New Jersey Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact Defense Lawyers
Our Criminal Trial Attorneys Are Ready To Fight Your New Jersey Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact Case
The charge of aggravated criminal sexual contact can have a devastating effect on your life. A New Jersey conviction carries stiff penalties that go well beyond fines or even risk of imprisonment. You will be labeled as a sex offender, placed on parole supervision for life, obligated to register under Megan’s Law and be subjected to other unfortunate collateral consequences. You clearly are exposed to great risk if you have been charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact in New Jersey and must retain a lawyer who is skilled in defending sex offenses.
If you are looking at a charge for aggravated criminal sexual contact and would like to discuss your case with an attorney who is highly knowledgeable and experienced in this area of law, call our firm. A NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer is available 24/7 to speak with you.
What Is “Sexual Contact”?
It is against the law to engage in “sexual contact” with another person without their consent. N.J.S.A. 2C:14-1(d) defines the term Sexual Contact as:
- “Sexual contact” means an intentional touching by the victim or actor, either directly or through clothing, of the victim’s or actor’s intimate parts for the purpose of degrading or humiliating the victim or sexually arousing or sexually gratifying the actor. Sexual contact of the actor with himself must be in view of the victim whom the actor knows to be present;
The contact or touching has to involve the “intimate parts” of the victim. This means that you had to have touched the reproductive organs, genital area, anal area, inner thigh, buttock or breast of the victim.
When Does Sexual Contact Become Aggravated Under New Jersey Law?
Sexual contact becomes aggravated in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3(a) when one of the following five (5) circumstances set forth under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a)(2) through (7) are evident. An aggravated sexual assault offense has occurred when the actor has “sexual contact” under the following circumstances:
- The victim is at least 13 years old but younger than 16 years of age and the accused was either (i) related to the accused by blood or affinity to the third degree, (ii) in a supervisory or disciplinary role over the victim, such as a teacher, coach or employer; or (iii) a resource parent, guardian or stands loco parentis within the victim’s household, such as a temporary care giver, guardian or someone who takes on some of the responsibilities of a parent.
- The conduct takes place during the course of commission of a robbery, kidnapping, homicide, burglary, aggravated assault on another, arson or criminal escape.
- The perpetrator is armed with a weapon or what appears to be a weapon and the victim is threatened with the weapon.
- The actor employed force or coercion and severe personal injury, including severe bodily injury, disfigurement, disease, incapacitating mental anguish or chronic pain, was caused to the victim.
- The victim of the crime was physically helpless or incapacitated, or suffered from a mental condition or defect that rendered them incapable of understanding the nature of the conduct (e.g. consent).
Fines, Prison & Other Penalties for a New Jersey Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact Conviction
The customary penalties for third degree aggravated criminal sexual contact include as much as five (5) years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. A number of special assessments, surcharges and penalties must also be imposed upon conviction for a New Jersey aggravated criminal sexual contact offense. These include:
- a Nurse Examiner Program Fund Penalty of $800,
- a Prevention of Violence Against Women surcharge of $100 and
- a Sex Offender Assessment of $750.
Second or Subsequent Convictions on this Charge
If the current conviction is a second or subsequent sex crime conviction, the court is required to impose a mandatory term of incarceration of at least 5 years during which the defendant remains ineligible for parole.
Megan’s Law & Parole Supervision For Life (“PSL”) in New Jersey
New Jersey Superior Court judges are required to impose registration as a sex offender under Megan’s Law at the time of sentencing for aggravated criminal sexual contact. What this means is that the defendant is required to register annually with his or her local police department, notify law enforcement of a change in address and may also have their name, address and photograph posted on the Sex Offender Internet Registry.
A special sentence of Parole Supervision For Life (“PSL”) must also be handed down by the court at the time of sentencing for breaking N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3(a). This subjects an individual to parole, restrictions in internet access, random inspections and additional conditions. Violation of PSL conditions is charged as a separate third degree crime.
Statute of Limitation
An extended period is given for filing a criminal charge for aggravated criminal sexual contact as compared to the other third degree crimes. The statute of limitation is two (2) years from the date of discovery of the offense, or five (5) years from the date of a minor victim turning eighteen (18) years of age, whichever date is later. The charge is considered to have been filed timely provided a complaint or indictment is filed within this time frame.