There are currently 317 registered sex offenders in Monmouth County. This corresponds to a ratio of 3.26 offenders for every 10,000 residents. Prosecutors across New Jersey aggressively pursue these cases and will impose harsh penalties on those convicted. Individuals who are arrested and charged with sex crimes should promptly consult with an experienced defense attorney.
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
Key Factors: Sexual Penetration and Sexual Contact (2C:14-1)
As indicated above, sexual assault and criminal sexual contact are serious crimes. It is critical to define sexual penetration and sexual contact when understanding how these offenses are committed. Sexual penetration is committed when a body part or object is inserted into the vagina or anus, which is a key element in a first-degree aggravated sexual assault case.
Sexual contact occurs when the victim's “intimate parts” are intentionally touched either directly or through clothing. These acts may seek to degrade or humiliate the victim and/or for the perpetrator's sexual arousal or gratification. Intimate parts include the “sexual organs, genital area, anal area, inner thigh, groin, buttock or breast.”
Mandatory Sentencing for Repeat Offenses (2C:14-6)
If an offender is convicted for the second time of crimes such as sexual assault or criminal sexual contact they will have a minimum fixed sentence of five years imposed with no eligibility for parole. The courts are not permitted to suspend any portion of the sentence.
Statute of Limitations
There is no statute of limitations that applies to sexual assault crimes in New Jersey. The victim may bring criminal charges regardless of how much time has elapsed since the alleged incident occurred.
Criminal Penalties (Maximum)
- First-degree: Imprisonment of 10 to 20 years and up to a $200,000 fine
- Second-degree: Imprisonment of five to 10 years and up to $150,000 fine
- Third-degree: Imprisonment of three to five years and a $15,000 fine
- Fourth-degree: Imprisonment of fewer than 18 months and a $10,000 fine
- Disorderly person offense: Up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine
New Jersey Sex Offender Registry
Many convicted sex offenders are required to register with the local authorities under Megan's Law. Their identity is added to a central online database that is available for public access. Offenders that fail to comply may be charged with a third-degree offense.
Local offenders must complete a Uniform Monmouth County Sex Offender Registration Form. The County Prosecutor's Office is then responsible for determining if the offender qualifies for submission to the state database.
Effective Legal Representation in Sex Crime Cases
Have you been arrested and charged with sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, lewdness or similar sexually-based offense? Those who are convicted of these and other serious offenses are likely to face a prison sentence and be classified as a registered sex offender. Joseph D. Lento is a seasoned criminal defense lawyer that effectively represents clients in these actions. Contact the office at (888) 535-3686 for a consultation.