Child Molestation Defense Lawyer in New Jersey
A child abuse or molestation accusation can be devastating for you and your family. Whether it’s a misunderstanding or a malicious lie being told in order to harm you, it can be very difficult to get charges dropped, even when there is little evidence to support the charge. Contact our New Jersey child molestation defense lawyer today.
There are often strong policies behind bringing child molestation charges, even with limited evidence. If you are to have any hope of surviving the charges or avoiding jail time, you will need an experienced New Jersey child molestation defense lawyer.
Jason A. Volet has years of experience working on both sides of the criminal justice system. As a former criminal prosecutor, Mr. Volet knows what prosecutors are looking for and he knows how they think. You can rely on his knowledge and insider perspective to devise a smart defense strategy to protect your rights if you are charged with child molestation in New Jersey.
Contact our law firm today to set up a free and confidential consultation.
- 1 Confidential Child Molestation Defense Consultation
- 2 First-Degree Child Molestation Offenses in New Jersey
- 3 Second-Degree Child Molestation Offenses in New Jersey
- 4 Penalties for a Child Molestation Conviction in New Jersey
- 5 What Is Considered “Sexual Contact?”
- 6 Why You Need a N.J. Child Molestation Defense Attorney Immediately
Confidential Child Molestation Defense Consultation
A child molestation offense in New Jersey carries a terrible stigma. Just being charged with a crime is enough to make close friends, coworkers, and even family members turn their backs on you. It’s not enough to passively hope for the best; it won’t happen. You need to be aggressive about defending yourself.
At The Law Office of Jason A. Volet, we know how to handle these sensitive and painful situations with tact and great care.
Allegations of sex crimes can be confusing. It’s not always a case of clear conduct. In fact, very few alleged sex crimes are clear. Many times, allegations change or fluctuate, and in a large number of cases, victims may change their stories. As the stories change, the crime that is implicated may vary from minor misdemeanor to 20-year prison sentences. Those who are accused may face a rollercoaster of emotions as they go from facing a single charge for misdemeanor contact to a serious felony that could carry decades of prison.
There is no substitute for a loyal and discreet criminal sexual contact defense lawyer. Our attorney can explain what to expect and outline all your legal options for fighting the charges against you.
First-Degree Child Molestation Offenses in New Jersey
In New Jersey, a person can face a first-degree child molestation charge based on several different alleged acts. The statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2, technically labels this indictable offense as “aggravated sexual assault.” Under the law, a person can be charged with the offense if the person commits an act of actual sexual penetration with a child under age 13, or when the victim is at least age 13 but younger than age 16, and the person is:
- Related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree; or
- The victim’s guardian or resource family parent; or
- A person with some other close fiduciary or similar relationship with the victim.
Aggravated sexual assault is a crime of the first degree. So, if convicted of first-degree child molestation, a person can face between 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000 (in addition to other penalties).
Second-Degree Child Molestation Offenses in New Jersey
A charge will be brought as second-degree child molestation if a person commits an act of sexual contact – not penetration – with a victim who is younger than age 13, and the person is at least four years older than the victim – or if the victim is at least age 13 but less than age 16, and the person is at least four years older than the victim. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2, this crime is referred to as simply “sexual assault.” It is a crime of the second degree.
Additionally, a person can be charged with second-degree child molestation if the person commits an act of sexual penetration with another person if the victim is at least age 16 but younger than age 18, and the person is:
- A relative by blood or affinity to the third degree; or
- The victim’s guardian or resource family parent; or
- A person with supervisory or disciplinary power of any nature or in any capacity over the victim.
As a second-degree crime, sexual assault is punishable by a prison sentence between 5 and 10 years and a fine of up to $150,000.
Penalties for a Child Molestation Conviction in New Jersey
If convicted of first-degree molestation, you could face up to 25 years in prison for a single count of child molestation against a child under the age of 13. Otherwise, the penalty is between 10 and 20 years.
For second-degree molestation, you could face 5 to 10 years in prison.
In addition to prison time, offenders face a lifetime of being on parole as well as permanent registration as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.
What Is Considered “Sexual Contact?”
Legal definitions are intended to give clarity and certainty to charges, so that judges, juries, attorneys, and potential defendants can make sense of the accusations and know exactly what constitutes a crime and what is not a crime. The definition of sexual contact in New Jersey can be broken down into the following parts:
Intentional touching.Did actual contact occur? If not, chances are there is no case, except where provided for in other sections of New Jersey statutes.
Directly or indirectly through clothing.Contact can be through clothing and does not need to be direct.
Touching the victim’s or assailant’s intimate parts. Intimate parts are generally understood to include breasts and genitals. Often prosecutors try to expand the meaning of “intimate” to include other parts of the body, so details and facts matter.
For the purpose of humiliating a victim or sexually arousing or gratifying the assailant.This is key. Motive and intent matter. Brushing against someone by accident is nota crime. There must be an intent to gain sexual gratification or humiliate the victim. Without intent, there is no crime.
Touching and gratifying oneself in plain view of the victim.This is one of the ways the law can be used to prosecute alleged offenders even without contact. The law extends the definition to include the assailant contacting him or herself in front of a victim.
One of the hardest parts of defending these cases often involves breaking down the conduct into simple components to see whether the actions actually qualify for the charges that are being brought. Prosecutors often bring charges in hopes of getting a plea agreement, even where the evidence is very weak.
A skilled criminal sexual contact defense attorney can help to identify weaknesses with the state’s case in order to ensure the charges are not being unduly exaggerated or compounded.
Why You Need a N.J. Child Molestation Defense Attorney Immediately
If you are facing accusations of committing a sex crime against a child in New Jersey, you absolutely must take swift actions to protect your interests. Talking to police or prosecutors without representation could actually lead to additional charges being brought against you. Police may misconstrue your words to increase the charges being levied, and you could even inadvertently end up with federal charges. Remember that you have a constitutional right to remain silent. Simply ask to call your attorney, then call The Law Office of Jason A. Volet.
The sooner you get our legal team involved, the sooner we can fight to reduce bond, argue for your release pending trial, and work to gather key evidence that could help you get your charges dismissed or reduced.
If all else fails, Jason A. Volet will fight fiercely to defend you at trial. With experience as a prosecutor, he understands the strategies and tactics that prosecutors use to obtain guilty verdicts. Put that experience to work for you. Contact us online today.