What is the Romeo and Juliet Law in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, a Romeo and Juliet law is a statute that limits the penalties of certain crimes such as child molestation, sexual assault, and statutory rape when the perpetrator is a minor (under 18) and the victim is older than 18. These limits are placed on the crime when the perpetrator is within four years of age than their victim. 

The “Romeo and Juliet” laws were created to prevent young couples from being punished harshly for having consensual sexual relationships. These laws address the bias that young people are not emotionally stable enough to consent to sex legally. That has been proven by research which shows that these types of relationships are common among youth who have not reached full maturity.

Role of Best Criminal Defense Attorney

1. Education of the client:

Every criminal lawyer’s goal is to educate clients about their legal rights and how that can affect their decision-making process. Lawyers must ensure that the clients do not make any decisions based on false assumptions. Education is key in this area.

2. Consultation:

In the consultation phase, lawyers will interview their clients and determine if they have been involved in a similar situation. If the lawyer is not involved in these cases, they will find out all they can about the case. The lawyer will also determine if there are any other crimes they may have to take on in addition to the sexual assault which they are defending.

3. Selection of counsel:

The criminal lawyer must ensure they have chosen a competent attorney to handle this case. Many factors should be taken into consideration before making a choice. The lawyer will want to meet with the client to let them know what they can expect from their defense.

4. Preparation of case:

The lawyer must allow themselves time to be prepared for court. Before a case is even heard, a lawyer must be able to prepare their arguments and thoroughly research any relevant laws regarding their client’s charges and situation.

5. Presenting the case:

The best criminal defense attorney must be able to present their client’s case in a manner that is clear and concise. The goal is to ensure that their clients understand the process and know any relevant or irrelevant laws.

6. Negotiation:

The lawyer can negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor. The lawyer will also be able to advise on how much of a reduction in penalties they can get for their client.

7. Representation at trial:

The lawyer will be required to represent their clients at a trial or other proceedings held in front of a judge. If the lawyer is not confident in their abilities to fully represent their client, they should not take on the case.

8. Appeal process:

The best criminal defense attorney can do that with their client if an appealing process is available. If a plea deal is not taken, this may be the next step for the defendant.

9. Finalization:

The defense attorney should review all of the case details with their client to ensure they are satisfied with their representation. The lawyer is there to ensure that their clients understand everything that is going on and they can make an informed decision regarding the plea deal. 

10. Termination/Discontinuation:

The lawyer must be able to terminate their representation when their client is no longer interested in seeking defensive counsel. The lawyer will also be able to discontinue the representation at any time.

What to do if you are the victim of a Romeo and Juliet law

You may feel confused, powerless, and scared when you are the victim of a Romeo and Juliet law. You must remain strong and make sure that you are informed about what your rights are as well as your decisions. The first thing that you should do is get legal representation as soon as possible. Your life is in jeopardy, and you do not want to take any chances with your future. You may have the right to monetary settlements to help you through this difficult time. Contacting an attorney experienced in these cases is the best way to protect your rights.


A defense attorney will guide you through the court process, help you make informed decisions, negotiate a legal settlement with the prosecutor, and represent you at trial.

Romeo and Juliet’s laws are especially applicable in New Jersey due to its law that recognizes the age of 18 for sexual consent. As Romeo and Juliet’s laws specifically focus on child molestation, a defense attorney may recommend that the criminal be automatically found not guilty if the victim is over 18. A defence attorney may also help the defendant avoid a penalty for making or distributing child pornography under 18 if the victim is over 18. Romeo and Juliet’s laws do not excuse a minor from criminal behavior but can reduce penalties or punishments.

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