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Sexual Assault

New Jersey Sexual Assault Defense Lawyers

Battle-Tested Criminal Defense Lawyers Defend Clients Accused of Committing Sexual Assault in Essex County, Union County, Morris County, Middlesex County, Bergen County and Somerset County, NJ

Sexual assault charges encompass both situations involving non-consensual sexual activity (rape) and cases where the victim may consent, but certain other factors are present so that policy dictates that consent was not sufficiently informed or freely given.  While the issue of consent is often central, in sexual assault cases where the victim is deemed to be too young to consent or otherwise incapable of free consent, the severe consequences of a sexual assault conviction will still apply. In other words, you need a lawyer with the skills necessary to challenge the prosecution’s case to the degree necessary to obtain an acquittal or have the charges against you downgraded.

At Zegas Law, we fight allegations of sexual assault with tenacity and skill because we know what is at stake if you are convicted.  Employers now routinely rely upon criminal background checks when screening job applicants, landlords may not wish to alienate other tenants by renting to a registered sex offender and the terms of your probation itself may limit where you are allowed to live and work.  The stigma of a sexual assault conviction will undoubtedly follow you decades after you have completed your punishment—even after you have spent years in prison.

If you are facing sexual assault or rape charges in Northern New Jersey, our experienced sexual assault defense lawyers will conduct a comprehensive investigation of your case and work tirelessly to form the strongest possible defense available.  We understand that facing sexual assault charges can be both frightening and embarrassing, but we encourage you to call our offices as soon as possible so that we can go to work in protecting your freedom.

Defining Sexual Assault Under North Jersey Law

Sexual assault is a second-degree felony criminal charge in New Jersey and occurs when the alleged actor commits an act of sexual penetration under any one of several enumerated circumstances, such as when the victim has not freely given permission and so the actor uses physical force or coercion.  Sexual assault charges will also apply in cases involving:

  • Sexual contact with a person who is under 13, or between age 13 and 16, and the actor is at least four years older,
  • A victim who is between ages 16 and 18 where the actor had some type of authority over the victim, meaning that the alleged actor (1) was related to the victim by blood (to the third degree), (2) had a supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim because of his or her legal, professional or occupational status or (3) was a resource family parent, guardian or occupied another type of parental status with respect to the victim.

Sexual assault is elevated to a first-degree felony—meaning that the charge of aggravated sexual assault applies—if:

  • The victim was under age 13,
  • The victim was between ages 13 and 16, and the alleged actor was a blood relative, authority figure or occupied a supervisory or disciplinary position with respect to the victim,
  • The alleged act was committed while the actor committed (or attempted to commit) some other violent crime, such as carjacking, robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault on a third party, burglary, arson or criminal escape,
  • The actor was armed, or the victim reasonably believed the actor was armed,
  • The actor used physical force or coercion to commit the penetration and the victim was severely injured,
  • The actor was aided and abetted by a third party and committed the act without the victim’s freely given permission,
  • The victim was mentally disabled, physically helpless or otherwise incapacitated.

Aggressive Criminal Defense Lawyers at Zegas Law Fight to Beat Your Sexual Assault Charges

Sexual assault charges are particularly serious not only because of the violent nature of the crime alleged, but because the penalties are some of the most severe you may ever face.  A conviction can result in ten years in prison even if the charge is not elevated to aggravated sexual assault, but unlike other offenses, you must generally serve at least 85 percent of that sentence under New Jersey’s No Early Release Act.  Further, Megan’s Law registration requirements and the potential for a lifetime of supervised parole may continue to punish you for a lifetime.

At Zegas Law, our skilled lawyers can challenge the prosecution’s evidence every step of the way and ensure that the state meets the extremely high evidentiary burden that applies in serious criminal cases.  With so much on the line, you can’t afford to take the risk of hiring a lawyer with limited experience or an overburdened caseload. Our founding attorney, Alan L. Zegas has been successfully handling complicated and high-profile cases both at the state and federal level, and our entire criminal defense team is ready to jump into action to defend your rights today.

Call Today to Schedule a Confidential Consultation 

If you have been accused of sexual assault in Essex County or North Jersey, you need a strong advocate by your side throughout every phase of the criminal process—including during police questioning.  Call or contact our experienced sexual assault defense lawyers as soon as possible so that we can ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sexual Assault Charges

FAQ: What are the potential consequences if my charges are elevated to aggravated sexual assault? 

You can face life in prison.  Even if you do not serve a life sentence, you will continue to be monitored—often under lifetime supervised parole—for life.  Your travel and internet use may be monitored or restricted. Additionally, all of the stigma and repercussions of a sex crime conviction will apply—damage to relationships, difficulty finding employment and housing and lifetime registration requirements.

FAQ: How can an experienced lawyer challenge the evidence against me in a sexual assault case? 

We will work to examine and identify potential avenues for challenging every available piece of physical evidence in your case—this may mean challenges mounted via working with forensic investigators to question the authenticity of the evidence, chain of custody issues or how the evidence was obtained in the first place.  We will investigate every prosecutorial witness to attempt to challenge witness credibility and will fight to determine whether your case was influenced impermissibly by racial or ethnic bias. Every case is different, but our detail-oriented lawyers will leave no stone unturned in building your defense.

Reasons to Hire Zegas Law

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has been involved in some of the most

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