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7 Reasons You Should Hire a Sex Crime Attorney

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

If you have been accused of any kind of sex crime, you need to hire an attorney immediately. The possible impact on your life of a conviction for a sexual offense will be long and damaging.

Not just any lawyer ill do. You need a sex crime attorney with a proven track record of helping people in situations like yours. This area of criminal defense has many landmines, so you need an experienced practitioner in your corner.

Here are seven reasons why you need an attorney with experience in sex crimes if you face this kind of criminal charge.

1. Statutory Crimes

Definitions of sex crimes often hinge on the concept of consent: if both parties consent to sexual activity, there is no rape. Thus cases often focus on whether the person claiming rape consented or not.

However, statutory rape is defined by statute. This means the circumstances of the situation and whether both parties consented, are irrelevant. There is no need to establish consent, or use of force or violence.

Each state defines statutory rape differently. However, in all states, statutory rape is defined by when one person is legally below the age of consent; in the state of Texas, this is anyone younger than age 17.

A skilled sex crime attorney will know that there are certain exceptions to this rule. If you are accused of illegal sex with a minor, you may be eligible for the “Romeo and Juliet” exception if you yourself are less than three years older than the minor in question.

2. Reputational Damage

You need a lawyer with experience with sex crime defense if you are charged with sexual assault, rape, indecent activity, or other sex-related claims. A good lawyer will help you to negotiate with the prosecutor and possibly reduce or throw out the charges.

An experienced sex crime attorney knows the damage that can be done to a client who is accused of rape or similar crime. Even someone who is found not guilty may face an irreparable black mark on their reputation that can take years to remove, if ever.

You need to be able to discuss with your lawyer the legal ramifications of your case, and also how to possibly contain and manage the public relations fall out that may occur in the wake of these allegations.

3. Incendiary Trial

Because of the nature of sex crimes, their trials seem to get a lot of community and media attention. There is often sordid news coverage of salacious details.

Anyone who participates in a trial about sex crimes can expect to be asked many uncomfortable questions. You may be asked in detail about the event in question. You may also have to answer questions about your past sexual history and other very personal topics.

When you are represented by an attorney, they will prepare you for any testimony you may need to give in either a deposition or in court. They will let you know what to expect, and how to answer these questions. They may give tips on staying calm on the stand.

They will also let you know how to conduct yourself during the trial, before the judge and your accuser. They will represent your interests and speak up on your behalf when statements are made or accusations leveled that are out of bounds.

Court is not an arena where you want to be on your own. You need a skilled advocate in your corner.

3. Strict Penalties

You face serious consequences if you are convicted of a sex crime. In Texas, sexual assault is a second-degree felony and is punishable by a prison sentence between ten and twenty years. Aggravated assault carries a prison term of between five and 99 years. This stricter charge can be used against people charged with sex crimes against children.

You also face stiff penalties for sex crimes other than rape. These might include indecent exposure, invasive recording, electronic transmission of sexually explicit material, and voyeurism. Convictions for these crimes may result in prison sentences, fines, or both, depending on the circumstances and your criminal history.

Recently groping was upgraded to a crime.

Your lawyer will know how to mitigate these punishments. Your past may play an important role. If you made one youthful mistake, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a reduced sentence.

4. Sex Crime Registry

One of the most burdensome punishments imposed on those convicted of sex crimes is the sex crime registry. Some sex crime punishments in Texas call for lifelong registration.

Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure requires sex offenders to register with their local law enforcement. Your name, address, photo, and the nature of your crime become public record. Failure to comply can result in revoked probation, and arrest.

Some crimes require registration for less than a lifetime; however, it can still be as long as ten years. This time period begins after you serve any prison sentence.

Being on the sex offender registry will affect your ability to get a job, buy or rent a home, and have access to your children.

You need a good lawyer to help you negotiate with prosecutors to avoid the possibly life-long consequences of getting placed on this list.

5. Possible Civil Liability

If you are accused of a sex crime, you will not only face criminal charges. You may also face a civil suit from the person who accused you.

A civil suit can be bolstered by a criminal conviction, but it is not necessary. That means, even if you are found not guilty in criminal court, your accuser may still come after you for financial compensation.

Talk to your lawyer about how you might be able to insulate yourself from this kind of suit. Many accusers will come after their alleged attackers seeking high amounts of damages for emotional distress.

6. Academic and Professional Impact

If you are enrolled in higher education, you may face expulsion or suspension if you are even accused of a sex crime.

If you are looking for a job or seeking to pass a professional exam, a sex crime conviction on your record may prevent you from ever achieving your professional goals.

Your lawyer can advise on how to minimize the impact of sex crime accusations and convictions so your entire future is not ruined.

7. Getting Charges Reduced or Dropped

A skilled sex crime attorney can negotiate with the court and the DA’s office to drop or reduce charges. She may even be able to negotiate a charge that removes the potential of the sex crimes registry, which would make a big difference in how you get through this crisis.

You need a lawyer to poke holes in the testimony of your accuser, challenge the facts presented by the state, and present mitigating circumstances that may help you.

You Need a Sex Crime Attorney If You’re Accused of a Sexual Offense

An experienced sex crime attorney can make all the difference in the rest of your life if you have been accused of this kind of offense. The stakes are too high to do anything other than retain the best lawyer you can find.

For more information on sex crimes defense, contact us.

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