Woodbridge Sex Crimes Lawyer

Sex crime charges are among the most intimidating charges a person can face in the criminal justice system. In addition to carrying life-altering consequences if convicted, there is a social stigma associated with sex crime charges. Sex crimes are sensitive in nature and typically involve personal and intimate information. Many sex crime charges have life-altering consequences outside of the possibility of incarceration.  If convicted, the person charged will most likely be required to register as a sex offender. This extra consequence certainly raises the stakes for any person who is charged with a sex crime.

The combination of the serious consequences associated with a conviction for sex crimes along with the potentially embarrassing nature of the process involved in prosecution can make these charges intimidating to face and make it important that a Woodbridge sex crimes lawyer is consulted. Dealing with the kind of evidence that is often involved with a case of this nature requires a certain level of experience. An experienced Woodbridge defense attorney who has defended multiple sex crimes cases will know how best to deal with the evidence that could be potentially presented at trial in your case.

Common Offenses

The most common sex crime in Woodbridge is sexual battery because sexual battery can mean a variety of different things. Sometimes, sexual battery can be an overcharged crime, as there have been sexual battery cases in Woodbridge that were overstated, which is why a sex crimes lawyer in Woodbridge is so important to contact immediately after an accusation is made.

Degrees of Sexual Battery

There are many different types of offenses that fall under the umbrella of the term of sex crimes, ranging from a class one misdemeanor of sexual battery, all the way up to offenses such as rape and object sexual penetration. Additionally, sex crimes can include crimes involving child pornography, as well as crimes involving prostitution and the solicitation thereof. There are a large variety of things listed in the Code of Virginia that fall under the sex crimes umbrella.

The law regarding sexual battery is a broadly written statute, stating that sexual battery has occurred if a person has sexually abused the complaining witness against their will.

Sexual battery is a class one misdemeanor in Virginia. However, there is also a statute in Virginia regarding aggravated sexual battery, which includes all things associated with sexual battery with one or more of several aggravating factors. These types of factors, all of which warrant the services of a sex crimes attorney in Woodbridge include:

  • The complaining witness is less than 13 years of age, or the act is accomplished through the use of the complaining witness’s mental or physical incapacity
  • The offense is committed by a parent of a person who is between the ages of 13 and 18
  • The act is accomplished against the will of the complaining witness by force threat or intimidation, and then it caused serious mental or bodily injury to the person
  • The act is committed with a weapon involved

There are a number of different ways a sexual battery can become aggravated sexual battery. If it becomes aggravated sexual battery, that constitutes an unclassified felony, the punishment for which is one to 20 years in prison.

Investigation Process

The vast majority of sex crime cases usually involve two eye witnesses, the accusing witness and the accused. For that reason, the police are more motivated to try to get a statement from the person who is accused of committing the offense.

The police attempt to get such statements because they are hesitant to go to the magistrate and try to get a warrant based solely on one person’s version of the events. They hope to get some level of corroboration on the part of the accused person before they move forward. An experienced Woodbridge sex crimes attorney can advise someone on how best to speak to the police when they are being investigated for a sex crime.

Role of a Sex Crimes Attorney in Woodbridge

The primary role of an attorney in a sex crime case is to investigate the claims made by the accusing witness to determine whether or not the claim has merit. Attorneys can do this in a number of different ways. Sometimes, it involves employing an investigator to talk to any relevant witnesses in the case. Lawyers can obtain discovery from the government to determine what evidence they have pointed to the accused’s guilt.

A Woodbridge sex crimes attorney should be expected to compile as much evidence as possible to present in court in an effort to defend their client. And at some point during this investigation, it is likely that the government will make some kind of a plea offer.

If the government makes a plea offer, it is up to the attorney to evaluate that offer as to whether or not they believe the government can prove at trial. In some cases, the government may not offer enough to avoid going to trial. However, in many cases, the government can make an offer that the client should take, and it is up to the client to prove the judgment of their lawyer to evaluate the best decision. If the client elects not to take the lawyer’s recommendation, they could find themselves looking at a significantly harsher penalty if the case goes to trial and ends in a guilty verdict.