Sexual Assault Attorney in New Jersey
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New Jersey Sexual Assault Lawyers
Several studies have shown that New Jersey has the county's lowest number of rape cases. To put things into perspective, one study revealed that the northeastern US state averaged 14 rape cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020. Another study found that in 2023, New Jersey still had the lowest number of rape cases per state, averaging 16 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Although these numbers are significantly lower than observed in other states, a single case is still way too many, especially for crimes as unthinkable as sexual assault. So if you or your loved one has been sexually assaulted, now is the time to contact our New Jersey sexual assault lawyers for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
We might be able to fight for you, ensuring you receive the compensation you need and deserve after such an unspeakable incident. Our attorneys understand the traumatic life-changing effects of sexual assault, and that is why we are here to help.
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What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is any form of sexual activity that occurs without an individual's consent. It involves any kind of physical contact, unwanted sexual advances, and threats or attempts to force someone into having sexual intercourse without their consent. New Jersey laws consider sexual assault as rape. In fact, in The Garden State, as fondly referred to by the locals, sexual assault is the legal definition of rape.
New Jersey's sexual assault laws further describe this action as “the penetration, no matter how slight, in which physical force or coercion is used or in which the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated.”
What Are Some Examples of Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is a crime that can take many forms, including but not limited to physical, verbal, and/or psychological force or violence. Examples include rape, groping, child molestation, sexual harassment, and threats of intimate physical contact without consent.
What Places Are Sexual Assault Cases Most Common?
Sexual assault happens everywhere, but the unfortunate truth is that it is most common in places with fewer people around to intervene. That said, sexual assaults can happen anywhere, from cities to rural areas and even on college campuses. A 2018 survey sought to unravel the most common places where sexual assault cases occurred. The results were quite astonishing.
Here are some key highlights of the survey:
- 35% of sexual assault cases happen in public spaces such as parks, stores, malls, bars, gyms, restaurants, pools, movie theaters, etc
- 19% of these cases occur in private homes or residences
- 14% of sexual assault cases occur in the workplace
- 12% occur in schools
According to the study, other common places include religious places, healthcare facilities, and mass transportation networks.
What Constitutes Force in a Sexual Assault Case?
Force comes into play when an individual uses threats, physical actions, emotional manipulation, or intimidation to convince another person to engage in unwanted sexual activity. It is important to remember that the force does not have to be violent or even physical; it can also be psychological.
What Is Considered Consent?
Consent is a voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It must be given freely, without force, and cannot be obtained through intimidation or coercion. If a person states they do not want to participate in a sexual act, the other person must respect that boundary. Furthermore, individuals who are incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol cannot legally provide their consent.
In New Jersey, the age of consent is 16. However, it is also important to note that in NJ, individuals aged at least 13 years old can consent to sexual activity with anyone younger than 17.
Also, in New Jersey, an adult who has sexual intercourse with a minor who is 15 years old or younger or 4 years younger than the adult can be charged with statutory rape.
What Is Statutory Rape?
Statutory rape is the legal term for the crime of having sex with a minor, but only when the sex is agreed upon by both parties, not forced. In other words, it is the opposite of forcible rape.
What Should I Do if I Have Been Sexually Assaulted?
If you have been sexually assaulted, the most important thing is to seek immediate medical help. Seeking immediate medical attention allows doctors to examine your condition and provide crucial treatment to protect you from sexually transmitted diseases and other infections.
The doctor will also help document your condition. This documentation could come in handy when you take legal action against the offender.
It is also important to keep all evidence of the assault, such as clothing and documents related to the incident.
Do not bathe, shower, douche, brush your teeth, or do anything that could eliminate evidence of a sexual assault.
Call 911 and request to activate your Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). New Jersey's SART includes a forensic nurse examiner, a confidential advocate, and a law enforcement office.
You can have access to SART 24 hours a day and 7 days a week if the following conditions are met:
- The sexual assault victim is at least 13 years old
- The incident occurred within the last 5 days
- This victim agrees to use SART services
- The victim will be accorded the right to speak with a confidential sexual violence advocate (CSVA)
The New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety recommends these additional tips for victims of sexual assault worth checking out.
Lastly, contact a Morgan & Morgan sexual assault lawyer in New Jersey for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys may be able to help you fight back against the perpetrator and secure the compensation you need after such a traumatic experience.
Can I Recover Damages if I've Been Sexually Assaulted?
