Morris County NJ Juvenile Sex Crimes Lawyer
Juveniles and Student Defense Attorney with Offices in Denville and Totowa
In New Jersey, sex crime charges are more damning than many others, as they have the potential to permanently alter your status for life. While the public stigma associated with sex crimes is undeniable, the likelihood of mandatory sex offender registration under New Jersey’s Megan’s Law threatens to hinder your life for decades to come. Being charged with a sex crime as a juvenile or young adult is a perilous position, particularly because these charges can arise among two consenting individuals, one of whom just so happens to be a minor. When facing charges for a sex crime, whether it be sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child, or another offense, the repercussions can be permanently damaging and pervasive, ultimately influencing your ability to pursue opportunities in the future. With so much hanging in the balance, having a knowledgeable and aggressive defense attorney on your side is beyond an asset, it is a necessity.
Alissa Hascup is a seasoned criminal defense attorney who is dedicated to defending juveniles, students, and young adults accused of sex crimes and other criminal offenses in New Jersey. Her experience as a former Assistant County Prosecutor informs her highly effective defense strategies, negotiating techniques, and ferocious trial skills, which she employs every day to achieve superior results for her clients. With centralized offices conveniently located in Denville and Totowa, Alissa successfully represents juveniles and young adults in courts in Passaic County, Bergen County, Morris County, Essex County, Union County and across New Jersey. She is committed to guiding clients through every phase of the legal process. For a cost-free consultation about your case, contact Alissa Hascup today at 862-257-1200. There is no time like the present to find the answers you need.
Juvenile and Student Sex Crime Defense Lawyer in New Jersey
Alissa Hascup regularly defends juveniles and young adults charged with sex crimes in New Jersey. Some of the charges she often handles include:
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Sexual assault
- Criminal sexual contact
- Endangering the welfare of a child
- Megan’s Law
- Failure to register as a sex offender
Juvenile Sex Offender Registration and Megan’s Law in New Jersey
Juveniles who are adjudicated delinquent of sex crimes in New Jersey are required to register as sex offenders per the dictates of New Jersey’s Megan’s Law. Depending on their rating in the Juvenile Risk Assessment Scale, which classifies sex offenders as “low risk,” “moderate risk,” or “high risk,” the juvenile’s information may be available via an online database known as the NJ Sex Offender Registry. When you are convicted of sex offense and are required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law, this is mandatory for the remainder of your life unless you apply to be removed with the court and your application is approved. New Jersey law allows sex offenders to apply to be removed from Megan’s Law if: if they committed only one offense (that is not excluded from Megan’s Law removal), have not committed another offense for 15 years, and prove that they are not likely to pose a threat to the safety of the community. Juvenile sex offenders may also apply to be removed from the Megan’s Law if they were under the age of 14 at the time of their offense and are now over the age of 18.
Juvenile vs. Adult Sex Crimes in New Jersey
If you are under the age of 18 and charged with a sex crime in New Jersey, you are considered a juvenile or minor. Under these circumstances, your case will be resolved within the juvenile justice system, as opposed to the adult court system. Juvenile sex crime cases are decided in the Family Division of the Superior Court in the juvenile’s county of residence. The legal standard that governs juvenile cases is the best interests of the child, meaning that penalties are generally a combination of punitive and rehabilitative measures aimed at preventing further criminal behavior. If you are found guilty of a juvenile sex crime, you are adjudicated delinquent, which is similar to a criminal conviction for an adult. However, the consequences of a juvenile sex crime are significantly different than those for adults. For juveniles, second degree crimes may result in up to 3 years of detention, third degree crimes may entail up to 2 years of detention, and fourth degree crimes are punishable by up to 1 year of detention. Although the periods of incarceration are different for juveniles and adults, both groups may be required to register as sex offenders under Megan’s Law.
If you are 18 or older and charged with a sex crime in New Jersey, your case will be decided in the Criminal Division of the Superior Court in the county in which the alleged offense occurred. The standard in adult criminal court is not rehabilitation, but instead, punishment and deterrence. If you are convicted of sex crime as an adult in New Jersey, you are exposed to severe penalties. Specifically, first degree crimes may result in a sentence of up to 20 years in NJ State Prison, second degree crimes may result in up to 10 years in prison, third degree crimes may entail up to 5 years in prison, and fourth degree crimes are punishable by up to 18 months of incarceration. These penalties are issued in addition to collateral consequences such as Megan’s Law Registration and Community Supervision for life.
In certain cases, the State may decide to charge a juvenile as an adult. Generally, this occurs in cases involving defendants who are closer to the age of 18 (they must be over 14), when the nature of the crime is particularly egregious, and/or when the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent previously and has not responded well to rehabilitative measures. This is more common when the charges are for the most severe crimes such as aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault. If a juvenile’s case is waived up to adult court, he or she is exposed to the same penalties as any other adult defendant.
Contact Totowa NJ Juvenile Sexual Assault Attorney Today
If you or your child has been charged with a sex crime in New Jersey, it is imperative to begin formulating your defense as soon as possible. Alissa Hascup regularly appears in courts in Hackensack, New Brunswick, Morristown, and Newark, as she vigorously defends clients charged with sexual offenses. Contact Alissa Hascup at 862-257-1200 for immediate assistance. Ms. Hascup will answer all of your questions and discuss your options in a cost-free initial consultation.