Sexual offense cases typically involve non-consensual sexual intercourse or deviant sexual intercourse with an alleged victim who is over the age of 16 or 18 years, depending on the state. Sexual abuse cases typically involve any kind of sexual activity, including sexual contact with a minor. If you or someone you love was charged with either crime, you must understand the difference between sexual offense and sexual abuse charges and penalties.
You also need to understand the potential criminal penalties and fines you could face. Your future is at risk if you are convicted. Even arrest on these charges can damage your reputation. A criminal defense lawyer in your area can help you build a solid defense against these allegations.
What Happens if I Am Found Guilty of Sexual Offense?
Sexual offense is a serious crime with serious consequences. If you are convicted of it, you could face significant penalties, including jail or prison time and large fines. Penalties can vary based on:
- The degree of the charges (first, second, or third)
- The classification of the charges (felony or misdemeanor)
- Your criminal history
- Sentencing guidelines in your state
- Inclusion on the sex offender registry
This list is in no way exhaustive, and you could face additional penalties. Some circumstances of the case against you could also lead to penalty enhancements. Penalty enhancements can lengthen any penalties you face.
What Are Examples of Sexual Offense Charges?
Any non-consenting or unwanted sexual contact with another adult is considered a sexual offense. Rape is a type of sexual offense. Other types of sexual offenses for which you could be charged include:
- Threats of rape or unwanted sexual contact
- Attempted rape
- Unwanted sexual contact over or under the clothing
- Groping or fondling without consent
What Happens if I Am Found Guilty of Sexual Abuse?
Because sexual abuse cases can involve minors, the penalties can be severe. You or your loved one facing these charges might face lengthy jail or prison time and sex offender registration, if convicted. In addition, you might face the following societal penalties:
- Social and community stigma
- Difficulty obtaining housing
- Difficulty obtaining employment
Sexual abuse includes sex crimes committed against a child, including forcing a minor to view pornography or engage in any sexual misconduct. Conviction on sexual offense or sexual abuse charges could also mean you lose many additional rights and privileges. Your lawyer can help to avoid or reduce a conviction, protecting you from some of these penalties.
For a free legal consultation, call 215.515.3360
An Attorney in Your Area Can Help You Build a Solid Defense
After an arrest on a sex crimes charge, you deserve a lawyer who will listen to your story with compassion and without judgment. To strengthen your defense, your lawyer will:
- Carefully review the case against you
- Interview witnesses who support your case
- Depose witnesses the state plans to call
- Represent you at hearings and at trial
If you maintain your innocence or were falsely accused of sexual offense or abuse, a criminal defense lawyer can help. Your freedom and future are worth fighting for. The law firm that handles your defense will fight to prove your innocence.
Your lawyer will also review the circumstances of your arrest and work with the state to negotiate plea deals on your behalf.
What You Need to Know About Your Rights
When you are arrested for any crime, you have rights that must be honored. You must be read your Miranda rights in full and in a language you understand. When you ask for an attorney, the police must stop questioning or interviewing you until your attorney arrives.
In addition, the police must have probable cause to arrest you. If any violations of your right occurred, your lawyer can use these violations when building your defense. You are innocent until proven guilty, so you must be treated as such unless you are convicted.
What You Need to Know about Plea Negotiations
Your future is in jeopardy when you are charged with sexual offense or abuse. You do not have to fight for your future on your own. The lawyer who represents you can work with the prosecutors in your state to negotiate a plea deal. Essentially, a plea deal requires that you admit guilt for the possibility of a few benefits.
The benefits of a plea deal include:
- Avoiding the uncertain outcome of a trial
- Lower charges than you initially faced
- Lighter sentences than you initially faced
The state also benefits from plea bargains. Your lawyer will work with the state to find a mutually agreeable outcome for your case.
Call for Your Free Consultation
Are you or someone you love facing sex crime charges? If you are, our criminal defense team will explain the difference between sexual offense and sexual abuse. We will also examine your case in detail and the specific charges you face.
Contact one of our consultation team members today to learn more about how hard the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC will fight for you.