Child molestation is one of the most devastating things a person can be accused of. Not only does it come with harsh criminal penalties, but it also will result in a lifetime of stigma. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned New Jersey child molestation lawyer from the Law Office of Boyd & Squitieri to learn more about the potential penalties you may face for these charges in NJ and how our legal team can help you fight them.
How long will I go to prison if I’m found guilty of child molestation in NJ?
Child molestation is a form of sexual assault that involves engaging in sexual activity with a child who is under the age of 13. It is a second-degree crime that typically warrants anywhere between five and 10 years in prison, as well as a potential $150,000 fine. That said, depending on the circumstances of your case, you may face additional charges that can drastically increase the harshness of your sentence. Some examples of aggravating factors when it comes to child molestation cases in NJ are as follows:
- The age of the victim at the time of the offense: If the victim was under the age of 16 and you were at least four years older than them, you may be charged with aggravated sexual assault, which is a first-degree crime that typically results in anywhere between 10 and 20 years of incarceration, as well as a fine of up to $200,000. If the victim was under the age of 13 and you were at least four years older than them, you may be charged with aggravated sexual assault, which typically comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole.
- The use of force or coercion: If you used physical force, threats, or intimidation to commit the act of child molestation, you will likely also face aggravated sexual assault charges, the penalties for which are mentioned above. Further, if you used a weapon or caused serious bodily injury to the victim, you may face an enhanced sentence of up to life in prison.
- The relationship you share with the victim: If you were in a position of trust or authority over the victim, such as a teacher, coach, clergy member, or family member, you may be charged with aggravated sexual assault, which is a first-degree crime that carries a penalty of anywhere between 10 and 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000. If you were related to the victim by blood or marriage within the third degree, you may face an additional charge of incest, which is a third-degree crime that carries a penalty of three to five years of incarceration and a potential $15,000 fine.
Importantly, anyone found guilty of a sex offense in New Jersey will also have to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law. Once you are a registered sex offender, the general public will know what offense you committed, and, in some cases, may even be notified when you move into their neighborhood. Essentially, a child molestation conviction will haunt you for the rest of your life.
As you can see, child molestation is a serious offense that can have devastating and long-lasting consequences. Don’t make the mistake of facing these consequences without the guidance of a competent criminal defense lawyer in your corner. Contact the Law Office of Boyd & Squitieri today to schedule your free initial consultation with our seasoned legal team. We are here to fight for you, your reputation, and your future.