Being falsely accused of a crime is among the worst experiences anyone can ever have. Being falsely accused of a sex crime is especially damaging, as even the accusation can destroy one’s reputation for a lifetime.
For decades, victims kept silent regarding incidents of sexual abuse due to a fear of not being believed or of having their own actions and lifestyle ‘put on trial’ as a result. With the #MeToo movement growing over the course of 2018, increasing numbers of people are being encouraged to come forward and share their stories and are more likely to be believed. Unfortunately, the current climate can put you at a distinct disadvantage if you are falsely accused of a sex-related crime that you did not commit. In this situation, you need a strong, experienced, and aggressive criminal defense attorney on your side to protect you against the serious penalties and the negative impacts in every area of your life that you could be facing.
Sexual Abuse Allegations and the Issue of Consent
Sex-related offenses encompass a broad category of charges, each with varying degrees of severity in terms of consequences. The New Jersey State Police advise that sexual violence includes rape as well as any type of direct or indirect touching, stalking, harassment (either online, via phone calls or mail, and in person), or other inappropriate contact. The common denominator in all of these cases is generally that a victim is forced or coerced to engage in acts against his or her will or receives unwanted attention. Consent is a key issue in these types of criminal cases. However, there are some victims whom the law considers incapable of giving consent, regardless of the situation:
- Anyone under the age of 13;
- Children between the ages of 13 and 16, where the alleged perpetrator is at least four years older;
- Young people between the ages of 16 and 18, where the perpetrator is related by blood, a legal guardian, or otherwise in authority over the child.
Consent can also not be given by anyone with a reduced physical, mental, or developmental capacity. This includes an alleged victim who claims to have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs when an alleged incident or sexual assault occurred.
Sex Crimes in New Jersey
Sexual assault allegations can result in serious penalties under the New Jersey Criminal Statutes. Depending on the circumstances, the victim, and the type of sex crime you are alleged to have committed, you could be facing the following charges:
- Sexual assault and rape;
- Solicitation of a minor;
- Reproduction, disclosure, or distribution of sexually based images;
- Sexual harassment and stalking;
- Child pornography and sex trafficking.
All of the above charges could result in heavy fines, payment of restitution to the victim, and a potentially lengthy jail sentence. In addition to a permanent criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life, you will also likely have to register as a sex offender. You may be required to attend counseling sessions and check in with a supervisor regularly, while being prohibited from going certain places or engaging in certain types of activities.
Contact Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away
Even the mere accusation of sexually based crimes can damage both your personal life and your career. You may be separated from your family and be unable to gain visitation of children, while suffering the loss of your job and your reputation within the community. At a time like this, you need a strong legal defense.
At the Law Office of Jordan B. Rickards, we can work with you, gathering the evidence needed to build a strong defense and to clear your name. The best defense begins early. Contact our Miltown, NJ criminal defense attorney immediately and request a consultation to discuss your case.