Monmouth County Sexual Assault Lawyers

If you have been charged with sexual assault in Monmouth County, you face harsh penalties and the loss of your freedom if convicted. It’s important to keep in mind that you are innocent until proven guilty and you are entitled to have a qualified criminal defense attorney represent you. At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our Freehold defense attorneys understand the seriousness of sexual assault charges, and we are ready to fight to protect your rights and your future.

A sexual assault conviction can have a lasting impact on your life and livelihood. That is why it is critical to engage an experienced criminal defense lawyer and mount an aggressive defense when facing these charges.

The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has a team of experienced and talented criminal defense lawyers with a track record of success in representing clients in Monmouth County. The reasons to turn to our Monmouth County law firm for help include:

  • 10 attorneys that focus exclusively on defending people facing criminal charges including sexual assault charges.
  • Certified criminal trial attorneys as designated by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Certification recognizes attorneys with specialized knowledge of an area of law.
  • More than 200 years of collective legal experience handling a wide variety of sex crimes, including sexual assaults.
  • Attorneys who are former county and municipal prosecutors and who have served in such capacities as Director of the Major Crimes Bureau, Special Operations, Domestic Violence Unit, Guns Task Force, and an entire Trial Division. As defense attorneys, they use their knowledge to defend our clients more effectively.
  • Numerous cases ending in a dismissal.

If you have been accused of sexual assault in Monmouth County, the attorney you choose may be one of the most far-reaching decisions you ever make. Our seasoned defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have the credentials and resources to build a strong defense on your behalf. We will work to downgrade any charges so you can avoid the most severe consequences. We represent clients facing sex assault charges in Belmar, Wall, Freehold, Middletown, Red Bank, Asbury Park, and Howell. Call (877) 450-8301 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our skilled New Jersey criminal defense lawyers.

What Is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is a very serious crime. This offense covers what is commonly referred to as rape and covers most illegal acts of penetration. According to New Jersey law, sexual assault includes any sexual act of penetration with another person that is carried out without that person’s consent. For sexual assault, sexual penetration includes:

  • Vaginal intercourse
  • Oral and anal sex
  • Inserting your finger, hand, or an object into the anus or vagina

How Does New Jersey Law Define Sexual Assault?

Rape is the legal term for sexual assault in New Jersey. It is an indictable offense and may range from first- to fourth-degree charges, depending on the facts. No matter the degree, any sexual assault must include an act of penetration to be defined as such.

The penetration is considered sexual assault if:

  • The perpetrator uses force or coercion, but the victim is not seriously injured.
  • The perpetrator has a legal, professional, or occupational status that gives him or her supervisory power over a victim who is on parole or probation, or is detained in a prison, hospital, or another institution.
  • The victim is 16 or 17 years old and:
    • The perpetrator is related to the victim by blood or related by marriage (including “step” or “in-law”).
    • The perpetrator has disciplinary or supervisory power in any capacity over the victim.
    • The perpetrator is a guardian, resource family parent, or stands in the place of a parent.
    • The victim is 13 years old or older but younger than 16, and the perpetrator is at least four years older than the victim.

The penetration is classified as aggravated sexual assault if:

  • The victim is younger than 13.
  • The victim is at least 13 but younger than 16 and:
    • The perpetrator is related to the victim by blood or related by marriage (including “step” or “in-law”).
    • The perpetrator has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim.
    • The perpetrator is a guardian, resource family parent, or stands in the place of a parent.
  • The act is committed or attempted during a robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault, arson, burglary, or criminal escape.
  • The perpetrator has a weapon and uses it or threatens to use it.
  • The perpetrator is aided by others and uses force or coercion.
  • The perpetrator uses coercion or physical force and seriously injures the victim.
  • The victim is physically helpless, mentally defective, or mentally incapacitated.

While these definitions are specific, every sexual assault case is unique. It is critical that you consult with a Freehold criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can to discuss the full scope of your charges and possible defenses you may use. In New Jersey, there is no statute of limitations for reporting sexual assault. You should never assume that enough time has gone by to grant you protection from such charges.

If you are convicted of sexual assault in New Jersey, the possible penalties range in severity, but all are harsh. The potential penalties for sexual assault include:

  • First degree: 10 to 20 years in jail with a $200,000 fine
  • Second degree: five to 10 years in jail with a $15,000 fine
  • Third degree: three to five years in jail, a $15,000 fine, and one to five years of probation
  • Fourth degree: up to 18 months in jail, a $10,000 fine, and one to five years of probation
  • Registration as a sex offender
  • Mandatory electronic monitoring
  • Loss of certain rights and privileges

Criminal and Civil Claims

You may face criminal charges of sex assault filed by police. You also may face a separate civil lawsuit from the alleged victim of a sex assault holding you financially liable.

