A sex crime is a serious accusation to face. Hiring a McDonough sex crime lawyer to defend against your charges could be the difference between keeping or losing your freedom.
Sex crimes cover a wide range of offenses, ranging from a single unwanted touching to forcible rape. Even seemingly consensual encounters are prosecuted when the other party claims he or she was too drunk to consent. These offenses carry varying sentences if the defendant is found guilty. An experienced criminal defense attorney could help you navigate the criminal process and present a successful case in court.
There are over 20 sexual offenses in Georgia. These offenses range from violent crimes to adultery, and their punishments range from the death penalty to simple probation. An attorney may offer the best chance of being found not guilty or receiving a reduced sentence for a sex crime in McDonough.
Rape and Sexual Assaults
Rape and sexual assaults are “violent” sex crimes. Therefore, their penalties tend to be higher than other sexual offenses. For example, under the Official Code of Georgia §16-6-1, rape occurs when one person forces sex with another person. The potential penalty for rape includes the death penalty or an imprisonment term of 25 years to life.
Child molestation is an immoral or indecent act to (or in the presence of) a child under 16 years old with the intent to arouse the sexual desires of either the child or the defendant. A defendant faces a potential penalty of 5 to 20 years imprisonment for this type of conviction. A second offense carries a prison sentence of 10 to 30 years or life in prison.
Statutory rape occurs when someone engages in sex with any person under the age of 16. The punishment ranges from 1 to 20 years imprisonment. A defendant 21 years or older faces a minimum of 10 years.
When a defendant intentionally makes contact with another person’s intimate parts without their consent, this is classified as sexual battery in Georgia. Sexual battery is a high and aggravated misdemeanor in Georgia, but it becomes a felony upon a second conviction and triggers reporting on the Sex Offender registry. Aggravated sexual battery occurs when a “foreign object” penetrates the victim’s sexual organ or anus. A foreign object is anything other than the defendant’s sexual organ including other body parts such as the defendant’s tongue and fingers. A conviction for aggravated sexual battery is punishable by up to life imprisonment or a minimum of 25 years in prison followed by life on probation.
Not all sex crimes are of a violent or non-consensual nature. A defendant can be guilty of a sex crime in situations involving:
These crimes range from misdemeanors to felonies. Punishments for a misdemeanor can range from a monetary fine to a year in prison. Additionally, the internet has created new types of sex crimes that do not require someone to ever come into contact with another person. For example, a person can be prosecuted for online solicitation of someone they believe to be a minor. A person can also be charged with possessing nude photos of someone they know to be underage. Crimes that involve the use of computers require an advanced understanding of their operating systems and methods of accessing and preserving files.
These are just some of the potential crimes that fall under the umbrella of a sex offense. These crimes trigger special protections under the law for the victim and tend to open up a Pandora’s box regarding any allegations of wrongdoing in someone’s past. As such, individuals accused of a sex crime cannot afford to go to trial on any of these charges without an experienced attorney in McDonough who is ready to fight from day one.
False allegations are also extremely prevalent in sex crimes and can be made for a number of reasons. In some situations, these claims are made when the alleged victim faces backlash from friends or family who find out about the sexual encounter. In these situations, the alleged victim makes a false accusation to place the blame on someone else besides themselves.
Even prior consensual sexual encounters are not a complete defense if the other party claims he or she was unable to consent on a particular occasion or the previous consent was clearly withdrawn. Discovering the reason for the false allegations dramatically increases the chances of an acquittal at trial or even a pre-trial dismissal of the charges. Oftentimes, a private investigator is very beneficial in gathering these additional facts by interviewing the state’s witnesses and finding other witnesses who may benefit the defense.
Unfortunately, children are commonly used as pawns when a relationship turns sour. One parent can influence the child to make a false accusation in order to gain leverage in a custody battle. If someone is being falsely accused of a sex crime, our attorneys in McDonough could work hard to make sure the truth is told.
If you are charged with a sexual offense, you face a potentially life-changing accusation. As such, it is important to consult with a McDonough sex crimes lawyer when facing allegations of this nature. A legal professional could increase your chance of a successful defense and help you avoid prison. To get started on your case, call our office today.