Fairfax Sex Crimes Lawyer
Being found guilty of a sex crime in Fairfax County, Virginia carries serious consequences for the convicted party. In addition to possible prison time and fines convicted offenders will be forced to register as a sex offender in the state registry, in some cases for life. Offenders also face the professional and social stigma that comes from having a sex offense on their criminal records. Obtaining the services of a dedicated Fairfax sex crimes attorney does not guarantee you a successful outcome if you are charged with a sex crime in Virginia, but it certainly increases your odds at achieving the best possible result. It also will provide you peace of mind as you prepare to defend you record and reputation against aggressive prosecutors and police. If you need a criminal attorney for other charges you are facing in Fairfax County, look here.
What Constitutes A Sex Crime In Virginia
The state of Virginia defines sexual assault as any non-consensual sexual activity performed either against the will of the other or without the other persons legal consent. In Virginia, however, sex crimes could include any of the following:
- Lewd conduct
- Sexual Battery
- Spousal rape
- Statutory rape
- Indecent exposure
- Date Rape
- Internet sex crimes
Punishment for Sex Crimes
There are varying degrees that encompass a wide range of sexual offenses from misdemeanor sexual abuse to felony sexual assault. A felony offense is the most serious type of crime a person can be charged with and comes with heavy punishments. The most common sex crimes and the corresponding penalties in the State of Virginia include the following:
This is considered to be a Class 1 misdemeanor offense and is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a maximum fine of up to $2,500. A third conviction of sexual battery within 10 years is considered to be a Class 6 felony offense. This is punishable by up to 12 months in jail or one to five years in prison and a maximum fine of up to $2,500. Even if it is your first sexual battery charge, contact a Fairfax sex crimes lawyer today to protect your rights and your future.
Aggravated Sexual Battery
This offense occurs, for example, when a parent, grandparent, stepparent or step-grandparent sexually abuses a child who is at least 13 years of age but less than 18 years old. The Virginia statute defines this offense in several ways. Aggravated sexual battery is considered to be a felony offense and is punishable by one to 20 years in state prison and a maximum fine of up to $100,000.
An individual will be charged with rape if he or she causes a victim to engage in sexual intercourse when the victim does not, or cannot, provide legal consent. The act must have been accomplished either: 1)through the use of force, threats or intimidation, 2) by taking advantage of the victim’s physical or mental helplessness, or 3) against a child under the age of 13. This offense is punishable from five years to life in prison. Depending on the conduct of the defendant, he or she could be facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in state prison. Similar offenses committed against the will of the victim, such as forcible sodomy and object sexual penetration, can result in a prison sentence of five years to life, and depending on the conduct of the defendant, the minimum sentence may also rise to 25 years in state prison.
Carnal Knowledge of a Child Ages 13 to 15 Years Old
The punishment for this offense will depend upon the relative ages of the victim and the accused. Generally, if the victim was between the age of 13 to 15 years old, it is considered to be a Class 4 felony offense. This is punishable by two to ten years in state prison and a fine of up to $100,000. However, if the defendant was a minor at the time and the victim was more than three years younger than the accused, it is considered to be a Class 6 felony offense. This carries a sentence of one to five years in prison or a jail sentence of one year and/or a maximum fine of $2,500.
Sex Crime Registration
The state, in 2006, created a Sex Offender Registry that today lists the names and locations of about 20,000 people convicted of sex crimes in Virginia. Being included in the registry means that one must report any change of address or employment almost immediately. Those who have been convicted of violent sex crimes, or penetration offenses, may be ordered to register for life, while others can petition the courts to be removed from the registry after a period of ten years.
Evidence Required for a Conviction
Prosecuting sexual offenses tend to be emotionally charged and juries are most often biased in favor of the alleged victim, especially when the victim is a child. The rules of evidence will determine what evidence is admissible and how the judge or jury will weigh each piece of evidence. Prosecuting a sexual offense case can be made more difficult if the victim was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.
The Advantages of a Fairfax County Sex Crimes Lawyer
A person accused of sex offenses may face severe damage to their personal and professional and social life, regardless if they are actually convicted of the crime. If you are being charged or investigated, or even anticipate being charged or investigated, for a sex crime in Virginia, you need to enlist the help of an attorney right away to protect yourself. It happens often that those accused of a sex crime, even those who are innocent of the charges they face, make mistakes when they try to deal with police or prosecutors without help from an experienced legal advocate.
Sex crimes are among the most intimidating of all criminal charges to face, but you do not have to go against them alone. Our team of Fairfax sex crime lawyers are ready to help you develop the strongest possible answer to the accusations against you. Get started on defending yourself by calling our office right away for a free consultation.