The most heinous crimes you could ever commit involve children. It's hard to grasp the fact that someone could be capable of hurting such innocent and precious human beings. But the unfortunate reality is, it happens much more than you think. The sexual exploitation of children, or human trafficking, has become a prevalent issue in our communities, and people who are responsible for perpetuating this crime deserve the full extent of the law.
However, people who have been falsely accused or caught up in a situation they don't deserve to be in should also get justice. If you've been charged with this crime, you're in for the fight of your life. The public vehemently rejects people accused of this crime, and judges exercise no leniency upon conviction. If you're hoping to prove your innocence and clear your name, the help of a New Jersey criminal defense attorney is crucial.
Sexual Exploitation of Children - Child Abuse
Human trafficking is the most covert form of child abuse in New Jersey. Children and adolescents who have been subjected to this abuse are often exploited through prostitution and pornography.
The state encourages anyone who has witnessed child abuse, or has reason to believe this behavior is occurring, to immediately contact the Division of Youth and Family Services.
People who have regular access to children, like teachers, social workers, youth group counselors, doctors, etc. are deemed mandatory reporters by law. This means that they have an obligation to report to the state division if they have an inclination that a child has been subjected to exploitation.
If you know of child abuse happening and you fail to report it to the state division, you can be charged with a disorderly person offense with a punishment of a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. So, even if you have doubts about potential abuse, but it's better to call and be wrong than ignore it and be right.
Understanding Criminal & Civil Court
In sexual exploitation cases, there are two types of legal remedies. The state may bring criminal charges in a criminal action, or a victim or parents of the victim can file a civil lawsuit against the abuser to hold them liable. A lot of victims partake in both types of proceedings.
If charges are filed for a criminal proceeding, a conviction can affect a civil case and vice versa. For example, a guilty verdict can make it easier to prove that an abuser is liable in a civil case. The Lento Law Firm can help defend you if you're ever in this situation.
The Sex Offender Registry
Sex offenders who have been convicted of sexual exploitation since the adoption of Megan's law in 1994 are required to register. Immediately after prosecution, offenders are required to fill out a form and submit it to their local police department. This form requests very personal information of the offender, including their full name and aliases, a residential address, license plate and registration numbers, workplace locations, email addresses, any online usernames and identities, a description of the crime, their level of risk, a recent photograph, and more.
All of this information will be sent to all the community members in the offender's neighborhood. This information is also available online.
New Jersey Family Law Attorney
Attorney Joseph D. Lento understands the stigma that comes with these crimes, and he offers compassionate legal counsel in a confidential setting. To set up a consultation, contact him online or by phone at 888-535-3686.