury to be indicted. These early court dates can be essential on whether you are able to secure a favorable offer or not and an experienced attorney can often be instrumental in facilitating these deals.