Sex Offenses Charge FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Sex Crimes in New Jersey

Q. What is a sex crime in New Jersey?

A. There are several different sex crime categories in New Jersey. Rape and statutory rape are examples of sexual assault in New Jersey and is defined as "the penetration, no matter how slight, in which physical force or coercion is used or in which the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated." Penetration is defined as "vaginal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio or anal intercourse between persons or the insertion of a hand, finger or other object into the anus or vagina by either the actor or upon the actor's instruction."

Criminal sexual contact is legally defined as "intentional, non-consensual touching by the victim or actor, either directly or through clothing, of a victim's or actor's sexual organs, genital area, anal area, inner thigh, groin, buttock or breast, for the purpose of degrading or humiliating the victim or sexually arousing or sexually gratifying the actor."

Other sex offenses include:

These and other offenses vary in degree based on factors such as the ages of the parties, the number of people involved, the relationship of the alleged victim and perpetrator, and whether force was used.

Q. What are the penalties for conviction of a sex crime in New Jersey?

A. Most convictions for sexual assault and criminal sexual conduct will result in significant prison time and will require the convicted person to register as a sex offender upon release from prison, usually for life. However, some types of sex crimes such as lewd conduct or prostitution may not result in prison sentences if they did not involve minors.

Other penalties for conviction of a sex offense include:

  • Court-ordered counseling
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Firearm restrictions

Q. Will I be eligible for parole after being convicted of a sex crime?

A. Individuals convicted of sex offenses are sometimes eligible for parole (release before the completion of a prison sentence). However, there are many conditions and restrictions, depending on factors such as the crime for which you were convicted, the degree of your crime (first, second, third, etc.), when you were sentenced, your age when sentenced, and whether you are willing to participate in sex offender treatment. Your lawyer can advise you about eligibility.

Q. What is Megan's Law?

A. Megan's Law was introduced in 1994 and requires defendants who are convicted, found delinquent or found not guilty by reason of insanity to any of the sexual offenses below to register with law enforcement.

  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Aggravated criminal sexual contact
  • Kidnapping of victims under 16
  • Engaging in sexual contact with a minor (endangering the welfare of a minor)
  • Selling, procuring, manufacturing, or otherwise providing child pornography through any means (endangering the welfare of a minor)
  • Luring or enticing a minor via the Internet or other means
  • Criminal sexual contact with a victim under age 18
  • Kidnapping of a victim under age 18
  • Criminal restraint of a victim under age 18

Failure to register or to comply with the restrictions of registration is in itself a crime. Registration is either for life (if under community supervision) or for 15 years (if under parole supervision) and usually requires that the person's name and photograph to be released to the public. It is possible for an attorney to file a motion to terminate the registration requirement and get off the sex offender registry if the individual has no additional convictions and can be demonstrated to no longer pose a threat to others.

Q. What types of restrictions are placed on convicted sex offenders after their release from prison?

In addition to registration under Megan's Law (see above), convicted sex criminals face restrictions on where they can live - usually not within a specified distance from a park, school or day care center. In addition, they may be required to:

  • Submit to periodic polygraphs and drug tests
  • Remain under the supervision of a parole officer, often for life
  • Stay off computers or any device that could allow e-mail, photo sharing or other communication
  • Live with the stigma of being a convicted sex criminal
  • Wear a monitoring or GPS location device

If you have been accused of a sex crime or charged with a sex offense by the police (or think you may be charged) in New Jersey, contact a Toms River attorney at The Law Offices of David T. Schlendorf. The firm serves clients throughout the state, including people from communities such as Freehold, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Hamilton, Atlantic City and New Brunswick.