Virginia Sex Crimes Lawyer
Offenses in the Commonwealth of Virginia which are deemed as crimes against the person are addressed in Title 18.2 (Crimes and Offenses Generally), Chapter 4 (Crimes Against the Person). Sex crimes generally fall in Sections 18.2-61 through 18.2-67.10. Conviction of most of these crimes typically result in heavy penalties and may result in repercussions which reach far beyond standard jail or prison terms and fines. An arrest for a sex crime also carries with it a terrible stigma which can be tough to overcome. A conviction leads to mandated registration as a sex offender, which will follow the individual for many years to come. For these reasons, if you are facing these charges, don’t panic. Contact a Virginia sex crimes lawyer today to discuss your options. An experienced defense lawyer in VA can help to build a strong defense and prepare you for what to expect throughout the legal process.
If one has been charged with a sex crime, regardless of his or her guilt or innocence, the alleged offender’s reputation may suffer instant and irreparable damage. With a skilled defense attorney, however, the defendant may be able to avoid conviction and any further social and legal suffering. A lawyer has experience representing clients who have been charged with a myriad of crimes, including, not limited to:
- Rape/sexual assault
- Carnal knowledge or sexual exploitation of a minor
- The possession, sale, or manufacture of child pornography
- Sexual battery
- Forcible sodomy
- Internet sex crimes
- Child molestation
If you have been charged with a sex crime, it is important to contact a Virginia sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible. Prosecutors in the Commonwealth of Virginia adamantly pursue the maximum possible penalties, so you need an attorney who will diligently fight to protect your rights and your freedom and help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
Sex Crime Statistics
Each year, the Virginia State Police Department compiles a report on crimes which occur within the Commonwealth. Included in the report are sex crimes of various types. The latest online data includes crimes reported in 2012 and provides the following statistics:
- 5,093 Forcible Sex Offenses
- 196 Nonforcible Sex Offenses
- 714 Pornography Offenses
- 993 Prostitution Offenses
While prostitution offenses are not technically classified as sex crimes in Northern Virginia, they are considered crimes against morals and decency and can result in severe penalties, including possible incarceration and fines making it important that a Virginia sex crimes attorney is contacted.
Forcible Sex Offenses
The Code of Virginia handles each crime differently and even within a broader scope, many crimes are broken down further based on the characteristics of the crime. For example, crimes involving the presence of excessive violence, crimes which involve minors or mentally/physically impaired victims, the use of a deadly weapon, premeditation, and other factors can result in more serious charges and harsher penalties for the offender. Because of their inherent nature, forcible sex crimes carry heavier penalties than other, non-forcible sex crimes.
The Commonwealth of Virginia considers forcible sex crimes to include forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, or forcible fondling. They further define these crimes as follows:
The carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will
Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will
Sexual Assault with an Object
To use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will
The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person’s will
In some cases, the sexual act may not be forcible or against the victim’s will, but the victim is unable to provide legal consent because he or she is found to be physically or mentally incapacitated at the time of the event – whether a through permanent or temporary condition – or is a minor or too young to understand the gravity of the act itself, in which case the crime is still deemed a forcible act on the part of the offender.
Non-Forcible Sex Crimes
Non-forcible sex crimes tend to carry lesser charges and associated penalties. According to the state, incest and statutory rape fall under this classification and are defined as follows:
Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law<
Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent
Sex crimes such as these may involve consent between the two participating parties, but because of age and marital law, the act itself is still considered unlawful and grounds for legal action against the older or legally responsible participant.
Child Pornography Offenses
What starts out as internet browsing can turn into criminal activity when illegal images made readily available online seep onto computer screens. Curiosity can turn into a budding addiction, and before long, once-respected community members are facing an unwanted stigma and serious legal penalties.
Child pornography stings which target certain individuals can be found to entrap alleged offenders. Turning to an experienced Virginia sex crimes lawyer is recommended for those who find themselves charged with such crimes. Through a personalized defense strategy, an attorney may be able to help a client avoid conviction or achieve a reduction of charges to limit the personal, professional, and legal repercussions of a conviction.
Sex Crime Defense Attorneys in Virginia
If you or a loved one has been charged with a NoVa sex crime, you would be well-advised to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If you act quickly, your Virginia sex crimes lawyer can begin evaluating the evidence against you, reviewing police and investigative procedures, speaking with witnesses and/or experts, and working diligently to develop the best possible defense strategy for your case. There are many options for a successful defense, so find an attorney who will listen and work with you to determine the best approach for the best possible outcome.