Sex Crime Defense in Mercer County

There are currently 317 registered sex offenders in Mercer County. This equals a rate of approximately 5.67 offenders per 10,000 residents.  Individuals that have arrested and charged with a sex offense must promptly consult with a seasoned criminal defense attorney to ensure their rights are protected.

Defining Sexual Penetration and Sexual Contact (2C:14-1)

Two of the most serious sexually-based offenses are sexual assault and criminal sexual contact. These offenses may be charged as between first-degree and fourth-degree crimes. The factors or circumstances involved, such as any aggravating factors, are the basis for the severity of the offense.

One aggravating circumstance is if the offense occurred while committing another serious offense such as robbery or kidnapping. Another is whether the offense involved force that resulted in injury or if a weapon is used. Other key factors include the age of the victim, the nature of the sexual offense, any relationship that exists between the actor and victim, and others.

A key to distinguishing these offenses is whether there was an act of sexual penetration or sexual contact. Sexual penetration involves “vaginal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio or anal intercourse” involving a body part or object. Sexual contact is committed by an actor that intentionally touches the victim's “intimate parts” either directly or through clothing.

Summary of Common Sex Crimes in New Jersey

  • Aggravated sexual assault: first degree
  • Sexual assault: second degree
  • Aggravated criminal sexual contact: third-degree
  • Criminal sexual contact: fourth degree
  • Lewdness: fourth-degree or disorderly person offense

Criminal Penalty Summary

Severity of Offense

Maximum Incarceration

Maximum Fine

First Offense

10 to 20 years

Up to $200,000

Second Degree

5 to 10 years

Up to $150,000

Third Degree

3 to 5 years

Up to $15,000

Fourth Degree

18 months

Up to $10,000

Disorderly Person Offense

6 months

Up to $1,000

New Jersey Sex Offender Registry

The New Jersey State Police maintains a centralized registry of sex offenders that is accessible to the public. This was implemented as part of Megan's Law provisions that promote public safety. All offenders that are classified as a “moderate” to “high” risk to re-offend are required to register and notify the authorities of changes such as where they currently reside, work, and other information.

Possible Defenses

There are several possible defenses in these actions. Perhaps the victim has mistakenly identified the perpetrator? This is a particularly compelling defense if the accused has a viable alibi that places him at a different location when the offense occurred.

The criminal allegation must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney may challenge the viability of the evidence or whether it is admissible based on laws of proper procedure. The defendant may also possibly assert that the victim had consensually participated in the sexual activity.

Attorney Defends Those Accused of Sex Crimes in Mercer County 

Cases such as those involving sexual assault or criminal sexual contact are strongly pursued by prosecutors in New Jersey. Those facing such allegations must seek to retain legal representation that is well-versed in defending clients in this realm of practice. For a case consultation, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento at (888) 535-3686 today.

​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1500 Walnut St, St 500
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 535-5353
Newark, New Jersey
One Gateway Center
Newark, NJ 07102
2 more locations

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