Hudson County Sex Crime Attorney
Have you been charged with a sex crime in Hudson County? Sex crimes are among the most serious criminal offenses under New Jersey law. A conviction can result in significant jail or prison time and fines, as well as a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender. When you need to fight serious charges like these, you need the help of a seasoned Hudson County sex crime lawyer from William Proetta Criminal Law.
William Proetta Criminal Law combines big-firm experience with the personalized attention that only a boutique law firm can provide. When sex crime charges put your reputation, livelihood, and freedom at stake, you need a criminal defense attorney who not only knows the law inside and out but also has working relationships with local prosecutors and law enforcement. We have handled thousands of cases in Hudson County and can put this experience to work on your behalf.
Reach out to William Proetta Criminal Law now for a free initial case review with a trusted Hudson County sex crime lawyer.
Our Law Firm Fights All Types of Sex Crime Charges
An experienced Hudson County sex crimes attorney from William Proetta Criminal Law can help if you have been charged with crimes including:
- Aggravated sexual assault – Defined as an act of sexual penetration with a victim less than 13 years old, or a victim who is at least 13 but less than 16 where the perpetrator is related to the victim or has disciplinary or supervisory authority over the victim or stands in loco parentis to the victim, where the act occurs during the commission or attempt of another crime, or with the use of a weapon or the assistance of others, or where the perpetrator uses force and the victim is severely injured.
- Sexual assault – An act of sexual penetration where the victim is not injured, or the victim is detained or subject to disciplinary or supervisory authority of the perpetrator, or the victim is at least 16 but less than 18 and the perpetrator is related or stands in loco parentis to the victim, or the victim is at least 13 but less than 16 and the perpetrator is at least four years older. Sexual assault can also involve an act of sexual contact with a victim less than 13 years old where the perpetrator is at least four years older.
- Criminal sexual contact – The touching of an intimate part of a victim or a perpetrator touching their own intimate parts for the purposes of sexually humiliating or degrading the victim and/or sexually arousing or gratifying the perpetrator.
- Aggravated criminal sexual contact – An act of criminal sexual contact that occurs during the commission of a crime.
- Lewdness – Committing an offensive act (such as exposing one’s intimate parts) with the intent or knowledge that it will be viewed by someone who will be alarmed or shocked by the act.
- Endangering the welfare of a child – This constitutes a sex crime when a person engages in any sexual conduct that impairs the morals of a child.
- Invasion of privacy – Covered under the “revenge porn” law, this offense involves observing the exposure of intimate parts or a sexual act of another or recording and disclosing them without the other person’s consent.
- Kidnapping – Unlawfully moving a person from one place to another or confining them to a place for a substantial period for the purpose of facilitating another crime, such as a sex offense.
- Criminal restraint – Unlawfully restraining someone in a manner that puts them at risk of serious injury or holding someone in involuntary servitude.
- False imprisonment – Knowingly restraining the free movement of another person.
- Promoting obscene material – The distribution of obscene materials to a minor.
- Prostitution and solicitation – The exchange of payment or consideration for some sort of sexual act.
- Promoting prostitution – Serious offenses such as pimping or sex trafficking.
What Determines the Degree of a Sex Crime in New Jersey?
In general, the term “sex crime” refers to any offense that involves sexual activity. Sex crime charges can include:
- Disorderly persons offenses like lewdness or harassment
- Fourth-degree criminal sexual contact
- Third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact
- Third-degree endangering the welfare of a child
- Second-degree endangering the welfare of a child
- Second-degree sexual assault
- First degree aggravated sexual assault
If you are charged with a sex crime in New Jersey, the degree of the offense will depend on the details of your actions, the age of the victim, and your relationship to the victim. Higher-degree sex crimes typically involve a higher level of danger, violence, or morally objectionable conduct.
For each sex crime, New Jersey lists specific elements that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Specifically, sexual assault can be charged if you are more than 17 years old and you have sexual contact with someone younger than 13, sexual contact is combined with physical force, you have a position of trust and control over the victim, or the victim is between 13 and 16 years old and you are at least four years older than the victim. You can be charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault if the victim is under 13 years of age, the victim is between 13 and 16 years old and you are a family member or have a position of trust and control over the victim, you commit sexual assault while threatening the victim with a weapon, you use force against the victim with the help of an accomplice, or you commit sexual assault against a person who is handicapped or incapacitated.
