If you or a loved one was charged with a sex crime in New Jersey, we may be able to help. The criminal defense lawyers at the Law Firm of John J. Zarych can help you fight off your charges. Let our experience and dedication work for you during this trying time.

To discuss your case in a free, private consultation with one of our New Jersey criminal defense lawyers, call our law offices today at (609) 641-2266.

What is Date Rape?

Date rape is under the same category of crime as rape. However, there are certain differences between both offenses. In some rape cases, the victim may not know who the offender is. Usually, rape cases take several days, weeks, or months to find a suspect. On the other hand, in many date rape cases, the victims can likely point to their attacker. Date rape refers to a sexual assault committed by a person with whom the victim is romantically involved. In short, date rape can be defined in New Jersey as forcible sex committed by a romantic partner. A conviction for this crime carries severe consequences for the defendant. Our skilled, dedicated, and experienced criminal defense attorneys are ready to fight for your rights as a defendant.

Statutes Related to Date Rape in New Jersey

There are laws dedicated to addressing rape crimes in New Jersey. However, certain rules are more closely related to date rape specifically. These laws are referred to as N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.2 and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.3.

N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.2

This law was created as a measure to prevent people from using a substance – which is now illegal – as a date rape drug. This substance is known as gamma hydroxybutyrate, better known as GHB. This substance is colorless and odorless and was often mixed into people’s drinks. This drug can cause a person to lose consciousness for an extended period. Due to its use during the 1990s, New Jersey enacted N.J.S.A. 2C:35-2 to ban its production, use, and distribution within state limits. People who are convicted of the creation, use, or sale of this drug can face up 10 years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines. Our criminal defense lawyers can help you if you were charged with GHB use and date rape.

N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.3

This statute was created to ban a substance called flunitrazepam, also sometimes known as Rohypnol. This is another type of illegal date rape drug in New Jersey. If you or someone you know was charged with manufacturing, using, or distributing this rape drug, you can face up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. Our skilled, dedicated, and experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you fight your date rape charges.

Penalties for a Date Rape Conviction in NJ

The penalties for a date rape conviction can be extremely harsh for the convicted felon. Aside from the severe legal repercussions, a criminal conviction of this nature can take over your life. People who are convicted of a sex crime are forced to be registered as a sex offender, a classification that carries a heavy social stigma. This is a mark that will remain on your criminal background forever. In short, registration as a sex offender is perpetual.

Depending on the severity of the sexual offense, you may face up to 20 years behind bars. This is the case for people who are convicted of aggravated sexual assault. Aggravated sexual assault entails forcible sex with a minor, a person who lacks the capacity to understand the nature of a sexual act, or the use of a weapon to force a sexual act.

These penalties are not only limited to adults. Juveniles who are found guilty of date rape may also face the same legal and social consequences. This can be extremely challenging for minors, especially if they are repeat offenders.

Possible Defenses Against Date Rape Charges

While sex crimes are severely punished in New Jersey, there are also a number of defenses for these charges. For instance, an argument can be made to establish that the plaintiff gave consent for the sexual act. In some cases, you can make an argument saying that the plaintiff had motive to press false charges against you. These and other arguments can be raised as potential defenses against your date rape charges. Our skilled, knowledgeable, and dedicated criminal defense attorneys can help you through the entire criminal process.

Criminal Defense Lawyers Offering Free Consultations in New Jersey

If you or a loved one was charged with date rape in New Jersey, there is no time to waste. A criminal conviction can alter the course of your life forever. At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our criminal defense attorneys are ready to defend your rights as a plaintiff. With over 40 years of combined experience, we know how to approach every criminal case strategically and aggressively. To learn more about your situation in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (609) 641-2266.