Being arrested for any crime in Arlington County, Virginia can be one of the most traumatic experiences of your life. If the crime you are being charged with is a sex crime, it is even more harrowing; the reaction of your friends, family, and neighbors in Arlington can be very unfavorable even if you are not guilty of the offense for which you are accused.
If you are in this situation, the best action you can take is to become informed of the laws regarding sex crimes in Virginia and consult with an Arlington sex crimes lawyer.
How a Sex Crimes Lawyer Can Help
Steve Duckett and his team of dedicated Arlington County sex crime attorneys are available any time of day to discuss your case and your options in a way that is effective and easy to understand. If you hire our lawyers, they will explore every legal option in your defense, and they will work vigorously to protect your interests. Learn more about other criminal charges in Arlington County.
This kind of driven and dedicated service is crucial in defending against sex crimes in Arlington County, which are classified according to state law as either felonies or misdemeanors. Felonies are the more serious offense and may result in the maximum punishment.
To better understand the potential penalties you may face, from being required to register as a sex offender to life imprisonment, please refer to the following breakdown of every major category of Virginia sex crimes.
Arlington Sex Crimes Lawyers Handle These Cases
Among the most serious sex crimes in Virginia is the felony offense of rape. Rape is considered to be engaging in sexual intercourse with a person by either (1) using force or the threat of force, (2) while the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated, or (3) when the victim is under age 13. The maximum penalty for rape is life imprisonment.
In addition, when the victim is under age 13 and the offender is more than three years older, the law prescribes a minimum sentence of 25 years to life. This is a serious offense and you may benefit from consulting with an experienced Arlington sex crimes lawyer.
Carnal Knowledge of a Minor
Acts that can be considered “carnal knowledge” include sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anilingus, anal intercourse, and animate and inanimate object sexual penetration. If you are charged with the felony offense of engaging in carnal knowledge with a child between the ages of 13 and 15, you are subject to a jail term of between two and ten years and a fine of not more than $100,000.
As an Arlington sex crimes lawyer can explain, you can be charged with forcible sodomy if you engage in cunnilingus, fellatio, anilingus, or anal intercourse by either (1) using force or the threat of force, (2) while the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated, or (3) when the victim is under age 13. The maximum penalty for forcible sodomy is life imprisonment.
Object Sexual Penetration
A person can be charged with this offense if they penetrate the labia majora or anus of a person other than for a bona fide medical purpose, or when a victim penetrates his or her own body with an object or engages in such acts with any other person or animal.
The crime occurs when these acts are done either (1) using force or the threat of force, (2) while the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated, or (3) when the victim is under age 13. The maximum penalty for forcible sodomy is life imprisonment.
In Virginia, sexual battery is considered to be sexual abuse carried out by the threat of force, intimidation, or deception. “Sexual abuse” includes acts committed with the intent to sexually molest, arouse, or gratify any person and include:
- Intentional touching of the victim’s intimate parts or material directly covering such intimate parts;
- Forcing the victim to touch the offender’s intimate parts, the victim’s own intimate parts, or another person’s intimate parts or material directly covering such parts of the body;
- Forcing another person to touch the victim’s intimate parts or material directly covering such intimate parts.
Sexual battery is punishable in Virginia by 12 months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. This penalty is dramatically increased if the victim is a child or if the offender is a family member of the victim. In the latter situation, the maximum jail sentence is increased to 25 years and a fine of up to $100,000.
Virginia law also provides that an offender who is HIV-positive, who has syphilis, or who has hepatitis B, is subject to a jail term of up to five years for committing a sexual battery. For information on sexual battery statutes and penalties in Maryland, click here.
Attempts to commit sex crimes are also subject to punishment in Virginia. Attempted rape, forcible sodomy, and object sexual penetration are subject to a two to 10-year prison sentence and a $100,000 fine. Attempted sexual battery is subject to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Contact an Arlington Sex Crimes Attorney Today
Virginia sex crimes laws and precedents are complex, therefore you will greatly benefit from consulting with a knowledgeable attorney to review all of the facts of your case and assess the legal options available for your defense.
Whether you’ve been falsely accused or you are facing serious criminal penalties due to a brief lapse in judgment, Arlington attorney Steve Duckett can provide calm and clarity to the judicial process and he will fight to minimize the impact of the charges on your freedom and your reputation.