Being charged with and accused of a sex offense is often the most humiliating experience a person can have in their life. Whether or not you are guilty doesn’t seem to matter in many people’s minds—once you are accused, you already seem to be judged. When facing charges of this nature, you need someone willing to defend you, and fight for your rights, not judge you.Charged with a crime in New Jersey? Please call (800) 673-3656
When you are charged with an offense like this, you may feel like your defense lawyer is the only one looking out for your interests.
Whatever happened that resulted in your charge, and whether or not you think it is your fault, I can help.
New Jersey Lewdness – Laws & Penalties
Lewdness is considered the most minor of sexual offenses. This crime refers to committing an act that can be considered “lewd and offensive” that can alarm nonconsenting people, or people who didn’t want to see the act committed.
Generally, lewdness is a disorderly persons offense that carries up to 6 months in jail and fines reaching $1,000.
However, under certain circumstances, lewdness can be considered a crime in the 4th degree, carrying a potential 18 month sentence and $10,000 in fines. If you are found to have done either of the following, you could face this charge:
- Exposing yourself where you are likely to be observed by a child under 13, or
- Exposing yourself where you are likely to be seen by someone with a mental disease, unable to understand the sexual nature of the act.
Ref: NJ Stat. §2C: 14-4
If you as a teen send or receive explicit photos via email or text message (aka “sexting”), you can be charged with felony charges of distribution of child pornography. These serious charges can impact you for the rest of your life, and result in a requirement to register as a sex offender.
Of course these laws are wildly out of proportion with the reality of what happened, but they are still on the books in New Jersey. If you are charged with a sexting related criminal offense, you need a criminal defense lawyer to help fix this problem, and preserve your future from a criminal conviction.
New Jersey Sexual Assault – Laws & Penalties
Sexual Assault is the most widely known sex offense, and is the legal term for rape, and related charges. It is considered a crime of the second degree and carries a potential 10 year prison sentence. If convicted of this offense you will serve a minimum of 5 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.
You may face charges of sexual assault if you are accused of:
- Having sexual contact with someone who is under 13 years of age and you are over 17, or
- Committing an act of sexual penetration when:
- Using physical force not resulting in injury of the victim,
- The victim is under your control, as in the case of prison inmate or probationer,
- The victim is between 16 and 18 and is related to you or you have control over them, or
- The victim is between 13 and 16 and you are four years older.
Aggravated Sexual Assault
By far the most serious of sex offenses is aggravated sexual assault. This is considered a crime in the 1st degree and carries up to 20 years in prison. Like with sexual assault, if convicted of this offense you will serve a minimum of 5 years before being eligible for parole.
You may be facing charges of aggravated sexual assault if you commit an act of penetration where:
- the victim is under 13 years old,
- the victim is between the ages of 13 and 16 and you are a family member or have other control over them,
- The act is committed during the commission of another crime (assault, murder, robbery, kidnapping, etc.),
- The act is committed using a weapon or the threat of a weapon,
- You act with assistance of someone else, using force,
- The victim is handicapped or in some way incapacitated.
Ref: NJ Stat. §2C: 14-2
If you are facing charges of sex assault, lewdness, or any other crime of a sexual nature, you need an advocate now more than ever. The repercussions of such offenses are long lasting and extremely harsh. Being labeled a sex offender is something you can never undo.
As your defense attorney, it’s not my place to judge. It is my place to defend you and work tirelessly to ensure you get the best results possible in court.
If you are facing charges like this, call me today. I can give you some free legal advice and we can discuss the options available to you.
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