At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our South Jersey criminal defense attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience. We provide aggressive and knowledgeable legal counsel and representation for those facing all types of sex crime charges throughout New Jersey. What is called “rape” in many other states is classified as sexual assault with penetration in New Jersey. Sexual assault charges can also be enhanced to “aggravated sexual assault.” While sexual assault charges can carry harsh penalties, the potential penalties for an aggravated sexual assault conviction are even more severe.
The dedicated and aggressive criminal defense attorneys of the Law Firm of John J. Zarych can stand-up for you and protect your rights. We understand that when faced with criminal charges of a sexual nature, the formal penalties are only the beginning of your worries. Therefore we fight aggressively to protect your name and reputation.
When Can Aggravated Sexual Assault Charges, Rape, Be Advanced in New Jersey?
The statute which defines the crime of aggravated sexual assault (rape) in New Jersey is N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a). The statute requires that sexual penetration occurs in any of at least six different circumstances. Under New Jersey law, sexual penetration includes not only vaginal or anal penetration, but also oral sex or the insertion of a finger or any foreign object into a sexual orifice. Aggravated sexual assault can be charged if a person commits an act of sexual penetration under any of the following circumstances:
- The victim is 12 years old or younger
- The victim is between 13 and 16 and is a close relative of the perpetrator or is under the perpetrator’s supervision or discipline
- The act occurs during the commission of a robbery, kidnapping, burglary or other crime
- The perpetrator threatens the victim with an apparent weapon
- The perpetrator uses physical force or coercion and causes severe injury
- The victim was mentally incapacitated or otherwise physically helpless to resist
Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree crime under New Jersey law meaning that it is one of the most serious offenses a person can commit.
Penalties for Aggravated Sexual Assault in New Jersey
In New Jersey, the most severe prison sentences are authorized for those convicted of first-degree crimes. Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree crime; therefore it carries a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years for each count.
In addition, if you plead guilty or are found guilty of a sex crime, you could face a lifetime of registration as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and parole supervision for life. While the penalty was originally termed Community Supervision for Life (CSL), the name was changed to Parole Supervision for Life (PSL) in 2004. While sex offenders convicted before 2004 would have registered for the CSL program, those individuals convicted after 2004 would be forced to register for PSL.
Both PSL and CSL function similarly, but they are not the same. Conditions on your freedom that can be imposed following conviction and CSL or PSL registration include:
- Permanent parole unless the individual petitions for termination after 15 years have elapsed.
- Requirement that he or she only resides at a residence approved by the parole officer.
- Prohibition on possessing or owning any gun or firearm.
- If the individual wishes to leave the state, he or she must first secure the permission of the parole officer.
- The individual must comply with any established curfew.
- The individual must consent to searches by the parole officer even without a warrant.
- The individual must submit to all requests for drug or alcohol testing.
In short, the conditions and limitations created by registration as a sex offender go far beyond the conduct initially involved. Individuals convicted of sex offenses in New Jersey face a minimum of 15 years after release before they can petition to get their life back.
Serious Defense Against Serious Sex Crime Allegations
If you are facing aggravated sexual assault charges in New Jersey, you need immediate attention and straight answers from a legal advocate you can trust. The criminal defense lawyers of the Law Offices of John J. Zarych can fight to protect your freedom. Contact a criminal defense lawyer and schedule a free consultation today.