Prince William County Sex Crimes Lawyer
If you have been accused of a sex crime, you may be worrying about how these charges may affect your employment, relationships, and reputation. If you have been charged with a sex crime in Virginia, an experienced Prince William County sex crimes lawyer can help advocate for your legal rights.
Consulting With A Prince William County Sex Crimes Attorney
If you have been accused of a sex crime in Virginia, an experienced Prince William County sex crimes lawyer can help you understand the legal nuances of the charges against you and vigorously defend your case in court.
Some of the services our lawyers can offer in response to a sex crime charge include:
- Investigating your case thoroughly to ensure that all evidence is understood
- Educating you about your defense options and their possible outcomes
- Representing you in court to ensure that your rights are defended
- Working to introduce reasonable doubt into your case in order to avoid a conviction
- Negotiating with prosecutors for reduced charges if you opt for a plea bargain
Prevalence of Sex Crimes in Virginia
Whether you believe you are not guilty of the conduct you have been accused of, or you did not realize certain actions could be considered sex crimes, you are not alone. In 2012, there were 4,963 forcible and non-forcible sex offenses reported in Virginia, and this does not include non-contact sex offenses, such as child pornography possession, non-consensual photography, or indecent exposure.
Types of Sex Crimes in Virginia
Virginia law classifies sexual offenses into two classifications, sexual crimes and sexually violent crimes. Both types of offenses are serious, though the penalties and felony or misdemeanor classifications are typically more severe for violent offenses.
Some examples of sexually violent offenses include rape, aggravated sexual battery and sexual abuse, forcible sodomy, sexual crimes against minors, abduction for immoral purpose, object sexual penetration, sex trafficking, and homicide related to a sex crime.
Sexual offenses that are considered nonviolent may include unlawful photographing or filming of a person, possession of child pornography, certain forms of sexual battery that did not involve force or a weapon, adultery, incest or unlawful fornication with a consenting adult, knowingly transmitting a sexual disease, using electronic communication to solicit a minor, and indecent exposure. All of which can still benefit from the assistance of a Prince William County sex crimes lawyer.
Consent Laws and Incapacitation
The penalties for some sex crimes turn on how old a victim is, or how many years apart in age the victim and the accused are. Even where a minor has given consent for a sexual encounter, such consent is not valid if the person is underage or the accused is much older than the minor.
In other instances, the court will look at whether the victim suffered from mental or physical incapacitation. People who are incapacitated – whether from intoxication, being drugged, or a mental or physical disability – are unable to give valid consent to sexual acts. A Prince William County sex crimes attorney can provide specific details based on your case and the penalties you could be facing.
Sex Crime Penalties in Virginia
The penalties associated with sex crimes in Virginia range in harshness depending on the severity of the offense. For certain crimes, subsequent offenses receive increasingly severe penalties.
Violent crimes and offenses against children or incapacitated persons typically receive the longest prison sentences. Rape carries a potential life in prison sentence, under Virginia Code 18.2-61 and aggravated sexual battery, for instance, carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
In addition, most sex crimes, even minor ones, require those found guilty to register with the sexual offense registry in Virginia. Because the sex offense registry is open to the public, including employers, neighbors, and people in other states and even countries, a mandatory registration requirement can follow you for life. Your sex crimes lawyer in Prince William County will understand the impact sex offender registration can have and will work to reduce the charges against you or have them dismissed.