A sex crime accusation can have immediate negative effects on a person’s reputation, their relationships, and their career, and a conviction will only compound the damage as fines, mandatory counseling, incarceration, and registration as a sex offender are laid on the table as possible punishment. A sex crime allegation may ensnare an individual in a criminal investigation, which can be a frustrating and troubling experience.
It is crucial to have an experienced defense attorney representing you who knows how to handle these sensitive and tricky cases that can be extremely damaging. A DeKalb County sex crime lawyer will be indispensable during the difficult time following a sex offense charge.
Sex crimes are taken seriously by law enforcement in DeKalb County. The Georgia Code of Law details sex offenses in O.C.G.A. Title 16 Chapter 6 with definitions of what constitutes each sex offense and the charges and possible sentencing for each. Some categories of sex-related offenses include:
- Sexual abuse/sexual assault
- Statutory rape
- Sodomy/aggravated sodomy
- Child molestation/aggravated child molestation
- Internet-related sex crimes
- Indecent exposure
- Sexual battery
- Sexual assault by an authority or practitioner
These cover many types of sex offenses but certainly not all the possible offenses and the nuances of each. These offenses can be painstaking and difficult to fight against, especially if there is substantial proof of the crime or if the alleged victim is a child.
That said, many things could be wrongfully misconstrued as abuse or assault, and as such it is important to be aware of a person’s legal rights throughout a sex crime case to avoid wrongful convictions, a Dekalb County sex crimes attorney can help.
Many sex crime convictions could require the defendant to register as a sex offender, which can be devastating on an individual’s ability to find employment, especially in health services or education, and may have other restrictions to face for housing options as well.
A first-time sex offense will often come with a sentencing of anywhere from one to twenty years in prison with mandatory counseling by the state of Georgia. However, the charges and sentencing for sex crimes largely depends on the age of the victim and the sexual act that was solicited or was performed.
While sexual assault, molestation, or sodomy are going to be considered felonies with one to 20 years in prison, when the victim is underage, the consequences are more severe.
Any sex offense case in which the victim is under 16 years of age carries heavier sentencing and could even mean life imprisonment without parole, given the circumstances and the jury ruling.
Any person in a position of authority or a health care practitioner who uses their position to sexually abuse or assault a person under their supervision or care will also face fines of anywhere from $25,000 – $100,000, in addition to prison time and registration as a sex offender.
Given the harsh penalties for sex crimes and the lasting impact on an individual’s life, it is of critical importance for someone to seek legal counseling as soon as they think that there may be a sexual offense charge laid against them, before law enforcement gets involved. An experienced sex crimes lawyer in DeKalb County will be able to determine how their client should proceed to avoid self-incrimination and to begin taking steps to protect themselves and their rights.
Contacting a Sex Crimes Attorney
In a sex crime case, there is much at risk for the defendant as the legal repercussions can have a lifelong impact if a person is convicted in court.
A well-strategized and implemented defense must be employed to have a fighting chance at reducing or dismissing charges and sentencing, or to have a name cleared of all charges. Therefore, you need an experienced lawyer who has the sensitivity and the drive to defend your case. If you have been accused of a sex-related offense, be proactive, and contact a DeKalb County sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible to assess your case and begin building a defense now.