Being accused of a sex crime is a serious situation in Mecklenburg County. In addition to the potential for lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines, sex crime convictions often result in sex offender registration requirements and create a social stigma that may never go away. But due to the nature of sex crimes, these offenses can be charged in situations where they are not warranted.
If you are facing charges of sexual assault, carnal knowledge, sexual battery, or any crime of this type, it is advisable to contact a Mecklenburg County sex crimes lawyer as soon as feasible to begin collecting and preserving evidence to build the strongest possible defense. Call today and set up a consultation with an accomplished defense attorney.
Under Virginia statutes, the crime of rape is the most serious sex crime. This offense occurs when someone has sexual intercourse with another person either against the other person’s will, using “force, threat or intimidation,” when the other person is unable to resist due to mental incapacity or physical impairment, or when the other person is under the age of 13.
The penalties for this offense are extremely severe and include the potential for a life sentence in prison. Minimum sentences start at five years but vary tremendously depending on circumstances. (Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-61.)
Carnal knowledge of a minor between the age of 13 and 15 is a Class 4 felony. This offense occurs when someone engages in sexual intercourse without the use of force. While they may believe the action is consensual, the law does not consider a minor of that able to be legally capable of giving such consent. Penalties for this sex crime include a sentence between 2-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Therefore, it is essential for defendants to obtain the services of a Mecklenburg sex crimes attorney.
Sexual battery and aggravated sexual battery involve conduct that constitutes sexual abuse but does not include sexual intercourse. Section 18.2-67.10 of the Virginia code defines sexual abuse as an action “committed with the intent to sexually molest, arouse, or gratify” that involves either touching another person’s intimate body parts (or fabric covering those parts), or forcing someone to touch another person’s intimate body parts (or the fabric covering them).
When a person commits sexual abuse without consent and with the use of force, threat, trick or intimidation, the situation can be considered sexual battery. Sexual abuse can also be treated as sexual battery if it occurs with more than one person (or with the same person on multiple occasions) within a two-year period.
In addition, if the person being sexually abused is incarcerated or on parole and the person committing the abuse is in a position of authority, that abuse is considered sexual battery. Sexual battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which means it is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
If circumstances indicate that a sexual battery should be treated as aggravated sexual battery, the offense becomes a felony. Those convicted face up to 20 years in prison and a fine as high as $100,000. A sexual battery is aggravated when sexual abuse is committed:
For more information about sex crime charges in Mecklenburg County, call a knowledgeable lawyer.
With crimes this serious, it is best not to take chances. Even a misdemeanor conviction has the potential to trigger sex offender registration requirements which can cause problems far into the future.
Anyone facing charges involving sexual battery or other sexual assault offenses should consider contacting a Mecklenburg County sex crimes lawyer to begin working toward the best possible outcome in the case.