NJ Aggravated Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer
Sex Crimes Defense Attorney with Offices in Totowa and Denville, New Jersey
Alissa D. Hascup represents clients throughout New Jersey, including in Paterson, Clifton, Little Falls, Totowa, Morristown, Denville, Hackensack, and Newark who have been charged with sexual offenses such as aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, and lewdness.
Being charged with aggravated sexual assault in New Jersey means exposure to a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years in New Jersey state prison, 85 percent of which must be served without the benefit of parole as per the No Early Release Act (“NERA”). Under certain circumstances, it can also mean exposure to life imprisonment. A conviction also means exposure to a host of collateral consequences, including parole supervision for life, Megan’s Law registration for a minimum of 15 years, and a psychosexual evaluation.
For more than a decade, Alissa D. Hascup has successfully defended countless cases in New Jersey’s Superior Courts (indictable/felony level offenses) and Municipal Courts (disorderly persons/misdemeanor level offenses). She is a former Assistant County Prosecutor, Special Deputy Attorney General, and Municipal Prosecutor. During the course of her distinguished prosecutorial career, she handled cases ranging from Attempted Murder and Terroristic Threats to Sexual offenses and Weapons offenses. Now she is fighting for you.
Ms. Hascup is a battle-tested criminal defense lawyer who will attack the criminal charges pending against you and put you in a position to achieve the best possible result. Contact her office anytime for an initial consultation, which is always provided free of charge.
Aggravated Sexual Assault in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a
Aggravated Sexual Assault is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a, which provides:
a. An actor is guilty of aggravated sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person under any one of the following circumstances:
1. The victim is less than 13 years old;
2. The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old and
a. The actor is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree; or
b. The actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor s legal, professional, or occupational status; or
c. The actor is a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household;
3. The act is committed during the commission, or attempted commission, whether alone or with one or more other persons, of robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault on another, burglary, arson or criminal escape;
4. The actor is armed with a weapon or any object fashioned in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a weapon and threatens by word or gesture to use the weapon or object;
5. The actor is aided or abetted by one or more other persons and the actor uses physical force or coercion;
6. The actor uses physical force or coercion and severe personal injury is sustained by the victim;
7. The victim is one whom the actor knew or should have known was physically helpless, mentally defective or mentally incapacitated.
Penalties for Aggravated Sexual Assault in New Jersey
Aggravated Sexual Assault is a crime of the First Degree (the most serious under the Criminal Code), punishable by a term of imprisonment between 10 and 20 years in New Jersey State Prison, 85% of which must be served under the No Early Release Act ( NERA ) before the benefit of parole. Additionally, an Aggravated Sexual Assault conviction also carries with it the following requirements: Parole Supervision for Life, Megan’s Law Registration, and a psychosexual evaluation (commonly referred to in court as an Avenel evaluation).
As per the Jessica Lunsford Act (enacted in 2014), if a person is convicted under paragraph (1) (i.e., victim less than 13 years old), they shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment between 25 years and life, with a requirement that a minimum of 25 years be served before the benefit of parole, unless a longer term of parole ineligibility is otherwise required.
Understanding the NJ Law on Aggravated Sexual Assault
This offense requires penetration under any one of the seven circumstances detailed above. Notably, the definition of penetration includes insertions not done directly by the actor, but also done at the actor’s instruction(s). Moreover, the degree of penetration is irrelevant. (The definition also includes acts that do not actually involve penetration, such as cunnilingus and fellatio.)
Normally, the Statute of Limitations on a crime would not begin to run until two years after the victim reaches the age of 18 years (assuming that the victim was a minor at the time of the commission of the offense) or 5 years after the commission of the crime, which is later. See N.J.S.A. 2C:1-6b(4). However, there is no Statute of Limitations on prosecution for the crime of rape.
NOTE: Increases in the numbers of child abuse prosecutions involving sexual assault have focused attention on the competence of young victims to testify, their special needs as witnesses, and other procedural and evidential issues.
Contact a NJ Aggravated Sexual Assault Lawyer for Answers
The consequences of an aggravated criminal sexual contact conviction are severe and permanent. Alissa D. Hascup can help. Contact her right away for a free consultation about your case.