Criminal Sexual Contact

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Monmouth County NJ Criminal Sexual Contact Lawyer

Among the numerous offenses classified as “sex crimes” in New Jersey, the law delineates between the offense of “criminal sexual contact,” and that of “aggravated criminal sexual contact.” Although seemingly similar, the distinctions between these offenses are extraordinarily significant, particularly with regard to the penalties imposed upon those convicted. Specifically, criminal sexual contact is considered a fourth degree indictable felony, punishable by a maximum term of incarceration of 18 months in New Jersey State Prison. Conversely, aggravated criminal sexual contact is classified as a third degree felony, which carries a prison term ranging from 3 to 5 years. In addition, a conviction for aggravated criminal sexual contact requires registration as a sex offender under New Jersey’s Megan’s Law and community supervision for life. Criminal sexual contact cases are more variable as it relates to Megan’s Law registration. Generally, Megan’s Law registration is mandatory for those convicted of criminal sexual contact when the victim involved was less than 16 years old during the commission of the offense. Continue reading to understand the criteria for each of these charges.

At Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington, our criminal defense attorneys have over dedicated the last 50 years to aggressively defending clients charged with crimes ranging from aggravated sexual assault to endangering the welfare of a child in Monmouth County and across New Jersey. Partner Charles J. Uliano, the head of our criminal division, has been a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Criminal Trial Attorney since 1986. He is a former Assistant Prosecutor for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, as well as a former Municipal Prosecutor for the City of Asbury Park. With extensive experience on both sides of the legal aisle, Mr. Uliano provides invaluable insight into the way the State constructs its case. Our criminal defense team utilizes this knowledge to formulate highly effective defense strategies for our clients. For a free consultation with one of our skilled Monmouth County criminal trial lawyers, contact us today.

Criminal Sexual Contact in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3b

New Jersey law outlines the offense known as Criminal Sexual Contact in section N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3b of the New Jersey criminal code, which mandates:

An actor is guilty of criminal sexual contact if he commits an act of sexual contact with the victim under any of the following circumstances:

  1. The actor uses physical force or coercion, but the victim does not sustain severe personal injury;
  2. The victim is on probation or parole, or is detained in a hospital, prison or other institution and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor’s legal, professional or occupational status; or
  3. The victim is at least 16 but less than 18 years old and:
  4. The actor is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree; or
  5. The actor has supervisory or disciplinary power of any nature or in any capacity over the victim; or
  6. The actor is a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household.
  7. The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old and the actor is at least four years older than the victim.

Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3a

New Jersey law outlines the offense known as Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact in section N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3a of the New Jersey criminal code, which states,

An actor is guilty of aggravated criminal sexual contact if he commits an act of sexual contact with the victim under any of the following circumstances:

  1. The victim is less than 13 years old;
  2. The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old and
    1. The actor is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree; or
    2. b. The actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor’s legal, professional, or occupational status; or
    3. c. The actor is a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household;
  3.  The act is committed during the commission, or attempted commission, whether alone or with one or more other persons, of robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault on another, burglary, arson or criminal escape;
  4. The actor is armed with a weapon or any object fashioned in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a weapon and threatens by word or gesture to use the weapon or object;
  5. The actor is aided or abetted by one or more other persons and the actor uses physical force or coercion;
  6. The actor uses physical force or coercion and severe personal injury is sustained by the victim;
  7. The victim is one whom the actor knew or should have known was physically helpless, mentally defective or mentally incapacitated.

What is Considered “Sexual Contact” in New Jersey?

Under New Jersey law, “sexual contact” encompasses any intentional touching of the victim by the actor, intentional touching of the actor by the victim, and sexual contact by the actor with himself. It is important to note that sexual contact need not involve penetration of any kind. Additionally, the act of sexual contact must be committed by the actor for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, or must be committed for the purpose of degrading or humiliating the victim.

Penalties for Criminal Sexual Contact and Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact in New Jersey

As mentioned above, criminal sexual contact is considered a lesser offense than aggravated criminal sexual contact, just as sexual assault is considered a lesser offense than aggravated sexual assault. Criminal sexual contact is a fourth degree crime, punishable by a maximum sentence of 18 months in New Jersey State Prison. Megan’s Law registration is also required in cases wherein the victim was less than 16 years old at the time of the offense. On the other hand, aggravated criminal sexual contact is a third degree crime, punishable by a period of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years. Those convicted of aggravated criminal sexual contact are also required to register as sex offenders per the terms of New Jersey’s Megan’s Law.

Contact our Middletown NJ Criminal Sexual Contact Lawyers for Answers

If you have been accused of some form of criminal sexual contact, brought in for questioning, or charged with a sex crime, your next steps can truly spell the difference between guilt and innocence in the eyes of the law. Do not answer any questions until you consult with and retain knowledgeable legal counsel. Please contact our renowned sex crimes defense team at 732-440-3950. Our attorneys are always available to provide free consultations.

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Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington of West Long Branch, New Jersey, provides representation throughout Monmouth County including Asbury Park, Belmar, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Lake Como, Long Branch, Manalapan, Manasquan, Marlboro Township, Middletown, Neptune, Oakhurst, Ocean Township, Redbank, Shrewsbury, Spring Lake, Tinton Falls, Wall Township, West Long Branch, and Freehold Township; Ocean County including Bayville, Brick, Jackson, Lakewood, Lakewood Township, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant Beach, and Toms River; Middlesex County including East Brunswick, Milltown, New Brunswick, Old Bridge Township, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, and Spotswood.

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