Sex crimes are among some of the most serious offenses under New Jersey law. A conviction for a sex crime can result in a significant jail or prison sentence, expensive fines, and a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender or undergo community supervision. Being convicted for a sex-based offense can have a devastating effect on your reputation and future. Let a Monmouth County sex crime lawyer from Keith Oliver Criminal Law go to work preparing and pursuing a vigorous defense on your behalf.
Our firm has the experience and resources needed to thoroughly investigate contentious sex crime cases. Our seasoned defense attorneys explore every avenue to find legal and factual defenses to your charges and develop a case strategy aimed at securing the best possible outcome.
Contact Keith Oliver Criminal Law today for a free initial case review to discuss how a Monmouth County sex crime lawyer can take the stress off you during this difficult time.
Our Firm Defends Against All Types of Sex Crime Charges
Our Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys represent clients facing a broad range of sex crime charges, such as:
- Sexual assault, which involves an act of sexual penetration, including genital, anal, or oral, using physical force or coercion or under circumstances where the victim was physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to consent.
- Criminal sexual contact, which involves the intentional touching of intimate parts of the victim or the perpetrator’s own intimate parts for the sexual humiliation of the victim or the sexual arousal or gratification of the defendant.
- Statutory rape, which may be charged where a person who has reached the age of consent (16 in New Jersey) has sexual intercourse with a person age 15 or younger. The law exempts acts of sexual intercourse between minors ages 13 to 15 and a partner less than four years older.
- Child pornography, including the production or distribution of pornographic materials involving children.
- Endangering the welfare of a child, which in the context of sex crimes involves engaging in any sexually related conduct that debauches or impairs the morals of a child, including exposing a child to obscene materials, committing a sexual act in a child’s presence, or instructing a child to perform a sexual act.
- Revenge porn, which involves disclosing an image or recording created without the victim’s consent that reveals the victim’s intimate parts or shows the victim engaged in a sexual act, or disclosing a consensually made image or recording without the victim’s consent.
- Prostitution, which encompasses being a patron, provider, or promoter of sexual activity that is performed in exchange for something of economic value (although lawfully produced pornography is excluded). Sexual activity includes intercourse, masturbation, or touching of intimate parts.
- Indecent exposure, defined as exposing one’s intimate parts, knowing or reasonably expecting that it will be observed by a child less than 13 years old (where the perpetrator is at least four years older than the child) or by any person suffering from a mental disability leaving them unable to understand the sexual nature of the act.
- Lewdness, which involves engaging in an offensive act that the perpetrator knows or reasonably expects will be observed by another person without that person’s consent and that person will be offended or alarmed by the act.
- Failure to register as a sex offender, which can include failing to meet regular reporting requirements or failing to register updates to address, school or employment, vehicle, or other information collected from the registered sex offender.
How Our Monmouth County Sex Crime Attorneys Can Help
Defending against a sex crime charge can be a complex endeavor. Let our Monmouth County sex crime attorneys help you build and pursue an effective defense by:
- Independently investigating the circumstances of your case to secure evidence we can use in your defense
- Identifying potential legal or factual defenses we can pursue on your behalf, such as an alibi/mistaken identity defense or proving the alleged victim’s consent
- Moving to exclude the state’s evidence that was unlawfully obtained or is unreliable or otherwise inadmissible
- Challenging the sufficiency of the state’s case by filing motions to reduce or dismiss your charges
- Where appropriate, leveraging our outstanding working relationships with county prosecutors to try to reach a plea agreement that can minimize the penalties imposed
- Advocating on your behalf at trial if you decide to fight your charges
What Are the Common Defenses to Sex Crime Charges?
When you are facing prosecution for a sex crime in Monmouth County, you may have many factual or legal defenses available to you. Defenses commonly used in sex crime cases include:
- Consent – Charges of sexual assault or sexual contact may be defeated by showing that the alleged victim validly consented to the sexual act or contact.
- Mistaken identity – You may be able to defend yourself by proving that the perpetrator of the sex crime was someone else.
- Alibi – You may be able to defend yourself against charges by showing that you were somewhere else when the alleged offense occurred.
