There is no question that a conviction for a sex crime can negatively impact your personal life. Even if you serve your time after receiving a prison sentence, you will likely have to register as a sex offender. As we previously detailed on this blog, being a registered sex offender places you under long-term scrutiny from the authorities.
Most people are aware that certain offenses, such as possession of child pornography or forcible rape, are clearly considered sex crimes. However, some people may be under the impression that if all parties involved in an act are consenting adults, then that act will not be considered a sex crime. This is not always true. In New Jersey, for example, there are offenses that can bring serious charges regardless of consent.
One example of a sex crime that may be committed by consenting adults is lewdness. Basically, lewdness involves a person or persons engaging in a sexual act that is observed by others who did not consent to be subjected to the act. Typically, laws regarding lewdness are applied when someone exposes his or her genitals to someone who finds the act offensive. Penalties for lewdness could be more severe if the act was committed in the presence of a child or a mentally challenged person.
While lewdness laws are meant to protect the public, it is possible that they could be used to punish someone who was caught in an act that was not intended to offend or pose a sexual threat. The damage done by a sex crime conviction is such that if you should ever face charges, it is important to form a strong defense. An experienced New Jersey sex crimes attorney may be able to help you get the charges reduced or dismissed.