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Rape Laws, Defenses and Penalties


Impacts of Sex Crime Accusations

Being accused of a sex crime can significantly impact your life. It can affect your job and your relationships. It can change the way that your family and friends see you. A sex crime can also lead to jail time, probation, and required location reporting.

Rape Laws in New Jersey

Rape is a sex crime in which sexual intercourse is forced without the consent of both parties. Consent is the most important defining factor when it comes to defining rape. If there was no consent, then the defendant may be charged. However, the specific charges or terms used vary from state to state. New Jersey uses the following terms:

  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Aggravated criminal sexual assault
  • Criminal sexual contact

Just as the criteria for each term vary, so do the defenses and penalties.

Defending a Sex Crime in Mount Laurel

Considering the serious implications of a sex crime, it is important to strengthen your defense. In some cases, defendants might have been charged with a crime that they did not commit. It is possible that sexual intercourse never even occurred.

In other cases, the defendant might argue that there was consent present. Intoxication, medications, and other situations can complicate this defense. A claim of consent is one of the most common defenses used with sexual crimes. There may also be questions surrounding the appropriate age of consent.

Some individuals may use the defense of mental incapacity or the lack of control of their intentions at the time of the sex crime.

Penalties of a Woodbridge Sex Crime

Being charged with a sex crime in New Jersey can significantly impact your life. The initial charges will depend on the degree of the charge but minimally, most convicted offenders will serve probation time and may be required to register for the sex offenders’ registry. This notifies all nearby neighbors of the defendant’s name, address, and details of the charged crime. Failing to register for this list can mean jail time and additional penalties. Under Megan’s Law, which was established in New Jersey, the Federal Government can also inform residents of any sex crime offenders living or working in their area.

Conviction of a sex crime in New Jersey may lead to:

  • Jail time
  • Registration with the sex offender registry
  • Probation or parole
  • Felony charge
  • Ineligibility to vote
  • Ineligibility to own firearms
  • Required counseling treatment
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Difficulty in keeping or finding employment
  • Social stigmas

For some sex crimes, New Jersey also requires that the defendant submit a DNA sample after receiving a sex crime conviction. This DNA may be used as evidence in future crimes.

A lot is at risk when a sex conviction is possible. It is crucial that you work with a legal team that is familiar with New Jersey’s laws as they apply to sex crimes. Your legal team will evaluate the details of the case and then determine the best steps to take going forward. Even without sufficient evidence, sometimes a plea bargain is an option that can lessen the consequences.

Contact an Experienced Sex Crime Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Rape Charges in New Jersey

Were you arrested or charged with rape or another sex crime in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Hanlon Dunn Robertson Schwartz have successfully represented clients charged with sex crimes in Piscataway, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, East Brunswick, South Brunswick, and throughout New Jersey. Call 973-267-8895 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 33 Market Street, Morristown, NJ 07960 as well as an office located in New Brunswick.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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