Allegations of sexual misconduct are serious and can range from those involving an unwelcome sexual touch, to statutory rape, to criminal sexual conduct involving the use of force. In almost every example, sex crimes are felonies where a conviction could result in a multiple-year prison sentence. In addition, convictions usually require a person to register as a sex offender. Avoiding these outcomes is vital to your immediate future and long-term freedom.
A Columbia sex crimes lawyer might be able to help you if you are facing these allegations. A seasoned criminal defense attorney could listen to your side of the story, evaluate the legality of police work that led to the arrest, and present arguments in court that help create reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors.
A sex crime is any event where a person initiates unwelcome sexual contact with another. The idea of the sexual contact being non-consensual is key to each of these allegations. Sexual contact may be nonconsensual due to the use of force, a person being unable to resist due to incapacitation, or an individual being unable to consent due to age.
Lack of consent is the basis for all sex crimes. For example, criminal sexual conduct in the third degree under South Carolina Code § 16-3-654 says that it is illegal to commit sexual battery against another person when the actor uses force, or if the actor has reason to know that the alleged victim was mentally defective or physically helpless. Convictions under this law can result in a prison sentence of up to ten years.
There are a number of aggravating factors that can make sex crime accusations more serious. A sexual battery that occurs through the use of aggravated force against another individual raises the offense to criminal sexual conduct in the second degree. Aggravated force contains the threat of severe bodily harm or death. Convictions under this law can bring a maximum 20-year prison sentence. The most serious examples involve the use of this aggravated force, which can bring a maximum 30-year prison sentence. A Columbia sex crimes attorney could provide a full explanation of the state’s laws and help individuals better understand their unique charges.
Sex crime cases always place the burden on prosecutors to prove that every element of the crime occurred. As a result, effective defenses can arise out of disproving a single portion of a prosecutor’s case. A common example of this revolves around consent. Providing proof that a person consented to sexual contact through text messages or emails can defeat many sex crime accusations.
It may also be possible to challenge the legality of police work that led to the gathering of evidence. Warrantless searches, improper interrogations, and incorrect handling of evidence can all justify motions to suppress evidence long before a jury sees it. Without this evidence, prosecutors may be unable to pursue their cases. A Columbia sex crimes lawyer could work with people to decide which defense strategy could bring the best chances for success.
If you are facing charges involving any kind of sex crime, it is essential that you act quickly to protect yourself. In most situations, these charges are felonies where a conviction will result in a prison sentence and result in you being labeled a sex offender. It is important to fight back from day one.
A Columbia sex crimes lawyer could help you in this fight. They could explain the relevant laws, hear your side of the story, gather evidence that could prove your position, and challenge the legality of the prosecutor’s case. Give us a call today so we can get to work for you.