Many sex crimes require you to register with your state as a sex offender for many years or even for life. This is, in many ways, one of the biggest reasons that defeating sex crime charges is so important.
But if you fail to register as required, fail to update your address or other information with the registry in time, or in any other way violate your state's sex offender registration laws, you could be charged with a felony and potentially serve jail time for failing to properly register and keep registered.
We at Sex Crimes Attorney understand the details of the various state sex offender registry laws, and we can help you to avoid a violation if you're unsure of what is required of you - especially if you've just moved to a new state. But we can also help get a failure to register charge against you dropped. We know how the process works in these types of cases, and we have helped numerous others avoid having a felony added to their record over a registration misunderstanding or mistake.
In all but a very few US states, incest is still a crime. Many states define "incest" as strictly sexual relations between two very closely related people, such as parent and child, sibling and sibling, or an aunt/uncle and his/her nice or nephew. First cousin relationships, however, are not considered incestuous except in a few places, like North Dakota, for example.
Some states also include in the legal definition of "incest" when close relatives (illegally) get married to each other or live together in a romantic way ("shack up.")
In a couple states, however, incest between consenting adults is legal or at least carries no penalty - even if incestuous marriages in those states (Rhode Island and New Jersey) are still not recognized.
If incest involves an adult and a child, then statutory rape and possibly child sexual abuse charges can be filed on top of the incest charge. The cumulative sentence could be daunting.
Anyone facing an incest allegation should take it very seriously, both because of the legal and "life" ramifications of a possible conviction. At Sex Crimes Attorney, we have the expertise necessary to help your defend yourself against an incest charge.
One lower level sex crime charge, typically a misdemeanor, is "indecent exposure." This can mean different things in different states, but it often means going nude in public or having sex in public.
"Lewd and lascivious acts" or a similar term is sometimes used to describe a sex crime where indecent exposure went a step or two further. Say, if a person grabbed his/her genitals on a public street, that could count as lewd/lascivious acts.
At Sex Crimes Attorney, we can help you defeat these misdemeanor level sex crime charges to keep your record clean and to keep you out of jail. It is often possible to get such charges reduced in a plea deal if you can't get them dismissed or acquitted.
In today's highly connected world, many sex crimes take place over the Internet. Some states have special laws handling online sex crimes, including distribution of child pornography, running of prostitution rings, and more.
Oral sex by force is also rape, but it is usually defined as a separate crime legally, the term "oral copulation by force" or a similar phrase being used to describe it.
One can potentially be charged with both rape and oral copulation by force if both sexual intercourse and oral sex were committed by force or fear on a victim.
While prostitution may be legal in Canada and in a few isolated areas of Nevada under strict state/county control and licensing, it is 100% against the law in almost every part of the United States under any and all circumstances.
Agreeing to give or receive money, services, or anything of value in exchange for sex, or offering to do so, is illegal. Punishments for soliciting a prostitute are often as severe or more severe than those for engaging in prostitution. Pimping or running prostitution rings, however, are the most harshly punished prostitution related crimes.
Police often pose as either prostitutes or as "johns" seeking to contact one in order to catch people in the act of prostitution/solicitation. And they sometimes make raids on suspected houses of prostitution. But it's easy for police to go too far and commit "entrapment" or for innocent people to be arrested because they were "in the wrong place at the wrong time."
At Sex Crimes Attorney, we are highly experienced at defending our clients against all manner of prostitution related charges, and we often win dismissals, acquittals, and reduced charges and sentences.
Any unwanted sexual intercourse that is forced upon a victim through threats or through physical coercion, qualifies as rape. Although rape most commonly has a woman victim and a male perpetrator, the crime of rape does not specify the gender or sexual orientation of those involved.
And two or more accomplices working together to commit a rape are both fully guilty of the crime.
Also, if a sexual encounter began consensually but at some point one of the partners changed his/her mind and communicated that fact in a way a "reasonable person" would understand, then it becomes rape if one sexual partner forcibly continues the intercourse.
Any sex that lacks the element of consent is defined as rape. And if someone is mentally handicapped or otherwise unable to give proper legal consent, then that counts as lack of consent. If someone gets another person drunk or drugs him/her in order to take advantage later and have sex with that person, it could constitute a lack of consent.
Rape charges can be felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the nature of the act involved and the defendant's past criminal record. Even with an egregious offense like rape, there are various degrees of severity of the crime and corresponding degrees of severity of the punishments.
Sodomy had long been a sex crime in the United States, but since the US Supreme Court overturned these laws as far as they outlaw homosexual sex acts, they are in effect unenforceable even if still on the books in some states.
But in fact, sodomy laws had seldom been enforced against two people engaging in consensual homosexual sex and nothing more - for decades. But, many of the state "sodomy" laws also ban oral sex, anal sex, bestiality, and anything else considered unnatural and immoral sexual activities. And some of these other aspects of sodomy laws could still be charged against someone in rare cases.
Many of the most harshly punished of all sex crimes are those committed against children. Child sexual molestation, continuous sexual abuse of a child over a period of time, sexual exploitation of a minor, and other serious such crimes are charged much more frequently than one might suppose.
If a child is under 14, or other state-set age thresholds, penalties for sex abuse increase. If the adult abused a position or trust or authority in order to take advantage of the child, again, sentences get harsher.
Many people are falsely accused of child sex abuse every year, and the way state reporting laws are, it actually can encourage false or uncertain allegations to be pursued. No matter how offensive the crime, a mere accusation does not equal guilt. At Sex Crimes Attorney, we know how to protect your rights and defend you against sex crime charges involving child sex abuse of some kind.
Although it varies by state, "assault" is normally defined as the unlawful, intentional attempt to inflict bodily harm on another person, while "battery" occurs when that attempt is carried out - at least to the point that physical contact (however slight) is made between the perpetrator and the victim.
When an act of assault and/or battery is done for a sexual motive or results in sexual touching of any kind, it is sexual assault or sexual battery.
If a person physically restrains another person so as to engage in sexual touching with him/her against his/her will, that is also sexual assault and battery.
In some states, the terms "sexual assault" or "sexual battery" are basically used interchangeably with "rape," but in many states, there is a distinction among these crimes.
Marriage is not a defense against the charge of rape, but in many states, spousal rape is listed as a distinct crime. It may also be punished somewhat differently, and the way evidence is assessed in court might also differ with a spousal rape case.
There was a time when spousal rape was not normally prosecuted and wasn't even always considered "rape" in all jurisdictions (even if accompanying criminal threats, assault, and battery that took place in the incident were prosecuted). But that day is past.
Even if two people are married, sexual intercourse cannot be legally forced against the will of either party.
When the victim of a rape is a minor (under the age of 18), it is a kind of rape crime when someone has sex with him or her, even if the sex is "consensual."
Minors are not considered to be "legally capable" of giving consent to sexual acts. Therefore, any sex with a person under 18 is automatically counted as rape.
Even if both parties to the sexual intercourse were minors at the time, one of them (normally the older one) can still be charged with statutory rape for consensual sex. And if a boyfriend is 18 while his girlfriend is 17 and they have sex, that too can be counted as statutory rape.
However, the more severe penalties for statutory rape are reserved for situations where the adult is significantly older than the child (say, 5 years older, though the number used can vary from state to state) OR where the defendant has prior sex crimes on his criminal record OR where aggravating factors like the child being under the age of 14 or bodily injury being inflicted or a firearm or other deadly weapon being used apply.