Criminal Sexual Contact Lawyers in Mount Laurel, NJ
Sexual assault and general indecent behavior involving a non-consenting adult is one of the most prevalent topics in today’s mainstream media. In today’s day and age, we must be cognizant of every move we make and how it may be interpreted by those around us. It is for this reason that County Prosecutors are employing task forces to tackling these issues and prosecute them to the fullest extent possible. Burlington County has a Special Victims Unit for this very purpose. A conviction for criminal sexual contact could require Megan’s Law registration for at least 15 years . If you or someone you love have been charged with criminal sexual contact, aggravated criminal sexual contact, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault or lewdness in Burlington County, contact our attorneys to discuss the legal battle that is ahead of you.
What is Criminal Sexual Contact?
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3(b), “An actor is guilty of criminal sexual contact if he commits an act of sexual contact with the victim under any of the circumstances set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(c).” Specifically, the defendant must either(1) purposely committed an act of sexual contact with another person; or (2) purposely committed an act of sexual contact by touching himself/herself and the touching was in the view of victimwho defendant knew was present AND one of the following must also occur:
That defendant used physical force or coercion but the victim did not sustain severe personal injury; or
That the victim was on probation or on parole, detained in a hospital, prison or institution and the actor had supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the defendant’s legal, professional or occupational status; or
That the victim is at least 13 but less than 16 and the defendant is at least four years older than the victim; or
That the victim was at least 16 but less than 18 years old and
the defendant is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the first, second or third degree; or
the defendant had supervisory or disciplinary power of any nature or in any capacity over the victim; or
the defendant is a resource family parent, a guardian or stands in loco parentis within the household.
What are First, Second and Third Degree Family Relation?
Most individuals may not be aware of what “degrees of separation” means among family members. Thanks to Smith v. Gaines, we know that degrees of separation are applied by courts in the following fashion:
First degree–parents and children;
Second degree–grandparents, grandchildren, brothers and sisters; and
Third degree–uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, great grandparents, great grandchildren.
What Type of Behavior Qualifies as “Sexual Contact”?
The first element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that defendant purposely committed an act of sexual contact with the victim. Sexual contact is interpreted by courts as “an intentional touching by victim or by the defendant, either directly or through clothing, of victim or defendant’s intimate parts for the purpose of degrading or humiliating victimor sexually arousing or gratifying defendant.” Intimate parts includes any of the following: sexual organs, genital area, anal area, inner thigh, groin, buttock or breast of a person. With such a wide variety of behavior that could constitute criminal sexual contact, most defense attorneys consider this to be one of the most “prosecutor-friendly” criminal charges in the criminal code.
Criminal Sexual Contact Penalties N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3
Under New Jersey law, criminal sexual contact is a fourth degree felony offense. This means that it is a matter must be brought before a grand jury by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office for indictment. If you plead guilty or are found guilty at trial of criminal sexual contact, then you will be exposed to a sentence of upwards of 18 months incarceration, along with a $10,000.00 fine. What might be even more important is the fact that this offense falls under a category of offenses that require mandatory Megan’s Law Registry if the victim involved is a minor. Nevertheless, you may still be able to apply for the diversionary program known as Pretrial Intervention (PTI). If the Assistant Prosecutor consents to your application, you may be able to avoid incarceration and a criminal conviction entirely, assuming you can successfully complete PTI.
Florence NJ Criminal Sexual Contact Attorneys
It goes without saying that criminal sexual contact charges can be life-altering. Do not allow one mistake to ruin your future. Contact our firm to to discuss your matter and find out exactly what can be done to protect your freedom and your livelihood. If you would like to schedule a your complimentary consultation today then contact our firm at (609) 850-8284. We serve all of Burlington County including Pemberton, Bordentown, Florence, Evesham,Mount Holly,Mount Laurel,Bass River, Southampton and Moorestown.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Mount Laurel, Point Pleasant, Princeton and Middletown. All major credit cards are accepted.