New Jersey Sex Charges Lawyer John Weichsel
Bergen County criminal defense lawyer John Weichsel wants you to know that any criminal charge can turn your life upside down. But sex crime allegations can have a particularly devastating effect on your life, your relationships, your family, and your future. If you or someone you care about is facing a sex charge in New Jersey, or even if you think that you might be under investigation for a sex offense, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer. You need a trial lawyer with a record of results in helping people clear their names of sex charges. An attorney who has successfully defended men and women who have been accused, often falsely accused, of sex crimes, including sexual assault, Internet sex crimes, public lewdness, child pornography, child sexual abuse, and date rape.
No Matter What: Do Not Speak Without a Lawyer Present
Based in Hackensack, Attorney John Weichsel is an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer serving the counties of northern New Jersey. For anyone under investigation or facing sex charges of any kind, Mr. Weichsel offers some advice: "You may be completely innocent of any crime. So you might think that you should have no problem if you agree to answer a few questions from Social Services personnel or the or the Assistant Prosecutor without counsel at your side. Don't do it! Even if you are innocent, speaking without counsel could prove a fatal error. It could ruin your life. You have the right to refuse, and you should. No matter how innocent you are, calmly tell them that you will not answer any questions without your attorney present."
The Consequences of Speaking Without a Lawyer Present
"Giving up your right to have a lawyer present to protect your rights, particularly in a sex case, could mean the difference between your case being dismissed or going to trial, or between you going free or you going to prison. Speaking without a lawyer could go so badly that you might have to register with authorities as a sex offender for the rest of your life, wherever you go," Mr. Weichsel adds.
Exercise Your Right to Refuse a Polygraph
Perhaps the prosecutor will invite you to take a polygraph. You might think, Great. My innocence is a gold-plated guarantee that I will pass the lie detector test with flying colors. Not always. Mr. Weichsel advises you to never, ever take a polygraph unless your lawyer has had you polygraphed privately, first. He suggests that you politely refuse to take any polygraph tests offered to you free of charge by the District Attorney's office.
John Weichsel Has a Record of Results in Sex Crimes Defense
Bergen County criminal defense lawyer John L. Weichsel has 30 years of experience in defending men and women of all ages in all types of cases involving sexual conduct. No matter what the charges are, no matter where the court, John Weichsel's goal is always to protect your rights and to get you the most favorable results possible. Sex charges in New Jersey can include but are not limited to:
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Promoting Prostitution
- Child Pornography, Possession
- Internet Child Pornography
- Internet Solicitation of a Minor
- Rape (Sexual Assault in the First Degree)
- Statutory Rapet
- Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
- Child Molestation
- Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child
- Child Sexual Abuse
- Lewdness and Indecent Exposure
No Early Release Act: NERA Means What It Says
Under New Jersey law, prison sentences for sex convictions are stiff and in many cases there is no early release. New Jersey takes sex crimes seriously. The No Early Release Act (NERA) is a law that requires some convicted sex offenders to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
Professionals Falsely Accused
Mr. Weichsel notes that more and more professionals have been charged with sex offenses in recent years. Doctors, psychologists, teachers, can be falsely accused by patients or students. Sometimes these professionals willingly speak with prosecutors who may have little or no evidence. Mr. Weichsel says, "The professionals may feel that they have nothing to hide, but they have so much to lose. The investigators are looking to misinterpret what you say to fit with their own scenario. Call your lawyer right away, the minute you have any inkling you might be questioned. Because a lot of times, it can be proven that there is no evidence for the charges, and the sex charges that are being contemplated should not even be brought."
False Charges Are Not Uncommon
Sometimes there are false charges within families. In a recent case Mr. Weichsel accepted, an ex-husband in South Hackensack blamed his former wife's new husband for the failure of his marriage, even though she had not even met the man until well after her divorce. Soon the ex's eight-year-old daughter accused her stepfather, in lurid detail, of sexually abusing her. The new husband had no clue there was any problem until the prosecutor's office called him to come in to speak about a "sensitive family matter." John says, "If the prosecutor's office wants to speak with you, call me first!" This man did, and John was able to prevent charges from ever being filed on several bases. Time soon proved the stepfather's innocence. Questioned again by her social worker, the child recanted her allegations, saying she was mad at her stepfather because he was strict with her.
