When you have been charged with a sex crime in the Commonwealth of Virginia, it’s easy to quickly become overwhelmed. Our Virginia sex crimes lawyers are here to ensure that you receive a professional defense and fair treatment under the law, no matter what the charges against you may be.
Sex crimes convictions in the Commonwealth of Virginia can result in extremely serious legal consequences, from lengthy prison terms to the possibility of having to register as a sex offender for many years, if not the rest of your life. Long after a prison sentence or jail term is served, the consequences of such a conviction can be felt.
The Virginia sex crimes lawyers at our firm are dedicated to serving individuals who are facing difficult charges, such as rape or sexual assault. Sexually-related charges are tied to some of our most intimate and vulnerable feelings as human beings, which means that sometimes facts are blown out of proportion and misrepresented.
Because many sex crime convictions hinge upon the prosecution proving a lack of “consent,” it can be difficult to prove that a criminal act took place “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This distinction is an important one to make in a situation that often depends on direct testimony from an alleged victim. By conducting a thorough investigation of the incident and enacting savvy defense tactics, a Virginia sex crimes lawyer can work to establish the reasonable doubt necessary to have the charges dismissed or drastically reduced.
Sex crimes in Virginia are generally defined as any sexual act committed against someone without their consent, or who is unable to give their consent. The latter can apply to people who are physically or mentally disabled, the very old, and the very young. Sex crimes in Virginia, however, do not require there to be physical contact for a person to be charged or convicted of such crimes. Indecent exposure and online sex crimes would be examples in which physical contact is not made, but the acts are still illegal.
Sex crimes are also extremely aggressively prosecuted in the Commonwealth of Virginia, even in cases where certain acts are attempted. Penalties can range from several years in prison to thousands of dollars in fines. Most sex crimes are defined in Virginia State Code Sections 18.2-61 through 18.2-67.10.
If you are curious about where your charges fall in relation to other charges and penalties, get in touch with a Virginia sex crimes lawyer who can explain the subtle distinctions between various legal terms and definitions.
Additionally, there are certain limitations when it comes to a defendant asking for specific information from the prosecution, such as witness lists and statements, as they related to sex crimes. As such, anyone charged with a sex crime will want to retain a Virginia sex crimes attorney who has experience in working with these procedural restraints.
There are a number of offenses that fall within the broader category of sex crimes in Virginia. These include, but are not limited to:
Below, you’ll find a set of summaries that work to describe various distinctions between sex crimes. For more information, call our firm to conduct your free initial consultation and speak with a Virginia sex crimes lawyer.
Non-forcible sex crimes tend to carry lesser charges and associated penalties. These include:
Incest is defined as non-forcible sexual intercourse between consenting relatives and wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
Statutory Rape is considered a non-forcible offense when it involves sexual intercourse or contact with a person who is not yet old enough to provide consent.
The Virginia State Police Department classifies forcible sex crimes as follows:
The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person’s will.
Carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will.
The use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate the genitals or anus of another person, either forcibly and/or against that person’s will.
Forcible oral or anal sexual intercourse.
In some cases, any of the above sexual acts may not be forcible or against the victim’s will, but the victim is unable to provide legal consent because he or she is found to be physically or mentally impaired, or is too young to understand the gravity of the act. In these cases, the crime may still be deemed a forcible act, and as such carry harsher penalties.
Child pornography stings frequently target individuals who engage in online chat rooms and other internet activity. Mistakenly visiting a site, or downloading an image, could lead to serious accusations and charges. Because the mere accusation can destroy one’s personal and private lives, it’s important to contact a Virginia sex crimes lawyer immediately if you believe you are being investigated.
Our Virginia sex crimes attorneys are sensitive to the needs of clients facing tough charges. We understand how difficult they can be, which is why we’re here to help defend and guide you through the legal process. To learn more about your options, please call our friendly legal team today. Or, here is more information on other criminal charges we handle.