Sex Crime Restraining Orders in New Jersey
Hackensack NJ Sex Crime Restraining Order Lawyers
Lawmakers passed the Sexual Assault Survivors Protection Act (SASPA) in November 2015 to protect survivors of sex crimes in New Jersey. The Act, found in sections N.J.S.A. 2C:14-13 – 2C:14-21 of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, closed an existing loophole in the system. Prior to the passage of SASPA, a victim of sexual violence in New Jersey could not obtain a protective order against the perpetrator unless they qualified as a “victim” of domestic violence under the NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. In other words, if you were sexually violated and you did not have a previous or ongoing dating, marriage, or familial relationship with the offender, you couldn’t obtain a restraining order. Since the Sexual Assault Survivors Protection Act was implemented, a victim of nonconsensual sexual contact in New Jersey can secure an order of protection, regardless of whether they ever had a relationship with the other party.
If you or a loved one needs assistance with a sex crime restraining order in New Jersey, the experienced attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm will ensure your rights are protected. Our lawyers have helped thousands of clients with sex crime protective order matters in courts throughout New Jersey, including in Morris County, Bergen County, Hudson County, Essex County, and Passaic County. For additional information, contact us today at (201)-566-1570 to speak with an NJ sex crime restraining order attorney who can help. We are available anytime to assist you and consultations are always provided free of charge.
What is a Sex Crime Restraining Order in NJ?
A sex crime restraining order (also known as a sexual assault restraining order), is a protective order for victims of nonconsensual sexual conduct in New Jersey. A sex crime protective order is similar to a restraining order but it is open to different types of victims. If you are the victim of a sexual offense in New Jersey and the court has jurisdiction over your case under the NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, then you can pursue a regular restraining order against the other party. On the other hand, if you do not have standing as a victim of domestic violence, you can still obtain a sex crime protective order under the Sexual Assault Survivors Protection Act.
A sex crime protective order prohibits the offender from having any contact with the victim, including in person and electronic forms of communication. The offender is barred from communicating with the victim and being in their physical presence. The offender cannot commit another act of sexual contact, lewdness, or sexual penetration against the victim. The offender is also prohibited from entering the victim’s home, workplace, and any other places included in the protective order.
Who can get a Sexual Assault Protective Order in NJ?
Anyone who has been the victim of nonconsensual sexual contact can get a sex crime protective order in New Jersey. In other words, you don’t need to have any relationship with the offender. A victim of a sexual offense can seek a sex crime restraining order to protect them, regardless of whether they knew or had any prior contact with the perpetrator. The person you get a protective over against can be an acquaintance, neighbor, colleague, or perfect stranger as long as they committed a nonconsensual sexual act against you.
Sex crime protective orders are open to all victims in New Jersey. However, victims under the age of 18 need to have their parent or guardian file on their behalf. This is also true for victims who are mentally impaired. It is important to note that you cannot file a sex crime protective order against a minor (a person under the age of 18). You can, however, file a criminal complaint against a minor for a sexual offense.
If you meet the criteria for a victim of domestic violence in New Jersey, then you should seek a domestic violence restraining order. Parties who qualify for domestic violence restraining orders are those who have been or are currently in a dating relationship, are married, divorced, live or formerly resided together, or share or are expecting a child together.
What Sex Crimes Qualify for a Protective Order in New Jersey?
The NJ Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act recognizes a variety of nonconsensual sexual contact as grounds for a sex crime restraining order. You can obtain a sex crime restraining order in New Jersey if you have been the victim of:
- Sexual contact: intentional touching by the victim or actor, 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.
- Sexual penetration: vaginal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio or anal intercourse between persons or insertion of the hand, finger or object into the anus or vagina either by the actor or upon the actor’s instruction. The depth of penetration is irrelevant.
- Lewdness: exposure of a person’s genitals for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of the actor
If you want to obtain a sexual assault restraining order, you don’t necessarily have to file criminal charges. If you so choose, you can file a sex crime protective order and a criminal complaint for a sex crime. You can also seek a sex crime restraining order without filing criminal charges. These are two entirely different cases. The protective order is a civil case and the criminal charges are criminal in nature. Both proceedings are separate and apart and adjudicated under different jurisdictions. Because the sex crime restraining order is civil in nature, a victim is not entitled to an attorney appointed by the court. You can search for organizations that provide free legal counsel for victims or hire your own lawyer. Either way, it is extremely important to have legal representation in sex crime restraining order proceedings.
Contact a Bergen County NJ Sexual Assault Restraining Order Attorney Today
If you have questions regarding a sexual assault restraining order in New Jersey, The Tormey Law Firm can help. Our knowledge and experience in the realm of sex crime protective orders is extensive. Having represented victims and defendants in these cases throughout NJ, we are thoroughly equipped to help you successfully resolve your case. Call (908)-336-5008 for a free consultation.