What is sexual assault?
Under New Jersey law, sexual assault is considered a serious crime. An individual who is convicted of this offense could face severe sanctions such as a long term in prison.
Depending on the circumstances of a case, an individual could be charged with sexual assault, which is a second-degree offense. However, if penetration occurred, the accused person might be charged with aggravated sexual assault, which is an offense in the first degree.
Many of the conditions of the laws about sexual assault are related to the age of the younger partner. Sexual contact of any sort between an adult and an individual under 13 years of age is considered sexual assault, and if there was penetration, the charge will be aggravated. If one party in a sexual act is between 13 and 16 years of age and the other party is more than four years older than them, the law will view it as an act of sexual assault. The charge will be raised to aggravated if the older party had some sort of responsibility over the younger party, such as disciplinary power or blood relation.
Anyone who has been accused of crimes relating to sexual misconduct in New Jersey may wish to consider a defense strategy. If convicted for sexual assault, penalties may include prison terms of years in duration and any number of supervisory provisions for release. The aid of an attorney can make a difference to a defendant, as they may be able to help collect and evaluate evidence and present it to the court. No information in this article should be construed as specific legal advice.
Source: WomensLaw.org, "Chapter 14. Sexual Offenses", November 10, 2014