Sex offenses carry some of the most severe and potentially damaging penalties of any crime – including possible life imprisonment. These cases are highly driven by sensitive facts and too often there are no available witnesses other than the alleged victim and the defendant. If you are facing charges for a sex offense, including inappropriate touching, sexual battery or rape, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. An attorney can help you better understand not only the procedural aspects of a sex offense case, but the legal ramifications of a guilty plea versus a not-guilty plea and subsequent trial.
Distinguishing Between the Various Sex Crimes
When it comes to sex crimes, there are highly specific factors that differentiate one offense from another. These may include: the age of the victim, use of force or weapon and the relationship between the parties. The most common sex crimes are described below:
- Offensive Touching: This crime involves intentionally touching another person either with a body part or instrument, knowing the touch would likely alarm or cause offense to the person. This crime does not involve penetration and is generally considered a misdemeanor;
- Unlawful Sexual Contact: This crime is usually divided into third or fourth degrees designations. It is similar to offensive touching, but specifically addresses touches of a sexual nature. Aggravating factors include the age difference between the victim and perpetrator, whether force was involved or use of a deadly weapon;
- Sexual Assault: Sexual assault differs from sexual contact in that the act must involve sexual intercourse or penetration between the victim and the perpetrator. Similar to unlawful sexual contact, sexual assault is often classified according to degrees, which differ depending on the presence of certain aggravating factors. Statutory rape occurs when the victim is younger than the lawful age to consent to sexual intercourse. Other factors include whether the perpetrator was in a position of trust over or significantly older than the victim. Sexual assault which carries the highest penalty often involves extreme violence, deadly weapons, severe bodily injury or an exceptionally young victim.
Defenses to Sex Crimes
By working with a criminal defense attorney, you can introduce certain defenses to sex crimes to either lessen your culpability or avoid prosecution all together. The defense of consent is often invoked and requires a showing that, with regard to the particular sex act in question, the alleged victim actually consented to the sexual interaction. If the prosecution is alleging certain aggravating factors to enhance your potential penalties, you may be able to introduce evidence to rebut the presence of these factors, which could result in a successful guilty plea to lesser crime.
If you are facing a sex crime, you could potentially endure serious, life-changing consequences. To protect your rights and ensure your continued freedom, you need a compassionate, confidential and aggressive advocate in your corner to combat the prosecutor’s allegations and help protect you from incarceration, penalties and mandatory registration as a sex offender. Contact our knowledgeable criminal defense law firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case and learn more about your options.
Sitzler and Sitzler represents clients charged with various sex crimes including Aggravated Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault, Criminal Sexual Contact, Luring, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. The crime of Endangering the Welfare of a Child may also sometimes include Possession or Distribution of Child Pornography. Besides facing serious prison time, clients charged with these crimes also face severe collateral consequences including Megan’s Law Registraion and Parole Supervision for life. We have represented clients with these charges in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties as well as Mercer and Atlantic Counties. If you or a loved one have been charged with a sex crime or anticipate that you may be charged, contact our office for immediate assistance.
Our experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys can also help appeal the collateral consequences of a sex crime conviction. We can file motions to appeal your Tier Classification under Megan’s Law as well as appeal the Community Notification of your classification. Under certain cercumstances we can also file motions to remove your information from the internet. And if you have successfully completed fifteen years as a Megan’s Law Registrant without any new convictions, you may be entitled to file a motion to be relieved of your Registration requirements. Call the office for a free consultation to see if you are entitled to any of these measures of relief.
At Sitzler and Sitzler we understand the impact of being charged with a serious sex crime. Our experienced lawyers include former Burlington County prosecutors with many years of experience both prosecuting and defending these complicated and emotional cases. We can help from the very beginning of the process by negotiating bail or arranging a surrender. We will be there during the pre-indictment stage as well as post-indictment for court appearances and filing of motions. If our aggressive defense strategies do not result in a favorable resolution of the charges, our defense team will be ready to take your case to trial.
These are a few of the many sex crimes our experienced defense lawyers will handle:
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact
- Criminal Sexual Contact
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child
- Child Pornography
- Megan’s Law Tier Notification Appeals
- Megan’s Law Removal Motions
If you find yourself or know of someone charged with these or other serious sex crimes in New Jersey, particularly Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester or Mercer Counties, contact the experienced defense lawyers at Sitzler and Sitzler for help. Our office in Hainesport, NJ is in close proximity to Mount Holly and Mount Laurel and is just minutes off of Route 295. A conviction for a sex crime in NJ carries significant prison time as well as Megan’s Law registration and Community Supervision for Life. It is important to find an experienced lawyer who will represent you on these charges. Contact Sitzler and Sitzler today for a free consultation.