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Allegations Of Sexual Assault Can Wreak Havoc On A Relationship

Interviewer: What happens if someone is in a relationship and someone makes an accusation, is it pretty much destroyed, right?

Tom Chaves: Not necessarily. There are individuals who’re in relationships, who make accusations of that type. And obviously, if the person is guilty, that typically will end the relationship but even worst circumstances are where a person is found guilty, there are situations where people stay in relationships even after the finding of guilt under the idea that the person made a mistake, maybe it was a serious mistake but they have apologized for it and they have assured the other person that they love them and they will never do anything like that again so that for whatever reason people sometimes will continue in a relationship even after an accusation and even a conviction is obtained. It does happen. It’s not frequent but it does happen.

Common Penalties for Sex Crimes in the State of New Jersey

Interviewer: What are some of the possible punishments, sentences or various spectrums?

Tom Chaves: In New Jersey, all crimes are given degrees of how they rank their seriousness with the first degree offense being the most serious.   In New Jersey, we don’t use the terms felony and misdemeanor, we use Indictable Offense (felony) and Disorderly Persons Offense (misdemeanor). So, Indictable Offense is a felony and a Disorderly Persons Offense is a misdemeanor. For a felony type of offense, the most serious is a first degree crime which has the potential exposure of 20 years.

For All First Degree Crimes, New Jersey Law Provides a Maximum Sentence of 20 Years Imprisonment

In general, for the most serious first degree crimes, the law for all first degree crimes provides a maximum exposure of 20 years imprisonment and it goes down obviously to the least serious of the felony convictions would have an exposure of 18 months and that’s in general what you’re looking at a standard from 18 months as a maximum on the least serious charge to 20 years potential exposure on the most serious charge.

The “No Early Release Act” Provides that People Convicted of Violent Offenses Must Serve 85 % of their Prison Sentence Prior to gaining Eligibility For Parole

I mean there are other consequences besides just the jail term however. There is what they call parole supervision for the life that applies to certain crimes in the sexual offense area, there is also other aspects such as most of the serious sex crimes offenses have a requirement under a different law that called the “No Early Release Act”, which provides that people convicted of violent offenses including several sexual offenses must serve 85 per cent of their prison sentence before they are eligible for parole. In general, a person is eligible for a parole for other types of crimes after they’d served one-third of their sentence. So, it really gives substantially increased amount of prison time.

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