For most people five years doesn’t seem like a very long time. For
those who are accused of a crime, awaiting trial or serving time in prison,
however, five years can seem like an eternity. Even if the charges are
dismissed, it can cause damage to a reputation and have a lasting impact
on a person’s personal and professional life, making it harder to
find employment, maintain a long-term relationship or qualify for a loan.
Those who are accused of
sex crimes in New Jersey may also find it more difficult to find housing, and when
they do find a home, neighbors who learn of the charges often shun the accused.
In 2008, complaints of sexual assault were filed against a petty officer
in the Coast Guard as well as a female companion. The victim was a teenage
girl at a campground in New Jersey. According to court records, the pair
was cleared of the charges—after five long years. It is unknown
why the charges were dismissed, but some of the most common reasons that
charges for sexual crimes are dropped include: lack of evidence; violation
of Fourth, Fifth or Sixth Amendment rights; or a problem with the chain
of custody relating to evidence.
Those who have been charged with any type of sex crime—whether it
is sexual harassment, online solicitation or sexual assault—may
want to consult with a criminal defense attorney. An experienced attorney
can complete a thorough review of the case to determine if there is enough
evidence or if any personal rights were violated during the initial investigation.
Those who have charges dismissed may also want to seek legal help to have
their criminal record expunged. While this is a lengthy process, it might
be worth it protect their future.
Source: South Jersey Times, “Sex assault charges against Coast Guard petty officer,
woman dismissed,” Joe Green, May 14, 2013.