- Excluding evidence – You may be able to exclude the prosecution’s evidence, such as clothing, electronic records or data, or DNA evidence, on grounds that the evidence was unlawfully obtained by police in violation of your constitutional rights, or evidence such as DNA analysis is flawed or unreliable.
- Insufficient evidence – Your lawyer may be able to have your case dismissed or acquitted if the state is unable to provide sufficient evidence to prove the charges against you.
- False allegations – Your charges may be dropped if your lawyer can show that the alleged victim’s allegations are false either due to an error or due to other motivations in play, such as coercion by a third party.
Understanding Sex Crime Penalties in N.J.
Penalties for a conviction for a sex crime in New Jersey include:
- First-degree aggravated sexual assault: Up to 20 years in prison, with the requirement to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. However, if an offense involves a victim under 13 years old, any negotiated plea deal must have a minimum sentence of 15 years with a 15-year period of parole ineligibility, while a conviction carries a sentence of 25 years to life with a 25-year period of parole ineligibility. The court may also impose fines of up to $200,000 or more in some cases.
- Second-degree sexual assault: Five to 10 years in prison, along with a potential fine of up to $150,000.
- Third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact: Three to five years in prison, along with a possible fine of up to $15,000.
- Fourth-degree criminal sexual contact: Up to 18 months’ incarceration, with the potential of an additional fine of $10,000.
- Lewdness: Up to six months in jail, or up to 18 months in jail or prison if charged as an indictable offense.
Where Do You Go to Post Bail on a Sex Case in Monmouth County?
A defendant charged with a sex offense in Monmouth County runs the risk of being held in the jail, without bail, pending trial. Pursuant to the bail guidelines, the prosecution has the ability to file for a Detention Hearing. If a Detention Hearing is filed, that means that the prosecutor is seeking to have the defendant detained in the Monmouth County Jail, without bail, pending trial.
These types of hearings can and always should be contested. After hearing arguments from both attorneys, the judge must decide whether there is a serious risk that:
- The defendant will not appear in court as required.
- The defendant will pose a danger to any other person or the community.
- The defendant will obstruct or attempt to obstruct justice, or threaten, injure, or intimidate (or attempt to threaten, injure, or intimidate) a prospective witness or juror.
If the judge concludes that such a risk exists, the defendant will remain detained, without bail, pending trial. If this occurs, the defendant has the ability to either file an appeal of the judge’s decision to the Appellate Division or they can seek to file a motion to reopen detention if down the road there has been a change in circumstances.
What You Need to Know About the New Jersey Sex Offender Registry
Conviction for a sex crime in New Jersey will usually result in a defendant being ordered to register on the New Jersey Sex Offender Registry. An offender’s registration requirements will depend on their tier classification under the state’s sex offender laws. An offender’s classification will be based on the prosecutor’s determination of the risk that the offender poses to the public. New Jersey has three tiers of classification:
- Tier I – Tier I offenders are deemed to pose a low risk of reoffending. Only law enforcement agencies receive notifications regarding Tier I offenders in their jurisdiction, and the registry excludes information about these offenders.
- Tier II – Tier II offenders are considered to pose a moderate risk of committing another sex offense. In addition to law enforcement agencies, entities such as schools, licensed day cares, summer camps, and registered community organizations are notified of sex offenders who live nearby. These offenders will be listed in the registry in most instances.
- Tier III – Tier III offenders pose the highest risk of reoffending. As a result, all members of the general public are entitled to notice when a sex offender registers or moves into their neighborhood.
Sex offenders are required to register for the rest of their lives, although they may apply to have their registration obligations terminated and be removed from the registry if they have committed only one offense, have not committed another offense for at least 15 years, and can prove to the court that they do not pose a threat to public safety. Juvenile sex offenders who committed an offense under the age of 14 may apply for removal upon turning 18.
Talk to a Monmouth County Sex Crime Defense Attorney Now
If you have been arrested and charged with a sex crime, you need to act quickly to protect your reputation and future. Contact Keith Oliver Criminal Law today for a free, confidential consultation with a Monmouth County sex crime defense attorney.