Yes, you can. Our team of compassionate sexual assault lawyers is here to ensure you get the justice and financial compensation you deserve after a sexual assault incident. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to recover damages for lost wages, medical expenses, legal fees, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and other damages. Bear in mind that having an experienced lawyer significantly increases your chances of obtaining favorable results when you file a claim or lawsuit against the liable party.
What Is the Difference Between Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse?
The terms sexual assault and sexual abuse are often used interchangeably, but there are subtle differences between the two. Sexual assault is a term more commonly used for acts involving physical contact intended to cause harm, such as penetration. On the other hand, the term “sexual abuse” is typically used for non-contact activities such as voyeurism or verbal harassment.
How Can a New Jersey Sexual Assault Lawyer Help?
A sexual assault lawyer can play a crucial role in helping victims get justice and compensation. The attorney can help victims to file claims or lawsuits against the perpetrators, seek compensation from the liable party, and provide assistance in navigating complex legal systems.
In addition, sexual assault attorneys provide resources to victims tailored to their specific needs and circumstances.
The bottom line is that having an experienced professional on your side can go a long way toward helping you heal, reclaiming your life, and seeking justice after such a traumatic incident.
What Are Some Qualities of a Good Sexual Assault Lawyer?
A good sexual assault lawyer should be passionate, knowledgeable, and considerate. In addition, they should:
- Review your case to determine whether you have a valid case against the other party
- Have access to powerful legal resources needed to build a strong case against the perpetrator
- Understand the legal process thoroughly
- Have experience in handling sexual assault cases and a proven track record of winning
- Have a good reputation in the industry
- Be willing to fight for you in and out of court
- Be able to explain complex legal issues in an understandable way
- Be empathetic of your situation and be sensitive enough to respect your privacy.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Sexual Assault Cases in New Jersey?
There is no statute of limitations on sexual assault cases in New Jersey. This means you may be able to file a lawsuit against the offender at any given time.
Can You Sue Someone You Are in a Relationship With for Sexual Assault?
Yes, you can sue someone you are in a relationship with for sexual assault. No one should ever endure any form of physical or emotional violence in a relationship.
When relationships are involved, sexual assault claims may be difficult but not impossible to identify. For instance, some common signs of sexual assault relationships include being:
- forced to watch pornographic content during sex;
- hurt purposely during sex;
- held down forcefully during sex;
- forced to have sex with someone else; and
- drugged to limit your ability to decline sexual advances.
Can I Pursue a Civil and Criminal Charge at the Same Time?
Yes, you can pursue a civil and criminal case at the same time against the assaulter. However, keep in mind that a civil action is what you will need to recover damages such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, etc. On the other hand, a criminal charge could have the attacker punished, usually by serving time in jail, if found guilty of sexual assault.
Can I Sue if I Have Been Sexually Assaulted in an Uber or Lyft?
Yes, you can sue if you have been sexually assaulted in a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft. Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, you may be able to sue the driver directly or the rideshare company. Although these companies usually try to avoid responsibility by claiming that their drivers are independent contractors, not employees, many courts have ruled against them in the past.
Granted, lawsuits against rideshare companies, especially those involving sexual assault, are complex. For this reason, it is advisable to hire experienced rideshare lawyers to fight for your rights.
How Can Morgan & Morgan Lawyers Help?
At Morgan & Morgan, we take sexual assault cases seriously. And given that we are the nation's largest injury firm, you can count on us to fight for your right to compensation.
Our law firm consists of powerful legal resources, an army of over 900 attorneys, paralegals, and a network of experts from different fields. When you contact us for a free case evaluation, we will review the specifics of your case and determine whether you have legal grounds to file a lawsuit against the other party.
We also understand how sensitive these cases are. For this reason, we handle every detail with the confidentiality it deserves.
One key factor that makes us stand out in New Jersey and across the country is our ability to take on any bully, big or small. So whether you have a case against a prominent person, an established business, or a government institution, we are never afraid to fight for our clients.
And that's not all—if the other party is unwilling to settle, we will fight for you in court.
Sexual assault cases should never be taken lightly. Most importantly, the perpetrators should never be allowed to get away with their actions. You have the power to stop them in their tracks. Keep in mind that the longer you take to contact an attorney, the greater the chances of the assaulter preying on yet another innocent victim.
Do not suffer in silence if you or your beloved has been sexually assaulted. Instead, contact a Morgan & Morgan sexual assault lawyer in New Jersey for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
And you should not be worried about the costs either. You only pay us if we win.