New Jersey Aggravated Sexual Assault Lawyer

Posted By Aaron Denton, On August 28, 2020
What is Important to Know about Aggravated Sexual Assault

In many ways, the term aggravated sexual assault conjures up images of any type of sex crime. It has been used to describe sex crimes that are not serious to those that are very severe. How the term aggravated sexual assault is defined is different from one state to another as well as at the federal level.

Sexual Assault
How aggravated sexual assault is defined in governing law can include different aspects of it.

*Assault or battery which is one person trying to cause physical harm against a victim or displaying threats or specifically intended to threaten a victim as a way to make them fearful.
*An attempt at rape
*Sexual contact. This may involve fondling or groping directly against a person’s skin. This can happen over the clothing of one or both individuals and over other types of material.

Different than other Sex Crimes
The definition of a sex crime is based on if the criminal act was attempted or occurred as well as the timing of the criminal act and its severity. If it happened once or occurred repeatedly is also important. The more severe the criminal act, the more the perpetrator will be pursued.

State vs Federal Crime
There are federal laws and state laws against aggravated sexual assault. A state will prosecute an aggravated sexual assault case that falls under its established laws. Aggravated sexual assault cases that are more severe can result in federal sex crimes having been broken. Federal aggravated sexual assault convictions come with the most severe punishments. In some cases, a defendant can be tried at the state as well as federal levels. This is not double jeopardy. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the states and federal government can try the same case if there are different aspects of the violations.

Aggravated Sexual Assault Charge

When someone is formally charged with aggravated sexual assault, they need to realize being charged with a crime does not mean they are convicted. They will have their opportunity for a fair trial. This is a time to seek legal advice about their case.

Sexual Assault Conviction
Certain things must be proven by a prosecutor to obtain a conviction of aggravated sexual assault.

*The defendant’s touch of the victim was unwanted and done for the defendant to obtain sexual gratification, sexual arousal, or as part of sexual abuse.

*The defendant did touch the victim without the victim’s consent and against their will.

It is important when someone is charged with aggravated sexual assault to discuss their situation with an experienced attorney. They will know if a person should plead guilty or innocent. Pleading innocent will require a defendant to prove they are not guilty of the allegations made against them. This can be challenging unless a defendant can provide valid reasons why they are innocent.

A common legal defense is that consent did exist between the defendant and the victim. It will be the responsibility of the prosecutor to prove consent did not exist. A defense lawyer will know if they can establish if the sexual contact was done with or without the will or consent of the victim. This is often used if there is no direct evidence available, and the prosecutor’s case against a defendant is based on circumstantial evidence.

This is a complicated legal defense. It will require an attorney to prove the defendant was temporarily or permanently insane at the time the alleged aggravated sexual assault took place. The laws covering an insanity defense can be very different from one jurisdiction to another. Using this legal defense will require a defendant to have a mental evaluation from a professional. They can’t establish innocence. They can only provide a medical diagnosis.

Onus of Proof
This is where a defendant’s attorney will try to create doubt. The burden of proof is with the prosecution. This means a prosecuting attorney has to establish that certain parts of their case are true. They must prove them true beyond a reasonable doubt. The attorney for a defendant will try and question the prosecution’s witnesses and evidence in a way to cause doubt concerning their validity.

When someone is charged with aggravated sexual assault, they should immediately contact an experienced attorney. They know how to review the facts of a case and determine the best possible legal defense. These legal professionals know how to get the best possible result from a difficult situation.