Gloucester City, NJ Rape Defense Lawyer
Rape is one of the most serious crimes under New Jersey law. Because of this, some forms of rape sit alongside murder in the highest classification of crimes. Even lesser forms of rape qualify as a second degree crime and carry the potential for a decade in prison. In addition, both forms of rape can require registration as a sex offender that can last for years, or even for the rest of your life.
If you were charged with rape or sexual assault in Gloucester City, talk to an attorney right away. The Gloucester City rape defense attorneys at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych may be able to help. Our lawyers represent those charged with crimes like sexual assault and rape throughout South Jersey. Our strategic representation is completely confidential. For your free consultation with our experienced South Jersey defense attorneys, call (609) 616-4956 today.
Gloucester City Rape Definition
Under New Jersey law, there is no crime called “rape.” Instead, the crime of sexually penetrating someone else (under certain conditions) is called “sexual assault.” N.J.S.A. § 2C:14-2 contains two forms of sexual assault crimes: “simple” sexual assault, and aggravated sexual assault. The “simple” is a typical shorthand name for this crime, used to differentiate the crime of “sexual assault” from the more severe “aggravated sexual assault.”
Simple sexual assault is usually a crime involving sexual penetration under circumstances where force was used or the victim was unable to consent. Specifically, any crime of sexual penetration committed under one of the following circumstances is sexual assault:
- The actor used force or coercion, but did not cause severe personal injury;
- The victim is institutionalized, in prison, on parole, or on probation, and the actor has some authority over the victim;
- The victim is 16-18 years old, and the actor is a relative, has disciplinary or supervisory authority over them (e.g. at school or work), or is the victim’s parent; or
- The victim is 13-16 years old, and the actor is 4 or more years older than the victim.
Alternatively, the crime of sexual assault can be committed without penetration. Any sexual contact such as touching or feeling against a victim under the age of 13 is also sexual assault, even though “sexual contact” (without penetration) is usually a lower offense. If there is penetration, the crime is upgraded to aggravated sexual assault.
The crime of aggravated sexual offense is any act of sexual penetration under any of the following circumstances:
- The victim is under 13 years old;
- The victim is 13-16 years old, and the actor is a relative, has disciplinary or supervisory authority over them (e.g. at school or work), or is the victim’s parent;
- The crime was committed during an attempted or completed robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault, burglary, arson, or criminal escape;
- The actor was armed – or used an object to make the victim think he was armed;
- The actor used force or coercion, and was aided by another person;
- The actor used force or coercion and caused severe personal injury; or
- The actor knew or should have known the victim was physically or mentally helpless, could not understand the act, or was otherwise not capable of consenting.
These elements have a higher level of violence, or more severely take advantage of handicapped, young, or otherwise incapacitated victims. As such, New Jersey law carries higher penalties for aggravated sexual assault.
Sexual Assault and Rape Penalties in New Jersey
Rape, in the form of simple or aggravated sexual assault, carries extremely high penalties in New Jersey. These two crimes are classified at the highest levels of crime in New Jersey, but, being sexual offenses, carry additional penalties.
For rape and other sex offenses, you could face registration as a sex offender as part of your criminal punishments. This registration may vary, and could require different levels of reporting for different lengths of time. However, in most cases, the sex offender registration lasts even after you have been released from jail or prison, and continues to follow you. This could prevent you from getting certain jobs (especially working with children), prevent you from living in certain locations (e.g. school zones), and may affect personal relationships and your reputation.
In addition, there are firm penalties for these crimes. Sexual assault is a second degree crime, punished with 5-10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000. Aggravated sexual assault is a first degree crime, punished with 10-20 years in prison and fines up to $200,000.
South Jersey Rape Defense Lawyers
If you were charged with rape in South Jersey, talk to an attorney right away. Our Gloucester City rape defense lawyers at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych represent those accused of crimes throughout New Jersey. Our lawyers can fight to have charges dropped and reduced, and challenge the evidence and sentencing recommendations against you. For a free, private consultation, contact our lawyers today at (609) 616-4956.