Sexual assault charges can result in serious penalties including large fines, lengthy prison sentences and Megan’s Law registration requirements. If you are charged with sexual assault or any other violent crime, it is important to contact us immediately. Kahn, Gigliotti & Lehrfeld has decades of experience as sex crime defense lawyers. We have successfully represented hundreds of individuals charged with sexual offenses in New Jersey. Our firm is highly reputable and has significant credibility in handling sensitive cases involving charges of rape, incest and abuse, child molestation and other sexual offenses. Our experience includes:
Aggravated Sexual Assault- Aggravated sexual assault is a crime of the first degree. An aggravated sexual assault conviction in New Jersey is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. In order to achieve a conviction for aggravated sexual assault, a prosecutor must prove that penetration occurred and at least one of the following is true:
Child Molestation- If you are accused of child molestation in New Jersey, you could face charges of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, and/or child endangerment depending on the specific details of the situation and the age of the alleged victim. In addition to up to 20 years in prison, a defendant accused of molesting a child will face serious professional and personal consequences.
Criminal Sexual Contact- Criminal sexual contact refers to any act of intentional touching by which the defendant intends to humiliate or degrade the victim, or which sexually arouses or gratifies the defendant. It is a fourth degree crime punishable by up to 18 months in prison. A defendant may be charged with criminal sexual contact if any of the following criteria exist:
Date rape- Date rape is one of the most common types of sexual assault. In date rape cases, the defendant and the alleged victim are socially acquainted with each other. The evidence in a date rape case will determine if a prosecutor charges a defendant with first, second, third or fourth degree sexual assault. College students are particularly vulnerable to date rape charges. In addition to a prison sentence, fines and mandatory registration requirements, college students accused of date rape could face expulsion, loss of scholarships and serious reputation damage. If you have been accused of date rape in New Jersey, our attorneys will fight aggressively to protect your rights and your future.
Incest- Sexual relationships between family members under the age of 18 are illegal in New Jersey; however, there is no state law which bars incestuous relationships between consenting adults. In cases involving minors, where an adult is accused of sexually abusing a relative under the age of 18, the details of each case will determine what charges the defendant will face, e.g., aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, child endangerment, etc.
Luring or enticing a child- Attempting to lure or entice a child for the purpose of committing a criminal offense is a second degree crime in New Jersey, even if the parties involved have never actually met. Soliciting a minor online or attempting to lure a minor to a particular place for a meeting can result in a luring conviction, and a defendant may face 5-10 years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines. Many sting operations, in which an officer poses as a minor online, result in luring/enticing charges.
Sexual Assault- Sexual assault is generally a second degree crime. Defendants charged with sexual assault in New Jersey could face up to ten years in prison. To make a sexual assault charge stick, a prosecutor must prove that penetration occurred and at least one of the following criteria exist:
Sexual assault charges may also apply to cases in which sexual contact without penetration occurs if the victim is under the age of 13 and the defendant is at least four years older than the victim.
Sex Crimes Involving Minors generally incur more serious penalties because New Jersey has devoted greater law enforcement resources to sex crimes involving children. Therefore, such charges must be aggressively defended. In addition to legal repercussions, defendants could lose their jobs, families and reputations if they are convicted of a sex crime that involves a child. South Jersey criminal defense lawyers at our law firm are committed to protecting your rights and your future.
Statutory rape- The age of consent in New Jersey is 16, which means that anyone under the age of 16 cannot legally consent to sexual activity. If an adult over the age of 18 engages in sexual activity with a minor under the age of 16, he or she can be charged with statutory rape. A “close in age” exemption also exists in New Jersey. Under the “close in age” rule, also known as the “Romeo and Juliet Rule,” minors between the ages of 13 and 16 can legally consent to sexual activity with a partner up to four years older. In cases involving incest or relationships in which one party has authority over the other party (e.g., student/teacher or employee/boss,) the age of consent is raised to 18. Those who are accused of violating New Jersey’s age of consent laws may be charged with endangering the welfare of children (second, third or fourth degree) and/or Lewdness (fourth degree.)
Our attorneys will conduct an in-depth examination of all the facts in your case; discovery, any forensic evidence, any statements by the alleged victim or others, and any possible statements which you yourself may have given to law enforcement authorities. Our highly qualified New Jersey sex crime lawyers will also prepare a compelling, effective defense that overcomes any obstacles and anticipates and preempts the opposition’s tactics.
Most importantly, Kahn, Gigliotti & Lehrfeld has the vast experience needed to effectively and correctly evaluate your options. Whether the resolution of your case should be a trial or a plea agreement, be assured that it is a decision which will be made intelligently and mutually.