Rape and Sexual Assault Attorney in New Jersey

OVER $165 MILLION RECOVERED FOR OUR CLIENTS

Rape and sexual assault in New Jersey can happen to anyone, at any place, and at any time. The sad truth is, over 30% of women under the age of 19 and 20% of men under the age of 18 will be the victim of a rape or sexual assault. That does not include the adults over the age of 18 that may or may not report the rape or assault to the police. The reality is the police and criminal courts will do their best to get the rapist off the streets and behind bars. However, the civil court process will give you, the victim, justice. For the past 25 years, the Derek Smith Law Group has worked with victims of rape and sexual assault get the justice they deserve.

What Is a Civil Claim for Rape and Sexual Assault in New Jersey?

Rape and sexual assault are criminal offenses. Yet, the victim may press charges with the police and still file a civil claim for damages. A civil claim for rape or sexual assault in New Jersey is filed in civil courts and allows the victim to be a party in the process of the lawsuit as the plaintiff and receive monetary damages for the medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and more.

What Is the Difference Between a Criminal Case and Civil Case for Rape and Sexual Assault in New Jersey?

While rape and sexual assault are criminal offenses, they can be used as a reason to file a civil lawsuit as well. A criminal case for rape and sexual assault in New Jersey is brought by the District Attorney’s office. The process goes through an investigation and the victim is a witness to the crime. As a result, the victim can choose to testify at trial to help the Prosecutor’s case. The criminal court requires a conviction based on “beyond a shadow of a doubt.” This means that the jurors must believe the act, as described by the victim, occurred and have no doubt about the believability of the story. If the case is won, the attacker gets sentenced to jail time and must pay some fines, including restitution. The victim can request funding from the New Jersey or Federal Victims of Crime Act fund for out-of-pocket costs related to the attack, however, it is not much money compared to the years of suffering the victim will endure.

When filing the civil lawsuit for rape or sexual assault in New Jersey, the case is filed in a civil court and the burden of proof becomes much less severe. The victim is no longer a witness standing on the outside of justice. He or she is now the Plaintiff bringing the case to court and is a party to the litigation process. In addition to the new title within the case, the victim will only need to prove that the event could have occurred as described (known as the preponderance of the evidence). Therefore, even if the defendant is found not guilty in criminal court, he may still be found liable in civil court, allowing you, the victim, to collect compensation for injuries and additional pain and suffering and emotional distress.

What Are Some Examples of Rape or Sexual Assault Situations in New Jersey?

Rape and sexual assault in New Jersey can occur to anyone at any time and any place. It does not have to involve intercourse or even sexual touching. There are many ways sexual assault or rape can rear its ugly head and make you a victim.

  • Unwanted physical contact, including groping and kissing
  • “Upskirting” (a person will use hidden cameras to take a video of women upskirt and ost or use for their own enjoyment)
  • Voyeurism
  • Flashing
  • Forceful physical touching
  • Forceful vaginal, anal, or oral penetration
  • Coercing or blackmailing a person into “consenting” into partaking in sexual contact or intercourse
  • Forcing a person to touch another person’s private areas
  • Forcing a person to touch their own private areas
  • Forcing a person to watch pornography
  • Sexual touching or penetrating a person who is unconscious or asleep
  • Sexual touching or penetrating a person who is impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Date Rape
  • Consensual or non-consensual sexual touching or intercourse between a teacher, camp counselor, or athletic coach and his or her minor student, athlete, or camper
What Is the Statute of Limitations to File a Civil Case for Rape and Sexual Assault in New Jersey?

New Jersey has recently filed a new law that will take effect on December 1, 2019, which extends the time limit to file a civil lawsuit for sexual assault and rape. Under the new law, any victim that has ever been raped or sexually assaulted has two years to file a civil claim.

Beyond the two-year open period, a person who was raped or sexually assaulted as a child will be able to file a claim up to the person reaches age 55. Any other victim will have 7 years from the date the victim realized the sexual assault or rape impacted his or her quality of life.

What Remedies Are Available in Civil Court for a Rape or Sexual Assault Claim in New Jersey?

Unlike criminal court, civil court remedies are about making you whole again with monetary relief. Here are some examples of the relief available at the civil court level:

  • Reimbursement of medical expenses
  • Payment for therapy fees
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages
A Few Resources to Help Deal with the Aftermath of Rape or Sexual Assault

While working to heal from your attack, both physically and emotionally, some organizations can help you get to the light at the end of the tunnel.

  1. RAINN. The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network is a wonderful resource for anyone who is the victim of rape or sexual assault. RAINN has the largest hotline network for people around the US as well as partnerships with thousands of providers specially trained to help victims of rape and sexual assault in many ways and through many avenues.
  2. Safe Horizon. Safe Horizon also provides help to victims of sexual assault and rape through offering a hotline as well as providers of medical, mental health, and legal support.
  3. 1in6. Men who are sexually assaulted or raped often carry a separate stigma they must deal with. 1in6 is designed to help men know they are not alone and there are other men, 1 in 6 to be precise, who have survived rape and sexual assault. In addition to offering resources, 1in6 offers the Bristlecone Project, which is a collection of portraits, videos, and written accounts of male survivors.
Contact Our Experienced Rape and Sexual Assault Attorneys in New Jersey for Your Free Consultation

A victim of rape or sexual assault is never at fault for their attack. Rape and sexual assault are about control, not about sex. So it does not matter what you wear, what you say, or where you are. A rapist is a violent predator that is looking to control another person. If you are the victim of rape or sexual assault in New Jersey, the attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help. Contact us today at (973) 388-8625 for a free consultation. We do not collect any money until you win your case.

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