Sexual Assault in New Jersey—An Overview

The Laws Governing Sexual Assault in New Jersey

In New Jersey, while some sexually-related crimes, such as lewdness, may be charged as a disorderly persons offense, most physical sex crimes are indictable offenses, and generally fall under the term “sexual assault.” Under New Jersey statute, simple sexual assault is a second degree indictable offense, with a potential prison term of up to ten years, with parole not available for a minimum of five years. If the sexual assault falls under the statutory definition of “aggravated sexual assault,” however, it is an indictable offense of the first degree, with a possible prison sentence of 20 years.

Aggravated Sexual Assault as Defined in New Jersey

Under New Jersey law, you can be charged with aggravated sexual assault for any sexual act involving penetration where:

  • The victim is younger than 13
  • The victim was older than 13, younger than 16 and you have legal control of them (as a parent or guardian)
  • Any type of weapon was used to commit the sexual assault
  • The victim was physically or mentally incapacitated/handicapped in any way
  • The assault was committed with the assistance of a third party, and force was involved
  • The assault was committed during the commission of any other crime

Simple Sexual Assault in New Jersey

The lesser offense of sexual assault involves:

  • Sexual contact with someone under the age of 13, provided you are at least 17. Contact is defined as “intentional touching by the victim or the actor (perpetrator), either directly or through clothing, of the victim’s or actor’s intimate parts for the purpose of degrading or humiliating the victim or sexually arousing or sexually gratifying the actor.”
  • Any sexual act involving penetration where:
    • The victim is between 13 and 16, and the perpetrator is at least four years older
    • The victim is between 16 and 18, and is related to or controlled by the perpetrator
    • The penetration was completed by force
    • The victim was under the control of the perpetrator, such as a prison or reform school inmate or a person on probation

Contact the Law Offices of Mallon & Tranger

If you are under investigation for or face charges for a sex crime in New Jersey, contact us online or call us at 732-780-0230. There is no charge for your first meeting. We have criminal law attorney offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.

Our Office Locations


86 Court Street,
Freehold NJ 07728

Telephone: 732-780-0230
Fax: 732-780-5002

Toms River

250 Washington St
Toms River NJ 08753

Telephone: 732-780-0230
Fax: 732-780-5002

Point Pleasant

3247 Route 88
Point Pleasant NJ 08742

Telephone: 732-780-0230
Fax: 732-780-5002

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