A sex crime can be one of the most stigmatizing and distressing charges a person can face. If you are dealing with sex crime allegations, you may feel angry and humiliated about charges you believe are unfair. You are not alone, however. More than 92,716 people were arrested for sex crimes in 2010, and many of those were never convicted of the offense of which they were accused. If you want to work to clear your name and fight the charges against you, an Arlington sex crimes lawyer can help during this difficult time.
The category of sex crimes in Virginia is broad and encompasses numerous different offenses, some more severe than others. Your sex crimes lawyer in Arlington will have experience handling any of the sex crimes you may be facing, and will understand the legal nuances of each one and the elements the prosecutor will be required to prove in order to obtain a conviction. The sooner you consult your Arlington sex crimes attorney, the sooner he or she can begin investigating the evidence in your case – or lack thereof – and establishing a strong defense on your behalf.
There are several different categories of sex crimes outlined under Virginia Code sections 18.2-61 through 18.2-67.10. Most offenses are classified as either sexual offenses or sexually violent offenses. Offenses that are violent carry harsher penalties and include rape, forcible sodomy, object sexual penetration, and abduction with the intent to defile.
Sexual assault crimes include carnal knowledge of a child between 13 and 15, carnal knowledge of a child by a person with supervisory or custodial authority – including juvenile corrections officers, aggravated sexual battery, sexual battery, infected sexual battery, crimes against nature, incest, taking indecent liberties with a child, child pornography offenses, attempted sexual crimes, and violating a prohibition against proximity to children or working, volunteering or being on the property of any school or daycare center. No matter whether the offense you are accused of is considered violent or not, you will still need an Arlington sex crimes lawyer as your legal advocate.
Subsequent sex crime offenses – such as multiple misdemeanor sex crime convictions within a ten year period, or repeated sexual assault or violent sexual assaults occurring after release from prison- carry enhanced penalties that increase with the number of convictions.
Sex crime penalties in Virginia can be quite harsh, depending on the severity of the offense. Misdemeanor charges, such as a nonviolent sexual battery, are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and $2500 in fines. Felony or violent offenses are punishable by harsh prison sentences and hefty fines, including a mandatory minimum life sentence for raping a child under 13 when the accused is over 18, and two to ten years in prison with a fine of up to $100,000 for carnally knowing a child between the ages of 13 and 15. In many cases, one of the most devastating penalties is the requirement to register with the Commonwealth’s sexual offender registry.
In some cases, the court must impose mandatory minimum sentences, but in others, the court has discretion under the law to reduce penalties. This is one reason why it is so important that you have a sex crimes lawyer in Arlington fighting on your behalf and negotiating with the prosecutor for reduced penalties and charges.
Our experienced Arlington sex crimes lawyers understand that not all sex crime allegations are credible and many persons are accused of sexual offenses unfairly. Facing a sex crime charge is very serious, and you will need an Arlington sex crimes attorney by your side throughout the legal process, fighting to clear your name and help you get your life back on track.