A Daughter Falsely Accuses Her Father
In another case involving a Bergen County family, Mr. Weichsel defended a father who was arrested after his own daughter falsely accused him of sexual assault. His 17-year-old daughter was angry with her father who had tried to prevent her from being sexually active with her boyfriend. Confident that he was doing his fatherly duty, he told her she was too young and forbade her to spend time alone with the boy. The girl went to the police and made accusations of sexual assault against her father, claiming that he had taken her to a motel and raped her. The mother and father contended that the daughter made the charges because she felt that her parents were restricting her social life too much. Nevertheless, the father faced a prison sentence of five to ten years. He retained John Weichsel, who was able to show the prosecutor why the accusations were not credible, and the father was able to avoid jail time and Megan's law consequences. In the meantime, however, the girl's false allegations produced tremendous pain in the family.
A Successful Resolution to a Complex Case
In an Englewood case, a man lived off and on for a period of years with a woman who had two children from a previous relationship. Eventually, this man married someone else, but he continued the relationship with his girlfriend. She was not happy about his having a wife and, after his marriage, her two children, a boy and a girl, accused the man of sexually assaulting them at different periods in their lives. The man was arrested and bail was set at $350,000. At a bail reduction hearing, John Weichsel was able to get the bail reduced so the man could get out of jail. In the meantime, however, the daughter accused her mother of condoning the man's sexual activity with her, so the mother was arrested as well. The children both had histories with the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (now called the Division of Child Protection and Permanency), and John fought to have their records unsealed. John Weichsel's client was indicted on charges of sexual assault in the first degree, which carries ten to 20 years in prison with no possibility of parole until 85 percent of the time has been served. The prosecutor was reluctant for John to get the DYFS records, but John pointed out to the Assistant Prosecutor how crazy the victim's story was and that she would be a very weak witness. After much negotiation, John was able to convince the prosecutor of the weakness of the case. Ultimately, she offered a 4th degree non-Megan's Law offense of child neglect, in that the client excessively disciplined the male child. This client, and many others, can testify to John's skill in negotiation. Instead of facing up to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison, with NERA, he received one year of probation.
The Internet is a Dangerous Place
The Internet is a dangerous place. One client John represented went on the Internet and chatted with what he thought was a 12 year-old girl. It was really an undercover police officer. The chats, which went on for days, were very sexually explicit. John's client was arrested and charged with Child Endangerment in the Second Degree. The client faced ten years in New Jersey state prison. John worked out a plea with the prosecutor to lower the charge to third degree endangerment, and convinced the judge to allow his client to serve his 180-day sentence on weekends so he would not lose his job. In order to persuade the judge to permit his client to serve his time on weekends, John showed that the client was providing significant child support to his children. John said recently, "Some people don't think the Internet is real, but it is very real. And it is a very dangerous place, a place that can tear lives apart and take people to prison for many years."
Public Lewdness Charges in New Jersey
The Internet is a very dangerous place. John has defended numerous clients arrested under the Disorderly Persons laws in New Jersey. These charges can involve public lewdness or indecent exposure, and those convicted face up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, Victim of Crime and Safe Neighborhood fees, up to two years' probation, possible community service, and banishment from parks or shopping malls. Once again, initial contact is often made on the Internet. "A number of my clients have been older men who were flattered by the good looking younger man who was pretending to take an interest in them, but turned out to be an undercover policeman. They were entrapped, but there are reasons why they may not want to fight on the grounds of entrapment. Perhaps they are married and bi-sexual, or have positions that would be jeopardized if they went to trial." John handles such cases with sensitivity, and a great deal of discretion and compassion. He does everything in his power to minimize the impact on his clients' lives.
Date Rape Charges in Bergen County, NJ
Date rape is a serious crime and Mr. Weichsel has defended men accused of sexual assault in the first degree In a recent Bergen County case, he was able to show the jury that what was allegedly date rape was in fact consensual sex between two people who not only knew each other, but were having a relationship. In this case, the client, in his late twenties, was facing ten to 20 years if convicted, with an 85 percent minimum under NERA. The young man had no prior crimes of any kind on his record, and the "date's story" didn't add up. She was a jealous ex who wanted to punish her former boyfriend for moving on.
A Trial Lawyer with a Record of Results
John Weichsel is a criminal defense lawyer who represents men and women facing sex crime charges or other criminal charges in northern New Jersey. If you are charged with any crime, John will work tirelessly to achieve the best result for you. John is proactive. He may seek the dismissal of all charges or he may work to have the charges reduced. He is familiar with the workings and procedures of all the courts -- Federal, Superior, Municipal and Appeals -- during all stages, including initial court proceedings where bail is set, bail reduction hearings, pretrial motions, trials, and appeals. In many cases, John has been able to help his clients by showing the prosecutors why criminal charges are not warranted and should not even be brought. John Weichsel is one of Bergen County, New Jersey’s most experienced criminal defense lawyers, with a depth and breath of experience in the area of sex charges. He can be reached at 201-488-1400.