Criminal sexual contact is a serious crime in the state of New Jersey and if you or a loved one has been charged with this crime in Morris County, or anywhere in the State for that matter, it is imperative that you obtain the best possible legal counsel that you can. The governing statute in New Jersey for criminal sexual contact is N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3. As you will see below, criminal sexual contact is considered a fourth degree felony in New Jersey. If convicted, a Defendant not only faces a lengthy State prison sentence but also high fines and felony criminal record. Here at the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall, our Morris County, New Jersey criminal sexual contact lawyers understand what a conviction for criminal sexual contact can do to one’s life. If you have been charged with criminal sexual contact, aggravated criminal sexual contact, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child or lewdness in towns like Madison, Parsippany, Mendham, Washington, Dover, East Hanover, Florham Park or elsewhere in Morris County, we can help. For a free initial consultation, please contact our Morristown office at 973-309-7050. Please see below for more information on the offense of criminal sexual contact.
N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3: Criminal Sexual Contact Attorneys in Roxbury NJ
Criminal sexual contact is defined under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3 in the following manner: “An actor is guilty of criminal sexual contact if he commits an act of sexual contact with the victim under any of the circumstances set forth in section 2C:14-2(c) (1) through (4).” In simpler terms, this means that the circumstances that would lead to a charge of sexual assault are the same for criminal sexual contact, except that there is no act of sexual penetration.
Sexual contact as applied to this statute is defined as “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.” It is worth noting that in order for touching of one’s self to count as sexual contact, the actor must be both in view of the victim and know that the victim is present. The four circumstances in which this conduct would give rise to a charge are as follows:
- The actor uses physical force or coercion, but the victim does not sustain severe personal injury;
- The victim is on probation or parole, or is detained in a hospital, prison or other institution and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor’s legal, professional or occupational status;
- The victim is at least 16 but less than 18 years old and:
- The actor is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree; or
- The actor has supervisory or disciplinary power of any nature or in any capacity over the victim; or
- The actor is a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household;
- The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old and the actor is at least four years older than the victim.
What are the Penalties for Criminal Sexual Contact in New Jersey?
If sexual contact occurs in any of these four circumstances, it is a crime of the fourth degree. A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and by a fine of up to $10,000. As if this was not severe enough, a person convicted of this offense will also be subject to the constraints of Megan’s Law. This means that anytime you wish to change your residence or seek employment that you must inform certain persons that you are a sex offender. You must do this for the rest of your life.
Criminal Sexual Contact Attorneys in Morris County NJ
All of this is not meant to scare you or say that there is nothing that can be done for you, rather it is to impress upon you the importance of seeking not only competent, but the best legal counsel that you can obtain. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we believe that our experience makes us your best hope for a successful resolution of your case. Our eight attorneys have over 100 years of collective experience defending against sex crimes in Morris County. Many of them have even been former prosecutors charged with putting people away for the same conduct. They know the ins and outs of what the state must prove and how best to protect you from a potentially damaging conviction. So please, if you or someone you love has been charged with this crime in Morris County, in towns like Pequannock, Denville, Jefferson, Boonton, Harding, Lincoln Park, Chatham or Rockaway do not hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney about the particulars of your case.