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New Jersey Sexual Misconduct Lawyer

Acts of sexual misconduct gained increased exposure in the current news cycle. While many of the people coming forward to accuse people of sexual misconduct have done so against people in positions of power, the truth is these allegations can arise out of many types of relationships. These allegations may even be the result of a simple misunderstanding.

On top of any criminal charges a person may face, their reputation may take a serious hit whenever they face accusations. A New Jersey sexual misconduct lawyer may be able to help individuals protect their reputation. An experienced sex crimes attorney can help you prepare a strong defense prior to trial. 

What Constitutes Sexual Misconduct in New Jersey?

Sexual misconduct can be any sexual interaction between two people that is not welcome. It can be unwelcome because the person does not reciprocate or because of the setting.

Often, people consider sexual harassment a work-related issue. In reality, any opportunity for interaction between two people is a chance for sexual misconduct to occur. It does not matter the gender or genders of the parties involved. Examples of sexual misconduct include:

  • Inappropriate touching
  • Off-color jokes
  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Implying that sex is required to obtain a benefit

There is no crime called sexual misconduct in New Jersey criminal law. However, many of the actions that are sexual misconduct are also criminal acts.

When Does Sexual Misconduct Become Criminal?

The most severe form of sexual misconduct is considered sexual assault which is legally defined as an act of sexual penetration someone commits using physical force or coercion. The assault can become aggravated if one person seriously injures the other. Most allegations of sexual misconduct are not this serious.

Far more common, but still serious, are accusations of criminal sexual contact as described in New Jersey Statute 2C §14-3. This occurs whenever a person touches a person in a private area while using force or the threat of force.

Even when there is no physical contact between two people, an individual may still face criminal charges. If one person believes they suffered harassment, they can call the police and file charges. 

Under New Jersey Law, harassment can involve any communication using coarse language. It may be critical for individuals accused of disorderly behavior to speak with a New Jersey sexual misconduct lawyer about what constitutes unacceptable language. 

What are the Potential Penalties?

The most serious sexual misconduct criminal charges are felonies. Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree crime punishable by ten to twenty years in prison. In addition, the accused may face up to $200,000 in fines.

Even simple improper sexual contact is a fourth-degree crime that carries the potential for a jail term and stiff fines. The more serious of these crimes may also require a person register as a sex offender.

In cases where a person does not face criminal charges, the consequences could still be severe. When people face allegations of sexual misconduct at work, they may suffer disciplinary actions that include termination.

How a New Jersey Sexual Misconduct Lawyer Could Help

Any accusation of sexual misconduct is a serious matter. Even if the police are not involved, a person may face negative consequences at work or be the subject of a restraining order.

More serious accusations may involve an arrest and criminal charges. The most severe of these charges could involve potential jail sentences and require the individual register as a sex offender.

A New Jersey sexual misconduct attorney could work to help individuals through these allegations. Whether someone faces criminal allegations or civil allegations, a lawyer could help guide them.