Union County NJ Criminal Lawyers

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Aggravated Sexual Assault

Rape Offense Defense Attorneys, Union County NJ

Aggravated sexual assault is the most serious sex offense under New Jersey Law. This charge is graded as a first degree crime just like homicide or being a leader of a narcotics network. The violation is considered to be so extreme that there isn’t even a state of limitation for filing this charge and it can theoretically be filed at any time. In the same instance, rape cases are often based on limited evidence, specifically, the testimony of the alleged victim. Skillful cross-examination and the ability to dissect this testimony are imperatives whether a rape case involves an aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault charge. This is where your decision on the attorney to defend you can make the difference between conviction or acquittal, or even a favorable plea. We are determined former prosecutors with a reputation for achieving results. An attorney from the firm is available to assist you or your loved one 24/7 at 908-272-1700. Call us for the qualified representation you deserve.

Aggravated Sexual Assault Law

N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2 outlines seven (7) ways in which “sexual penetration” can result in an aggravated sexual assault. For this purpose, “sexual penetration” means intercourse, oral sex, or insertion of hands, fingers or other objects in the anus or vagina. In accordance with State in Interest of M.T.S., 129 N.J. 422 (1992), the prosecutor must establish “beyond a reasonable doubt that there was sexual penetration and that is was accomplished without the affirmative and freely-given permission of  the alleged victim.”  Based on this standard, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a) establishes the offense of aggravated sexual assault if sexual penetration occurs under any of the following circumstances: (1) the victim is under 13 years old; (2) the victim is at least 13 but less than 16 and the actor is related to the victim, has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim, or acts as guardian or loco parentis within the victim’s household; (3) it is committed during a robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault, burglary, arson or criminal escape; (4) a weapon was used to threaten the victim; (5) the actor used force and was aided by others; (6) force was used and results in severe persons injury to the victim; or (7) the victim lacked capacity to consent because of helplessness or disability. The accused must act knowingly with respect to any of these seven (7) varieties of aggravated sexual assault. A person acts knowingly when they are aware of their actions, aware of the surrounding circumstances, or are aware of a high probability that the circumstances existence.  A person acts knowingly with regard to the results of their actions when they are aware of a high probability that their actions will produce a given result.

Prison Sentence That Applies to Aggravated Sexual Assault

The range of incarceration for this charge is ten (10) to twenty (20) years in state prison. In addition, since this form of rape offense falls under the No Early Release Act (“NERA”), an individual is required to serve at least eight-five (85) percent of whatever sentence is imposed before they are eligible for parole.

  • Enhanced Jail Term Where Victim Is Under 13 Years Old. This law elevates the prison term to twenty-five (25) years to life imprisonment if the aggravated sexual assault involves a child who is under 13. This enhancement also imposes a mandatory minimum jail term so that an individual is ineligible for parole for at least twenty-five (25) years if they are found guilty and sentenced for raping a child under 13 years old. The only exception is where, in consideration of the interests of the victim, the prosecutor negotiates a plea agreement that provides for a state prison term of at least fifteen (15) years, during which the accused is ineligible for parole.

Megan’s Law Requirements

As the most serious of sex charges an individual can face in New Jersey, an individual is subject to Megan’s Law and community supervision for life if they are found guilty of aggravated sexual assault. Registration and reporting as a sex offender are for life without any opportunity for removal.

Aggravated Sexual Assault Charges

If you were arrested based on an accusation that you raped someone, the only place your charges can be heard is the Union County Superior Court. Our attorneys know how to aggressively and effectively defend sex assault offenses in this venue as we have been appearing at the Courthouse in Elizabeth for well over twenty (20) years now. We are more than accustomed to dealing with the prosecutors that serve the Criminal Division and what is necessary to favorably resolve cases, whether by plea or trial. Call us at 908-272-1700 for an immediate consultation.


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(908) 272-1700
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