Whether it’s a criminal or civil case will determine the burden of proof required to prove the sex assault case, the potential penalties and how much control the accuser has over how the case proceeds.

A criminal sexual assault case is handled as a crime against the state. The case is brought to court by the state of New Jersey instead of the accuser. Thus, the accuser does not have a say in how the case is carried out. The accuser can only appear as a witness for the prosecution.

The purpose of a criminal case is to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant accused of sexual assault. The defendant is presumed innocent, and the prosecution has to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant is guilty.

A defendant could be tried in civil court by an accuser even if a criminal court declared the defendant not guilty.

A civil sexual assault case is brought by the accuser. A civil case aims to determine whether it is more likely than not that the defendant is liable for harming the person who brought the lawsuit. The accuser needs to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is the cause of the damage. This burden of proof is lower than in a criminal trial.

If a civil trial results in confirmation of liability, the court may order the defendant to pay the person who filed the civil suit damages, including compensation for medical bills, psychological damage, lost wages, damage to relationships, and legal fees. Civil cases do not result in a criminal record for the defendant.

Sex Crimes Within Larger Institutions

Institutional sexual assault typically involves the failure of an agent of an institution to report sexual assault or abuse incidents. If another party or organization had the power to prevent the sexual assault from occurring, that party may be held accountable in both criminal and civil courts.

There are many large institutions where sex crimes can occur, including but not limited to:

  • Educational institutions
  • Religious organizations
  • Volunteer organizations
  • Recreational organizations
  • Healthcare institutions such as nursing homes
  • Jails and prisons

Effects of Sexual Assault

In addition to the prison sentences and fines, the requirement to register as a sex offender can have a significant impact on many areas of a person’s life, including:

  • Job prospects. Background checks are a part of the employment application process for most jobs. A conviction for a sex crime can make it difficult to find employment.
  • Your current career. A conviction could cause you to lose your professional licenses, such as a license to practice medicine, social work, law, or other professions.
  • Place to live. Landlords may not want to rent to a registered sex offender.
  • Your family life. You could lose custody of your children or have only supervised contact with them.

Understanding and Protecting Your Rights

If you have been arrested for sexual assault, you should always consult with a criminal defense lawyer before you talk to law enforcement. Decline politely to answer any questions posed by the police and ask to speak to an attorney.

The Fourth Amendment and Fifth Amendment provide the foundation for the rights that protect all the accused. The right to a lawyer is a fundamental right for all criminal defendants. The Sixth Amendment protects defendants from unfair prosecution by allowing them certain rights that cannot be denied to them.

If the police violate your rights when collecting evidence, any evidence discovered as a result of that violation must be suppressed at trial. Your criminal defense lawyer can file a Motion to Suppress and have it heard by the judge or submit the issue to the jury.

In some cases, even if you consent to the search, a skilled defense attorney may still be able to have the evidence suppressed. If there is not any other evidence, the state may be forced to dismiss the sexual assault case they filed against you.

The Freehold sex assault defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are ready to come to your defense and protect your rights as a criminal defendant. Our team will work hard to devise an effective defense strategy that addresses the specific circumstances unique to your sexual assault case.

Sex Crimes We Handle in Monmouth County 

Our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys defend those accused of all types of sex crimes in Monmouth County and throughout New Jersey, including:

  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Rape
  • Date rape
  • Statutory rape
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Lewdness
  • Prostitution and solicitation
  • Incest
  • Indecency with a child by contact
  • Sexual harassment

The experienced Freehold criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can help you fight any type of sex assault charge, protect your rights, and seek the outcome that has the least negative effects on your life. We will thoroughly investigate your case, assist you in asserting any possible defenses, and guide you through the complicated legal process.

Contact a Monmouth County and Freehold, NJ, Attorney

sexual assault defense lawyers

If you have been arrested on charges of rape, sexual assault, or another sex crime in Monmouth County, the steps you take to secure the services of a qualified defense attorney can decide your future. The experienced Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are committed to defending those who are charged with sexual assault. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling cases in Monmouth County courts and are respected. Allow us to review the charges against you and discuss how we can assist you during a free and confidential consultation. We will provide you with customized and strategic defense representation for your case.

The Freehold defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall serve clients throughout Monmouth County. We represent clients in Belmar, Wall, Freehold, Middletown, Red Bank, Asbury Park, and Howell. Call us today at (877) 450-8301 to schedule a free initial evaluation.