Sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault in New Jersey are crimes that cover a range of non-consensual, sexually-related, forcible acts. Because of the very serious nature of these crimes (sexual assault is a second-degree crime and aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree crime) and the devastating effect they can have on victims, New Jersey law allows courts to take special measures to protect alleged victims after a defendant has been arrested, especially where that defendant is released prior to trial.
No-Contact Orders in Sexual Assault Cases
Sexual assault crimes, along with a number of other crimes, are treated under New Jersey law as domestic violence offenses. In domestic violence cases, New Jersey law specifically allows a judge to issue a no-contact order that can prohibit the defendant from having any contact with the alleged victim. In particular, the order can state that the defendant may not enter the victim's home, workplace, or school; that the defendant cannot harass or stalk the victim or the victim's friends, co-workers, or relatives; that the defendant may not have any contact with the victim's pets or the victim's children's pets; and that the defendant may not have a firearm or other weapon.
It's Important to Follow the Terms of the No-Contact Order
If you have been arrested on a charge of sexual assault and are released pending your trial, you will very likely receive a no-contact order as a condition of your release. If you do, it is vitally important that you read and understand what the order prohibits you from doing and that you make sure you do not violate the order in any way. Violating a no-contact order is itself a punishable offense and can only add to your legal woes. An experienced criminal defense attorney such as Joseph D. Lento has the knowledge and expertise to help you understand exactly what you can and cannot do under the terms of a no-contact order.
Modifying No-Contact Orders
A no-contact order should be taken seriously, but that doesn't mean it is engraved in stone. If you find that the terms of such an order are preventing you from earning a living, for example, by restricting you from going to work because your job is close to where the victim lives, works, or goes to school, don't just ignore the order! Instead, discuss the problem with your attorney. It may be possible to ask the judge to revise the order in such a way as to continue to protect the victim while still allowing you to work. Again, this is where having a skilled attorney on your side helps.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Can Advise and Defend You
When faced with a serious, potentially life-changing charge such as sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault, you need the resources and skill of attorney Joseph D. Lento, who has defended hundreds of clients charged with serious sexual offenses in New Jersey and across the United States. Attorney Lento and his expert team at the Lento Law Firm have the background and experience to help you understand the complexities of the criminal legal process in New Jersey and to fight for your rights. Call attorney Joseph D. Lento today at (888) 535-3686 or reach out to him and the Lento Law Firm online to learn more about how they can help.