Charges of sexual assault hold serious consequences in our culture. They can change your life, your reputation, your relationships, and your standing in society. The stigma, whether or not you’re convicted, can follow you around forever. Your sexual assault attorney is sympathetic to your situation and is ready to walk you through the complicated process of defending your rights and understanding what lies ahead.
What is Sexual Assault?
The term encompasses a wide variety of behaviors, and sometimes you may not even realize you’ve committed a crime. Or you may not realize the severity of the issue. Either way, if you’re accused we can help you understand the charges against you. Sexual assault crimes can include:
• Non-consensual sex
• Taking advantage of someone to entice him/her into sexual acts
• Psychological sexual abuse
• Acts considered illegal such as sex with a minor or mentally handicapped individual
• Rape or statutory rape
• Internet sex solicitation
Charges may increase if a weapon is used to commit assault as well.
If you’re charged with sexual assault, never speak with authorities until you consult with our criminal defense attorneys. You may unknowingly strengthen the prosecution’s case against you, when the truth is perhaps you were falsely accused or didn’t realize you committed a crime.
What Can Happen to Me?
Experienced defense attorneys see first-hand the consequences of a conviction. Knowing what you’re up against helps you understand the importance of an aggressive and knowledgeable defense.
A conviction for can bring prison time, rehabilitation programs, and mandatory sexual offender list registration. Less serious charges may cost you hefty fines and community service.
In New Jersey, most people convicted of sexual assault are required to register under Megan’s Law. This means if you move to a different residence, you must notify local law enforcement as well as periodically verify your address to authorities. Registration under Megan’s Law notifies the public of your label as a sex offender and can severely limit your quality of life. Additionally, if you don’t comply, you can find yourself back in court, facing more charges.
Parole for Life
Many sexual assault offenders are also subject to “parole for life.” This means close supervision by the Division of Parole for at least 15 years — at which time you may petition the parole board. Parole for life can touch every aspect of your world, including internet access and social media.
Building Your Defense
As you can see, charges of sexual assault are serious, and you need a qualified attorney to immediately begin working on your defense. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty, and an aggressive and experienced attorney understands this and works within the system to defend your rights and freedom. Sadly, innocent people are falsely accused every day — whether it’s a vengeful spouse or significant other, or someone out to ruin your reputation. But remember, the prosecuting attorney must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s where your lawyer comes in.
Your criminal defense attorneys are experts in:
• Making the prosecution prove witness statements are credible
• Making the prosecution prove their case is airtight and all evidence was properly collected
• Reducing charges against you
• Examining your case with a fine-tooth comb to find the best defense strategy for your unique situation
• Proving your innocence
• Finding out if a crime was actually committed, or if you were falsely accused