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Defending Against Charges of Criminal Sexual Contact in New Jersey

Criminal Sexual Contact

There are multiple types of sexual offenses prohibited by New Jersey law. The most commonly known is aggravated sexual assault, which is the sexual penetration of another person under certain defined circumstances. A less well known offense is criminal sexual contact, which involves unwanted sexual interactions that do not include penetration. Nevertheless, it is a serious crime that carries significant penalties.

Criminal sexual contact (CSC) occurs when one person intentionally touches the intimate parts of another, either directly or through clothing. The act must be driven by the intent to degrade or humiliate the victim or be committed for the sexual gratification of the actor. The touching must be unwanted, meaning it is without the victim’s consent or permission. CSC can also consist of sexual contact of the actor with himself, if the contact is done in view of a victim the actor knows to be present.

CSC is a fourth-degree crime with potential penalties of up to 18 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. 

CSC can rise to the level of aggravated criminal sexual contact if it occurs in the following circumstances:

  • The victim is younger than 13 years old.
  • The victim is younger than 16 years old, and the actor is related to or has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim. 
  • The act occurs during the commission or attempted commission of a robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault, burglary, arson or criminal escape.
  • The actor is apparently armed with a weapon and threatens to use it.
  • The actor is aided or abetted by others and uses coercion or force.
  • The victim is physically or mentally incapacitated, which the actor knows or should know.

Aggravated CSC is a third-degree crime punishable by three to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000. 

Conviction of CSC in either degree can result in registration as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and lifetime parole supervision, in addition to fines and court costs.

A charge of criminal sexual contact usually begins with a victim’s complaint, after which a police investigation ensues. If you are contacted by police, do not answer any questions. Instead, state that you want a lawyer present and ask for time to hire one. An experienced New Jersey sex crimes defense lawyer can advise you of your rights and shield you from police efforts to force you to say something that could hurt your position. Your lawyer can also demand and examine all witness statements and other evidence the police may have obtained. Finally, a skilled lawyer can tailor a defense that raises reasonable doubt.

The Law Offices of David Jay Glassman, with offices in Marlton, New Brunswick, Hackensack and Newark, represents defendants charged with sex offenses in state courts throughout New Jersey. To schedule a no-cost consultation, call us now at 866-221-1270 or contact us online.