How Our Hudson County Sex Crime Attorneys Can Help
If you have been accused of committing a sex-based offense, the Hudson County sex crime attorneys of William Proetta Criminal Law can help protect your reputation and freedom by:
- Thoroughly investigating your charges and recovering all available evidence
- Reviewing the facts and circumstances of the case to identify possible factual and legal defenses that may be available to you
- Retaining expert witnesses to provide persuasive opinion testimony, if necessary
- Testing the state’s case by moving to exclude evidence or moving to dismiss your charges
- Pursuing the best possible outcome in your case by negotiating a favorable plea deal or by advocating your innocence at trial if you decide to fight your charges
What Are the Common Defenses to Sex Crime Charges?
When you have been charged with a sex crime, the state is required to prove each element of the statutory offense beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. At William Proetta Criminal Law, we make this an uphill battle for prosecutors. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have factual and legal defenses to their charges, such as:
- Consent – Lawful consent to a sex act or sexual contact is one of the most common and strongest defenses to a sex crimes charge.
- Mistaken identity – Another strong defense is showing that you were not the perpetrator.
- Alibi – You can also prove that you did not commit a sex offense by proving that you were somewhere else when the alleged offense occurred.
- Unreliable DNA or other physical evidence – It may be possible to obtain a dismissal or acquittal of a sex crime charge by proving that the state’s DNA analysis or other evidence is unreliable or that the evidence should not be admitted because it was unlawfully obtained by the investigation.
- False accusation – You might also defend yourself against sex charges by arguing that the complaining witness is motivated to fabricate their allegations against you.
With our extensive experience defending clients in Hudson County and surrounding areas against sex crime charges, William Proetta Criminal Law will know how to identify and explore all options available to you.
Understanding the Sex Crime Penalties in New Jersey
The penalties that may be imposed for a sex crime conviction in New Jersey vary depending on the grading of an offense. Offenses may be graded as disorderly persons offenses (commonly called misdemeanors) or as indictable crimes (also known as felonies). Penalties for convictions include:
- Disorderly persons offense – Up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000
- Fourth-degree crime – Up to 18 months in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000
- Third-degree crime – Three to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000
- Second-degree crime – Five to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $150,000
- First-degree crime – Up to 20 years in prison (although certain crimes may have higher maximum terms) and a maximum fine of $200,000
In addition to jail or prison time and fines, many sex crime convictions also result in the defendant being required to register as a sex offender. Offenders may also be subjected to community supervision for life, which requires regular check-ins with law enforcement regarding address, employment, or travel. Finally, an offender may be designated a sexually violent predator, which may result in their continued civil commitment for behavioral treatment even after they have finished their term of incarceration.
Tiers in the New Jersey Sex Offender Registry
Many sex crime convictions require the offender to register with the New Jersey Sex Offender Internet Registry. When an individual submits their registration form for the registry, notifications are sent out based on the offender’s tier classification. New Jersey’s sex offender registry classifies offenders into one of three tiers based on their likelihood of committing another sex-based offense:
- Tier I – Offenders considered to pose a low risk of reoffending or a low risk to the public. When Tier I offenders register, only law enforcement agencies are notified about the individual’s sex offender status.
- Tier II – Offenders determined to have a moderate risk of committing another sex crime. When they register, entities such as schools, daycare centers, registered community organizations, and summer camps also receive notice of an individual’s registration, in addition to law enforcement agencies.
- Tier III – Offenders deemed to pose the greatest risk of reoffending. As a result, members of the public in the offender’s community are entitled to notice of their registration.
By default, New Jersey’s registration requirements continue for life. However, individuals who have committed only one offense are eligible to apply for their removal from the registry after they have remained offense-free for at least 15 years and can prove to a court that they no longer pose a threat to public safety. Juvenile sex offenders who committed their offense before the age of 14 are entitled to apply to terminate their registration obligations upon turning 18.
Get Advice from a Hudson County Sex Crime Defense Attorney Now
Don’t leave your freedom to chance when you have been charged with a sex crime. Contact William Proetta Criminal Law today for a free, confidential consultation with a Hudson County sex crime defense attorney.