Sex crimes are some of the most prevalent offenses in the U.S. with extremely harsh penalties if proven guilty. However, the chances of being falsely accused are equally high. Apart from the severity of the punishment, being termed a sex offender can impact every aspect of your life. No matter how fervently you deny the accusation, you are nowhere close to exonerating your name unless you have an experienced attorney by your side to guide you. You have the right to defend yourself against the lawsuit to prove your innocence and have all the charges against you dropped.
What Is a Sex Crime?
Forced and non-consensual sexual intercourse is termed as a sex crime. There are a number of offenses that fall under sex crimes that involve coercing someone into a sexual act or offensive behavior that includes groping or sexually touching a person without consent. There are also non-forcible instances of sexual crime that involve possessing pornography or obscene acts such as exposure. A victim of a sex crime can file a lawsuit against the perpetrator who is termed a sexual offender and is penalized as per the law.
With sex crimes involving a number of offenses, any case where the state line has been crossed is tried under federal crimes.
Sex Offender Registry
The sex offender registry is a national registry where a person convicted of a sex crime in the federal court needs to register. The registry has details of the offender, from their name and address to their offense and their photo, and is accessible to all. Once listed on the registry, one becomes a known offender, making it harder to find the right jobs, housing, or access to public areas.
Common Offenses Under Sex Crimes
Sex crimes have become a common offense with data supporting the fact. Sex crimes doubled from 1.4 victims per 1000 people aged 12 or above in 2017 to 2.7 in 2018. Some of the common instances of sex crimes include:
- Sexually assaulting a child
- Statutory rape
- Indecent exposure
- Possessing child pornography
- Indecency toward a child
- Lewd acts
- Human trafficking
State vs Federal Prosecution of Sex Crimes
Sex crimes are usually prosecuted at the state level. However, there are certain cases that violate both state and federal law. In such instances, the case falls under both state and federal jurisdiction. Not every case under the federal jurisdiction is prosecuted by them. They have the liberty to choose certain cases that they would like to prosecute based on the severity of the crime. The penalty for a federal sex crime is also more stringent in comparison, making an experienced attorney a vital asset.
- Sex crimes that violate federal laws include:
- Child pornography
- Sexual exploitation of a child
- Trafficking of minor sex work
- Human trafficking for prostitution
- Computer sex crimes
- Sex crimes that result in death
Why Should You Hire a Sex Crime Lawyer?
When someone is accused of a sex crime, the chances of being exonerated may not always be great. With judges often being swayed by emotional narratives, being proven guilty even when you are not is a high possibility. Hiring a sex crime lawyer can help you make a strong case to prove your innocence with a strategy based on experience.
Anything you say when a lawsuit is filed against you can be used against you, making it essential to have a lawyer that you can rely on for guidance.
You Need Legal Expertise
For anyone falsely accused of sexual assault, a sex crime lawyer can help lay down the kind of arguments that could come up during a trial to be better prepared for what is to come. Relying on someone familiar with cases of sex crimes will be more assured of how to proceed and what to say to have you exonerated.
Careful Analysis of the Case Is Vital
How should you proceed with a sex crime lawsuit against you? Understanding the possibilities of the outcome based on your case is vital to know the right way forward. A legal expert will take all things into consideration and help identify the most accurate course of action.
Your Penalty Can Be Reduced
In case you are proved guilty, your attorney can ensure that your penalty is reduced as much as possible. A good attorney can also make sure you are not listed as an offender.
You Can Have a Trusted Course of Action
It is strongly advised that a person accused of a sex crime avoid getting in touch with the person who has filed the lawsuit. Doing so may be considered as an act of intimidation by the jury and add to the complaint against you. Not taking the help of a lawyer can lead to you making grave errors that may backfire in your prosecution. With a reliable attorney, you have a trusted course of action that can help keep you out of further trouble.
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