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Statutory Rape Defense Lawyer in New Jersey

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Several crimes in New Jersey are considered “strict liability” crimes. If a person’s actions meet the elements of the crime as set out by statute, then the person’s guilt is essentially automatic. Many types of sexual offenses fall into this category. For that reason, many people refer to those offenses as “statutory rape.” Contact our statutory rape defense lawyer in New Jersey today.

What is Statutory Rape?

Typically, rape is the act of penetration without consent. The lack of consent is a key element in the rape prosecution. But statutory rape is different. A person can be guilty of the offense regardless of the alleged victim’s consent. This is because the law says that no child under age 16 can give consent.

Many people believe our state’s statutory rape laws lead to unfair prosecutions, especially when cases involve consensual sex between two teenagers. Regardless, statutory rape is a serious criminal charge that carries lifelong consequences that can destroy a person’s future. If you or someone you know has been charged with statutory rape in New Jersey, you need to get help from an aggressive criminal defense attorney right away.

Charged with Statutory Rape in New Jersey? We Will Protect Your Rights

A man committing statutory rape.If you or a family member has been charged with statutory rape in New Jersey, getting experienced legal help can make a major difference. Attorney Jason A. Volet is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney. A former prosecutor, he has more than 15 years of experience with defending people charged with felonies and misdemeanors, including serious sex crimes. He will know how to protect your rights.

To learn more, contact The Law Office of Jason A. Volet today and schedule a consultation through our offices in Neptune and Freehold. Jason and our legal team can start work on your defense today.

Penalties for Statutory Rape in New Jersey

Depending on the age of the victim and the accused, the penalties for statutory rape in New Jersey can vary widely. In general, prosecutors can bring three types of statutory rape charges:

Aggravated sexual assault. New Jersey law defines it as a first-degree crime if sexual penetration occurs between a person of any age and a minor who is younger than age 13. If convicted of this offense, a person can face 25 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $200,000.

Sexual assault. A person can be charged with a second-degree crime if the person:

  • Has any sexual contact with a child who is younger than age 13, and the person is at least four years older than the child; or
  • Has sexual penetration with a child between the ages of 13-16, and the person is at least four years older than the child.

If convicted, the person could face between five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

Criminal sexual contact. If sexual contact occurs between a child who is between ages 13-16 and a person who is at least four years older – even without penetration – it is a fourth-degree crime. A person convicted of this offense can face up to 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Collateral Consequences of a NJ Statutory Rape Conviction

Beyond prison and potential fines, a person convicted of statutory rape in New Jersey can face many other consequences. They include:

  • Mandatory reporting as a sex offender
  • Loss of employment
  • Loss of the right to vote
  • Loss of the right to own or possess a firearm
  • Limitations on where you can live
  • Inability to be on public school grounds
  • Public stigma
  • Inability to serve in law enforcement or military roles
  • Inability to work in many healthcare jobs.

For this reason, you need to get help from a knowledge criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you or a family member has been arrested for any sexual offense involving a minor.

How a NJ Statutory Rape Defense Lawyer Can Help You

At the Law Office of Jason A. Volet, our highly experienced and dedicated statutory rape defense team can start work on your case immediately. The steps we can take include:

Gathering and analyzing the State’s case against you. We will demand that prosecutors turn over all evidence they have compiled against you. We can evaluate the evidence and identify potential weaknesses in the State’s case, including any evidence that was unlawfully obtained or elements that have not been met.

Statutory Rape “Romeo & Juliet” Defense in New Jersey

A man standing over his statutory rape victim. We can also identify all potential defenses such as the “Romeo & Juliet” defense. New Jersey recognizes that young children may, at times, make unwise choices. Where the difference in age is less than four years, and both children are minors, there are sometimes options for reducing or avoiding a sentence. However, if the victim is under age 13, the defense doesn’t apply.

Keep in mind: It is not a defense that an accused person believed a child was older than his or her actual age. Again, statutory rape in New Jersey is a strict liability crime. What is important is the alleged victim’s age – not the defendant’s knowledge of age.

Review the evidence. Attorney Jason A. Volet will explain your case to you, including the evidence which could be used against you, the defenses available to you and the potential consequences you could face if convicted of a statutory rape offense.

File pre-trial motions. If the police obtained evidence illegally or mishandled procedures, we might be able to get the evidence thrown out. If so, it can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case and potentially lead to a dismissal of the charge.

Negotiate with the State. As a former prosecutor, Jason will know how to work with the prosecutors in charge of your case and pursue a plea agreement that minimizes the consequences that you face. He will answer your questions, provide guidance and make sure that you make an informed choice about whether to accept a plea offer.

Fight for you in court. If your case goes to trial, we will put on a vigorous defense in an attempt to protect your rights and your freedom. Jason is a veteran litigator who has handled more than 2,000 cases over the course of his career.

Appeals and post-trial matters. Even after the trial, we can argue for leniency in sentencing or appeal your conviction. Ultimately, our firm will be dedicated to your freedom and your future.

Get Help Today from our NJ Statutory Rape Defense Attorney

Our New Jersey statutory rape defense lawyer defending a man in court.Attorney Jason A. Volet is an experienced statutory rape defense lawyer in New Jersey. If you are facing prison time and lifelong status as a sex offender, you cannot afford to take chances on your defense. Your life simply depends on fighting back. Contact us today to schedule a one-on-one meeting with a skilled statutory rape defense attorney in New Jersey.

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