A Bergen County school therapist recently made the news when she lost her job, and professional counseling license, following a sexual relationship with a student. The teacher pleaded guilty, also agreeing to have her professional license permanently revoked. This teacher’s actions not only violate New Jersey’s sexual conduct laws with a minor, but they also severely go against her ethical standards as a counselor.
Sexual Assault With a Minor Consequences in New Jersey
The state of New Jersey is strict when it comes to sexual assault charges, especially ones that involve a minor. These laws are in place to protect children. It is illegal to participate in sexual relationships with anyone under the age of 16, even if it is consensual.
Offenders may be left with statutory rape charges. They may also face assault and battery charges, as well as child enticement. While in this specific case, the victim was 17, the position of authority that the teacher held makes it illegal for a sexual relationship under the age of 18.
Sexual assault is considered a second-degree offense in New Jersey. However, if the case involves a minor, and is classified as aggravated assault, it is a first-degree offense. Aggravated sexual assault can lead to between 10-20 years of prison time and legal fines of up to $200,000.
Individuals charged with sexual assault in New Jersey may face the following:
- Jail time
- Legal fines up to $200,000
- Registration with Megan’s Law
- Community supervision
Some of these potential consequences are temporary, including jail time and legal fines, but others can be lifelong. Individuals who are convicted may be required to register with Megan’s Law each time they move residences, as well as stay under community supervision for life. Additionally, offenders who are required to register with the local community will often experience public shaming. They may lose their employment, as well as be shunned from local community events. Offenders may be prohibited from buying, or renting, properties that are too near a school or church organization.
What Is Megan’s Law?
Megan’s Law is a program that requires convicted offenders to report to police and schools of their residence. Offenders’ name’s may also be made available to the public on the New Jersey Sex Offender Registry. The minimum time that you can be registered under Megan’s Law is 15 years. This means that regardless of the details of your incident, you cannot apply to have your name removed from the list for at least 15 years.
Hire the Representation That You Need
The serious implications of sexual charges in New Jersey can be life-changing. Even when facing these charges, you have a right to quality representation. If you have been charged with sexual assault or aggravated assault, it is important to consider your legal options as soon as possible. The specific defenses available will vary, depending on the details of your charges and the potential consequences.
Contact an Experienced Union County Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Sexual Assault Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with sexual assault in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Zegas Law have successfully represented clients charged with sexual assault in Essex County, Union County, Morris County, Middlesex County, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 379-1999 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 60 Morris Turnpike, Summit, NJ 07901.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.
Disorderly conduct consists of any improper behavior such as fighting, threats of violence, or creating a dangerous atmosphere.