Loudoun County Sex Crimes Lawyer
Facing criminal charges for any type of sex crime can be scary and overwhelming. Sex crimes are considered serious offenses that have significant penalties upon conviction. Someone facing criminal charges for a sex crime may have concerns about a potential prison sentence, but also the implications of registering as a sex offender. Before attending a court hearing, a person who has received such a charge may want to seek the legal services of a Loudoun County sex crimes lawyer.
A dedicated defense attorney could help explain the charges, review the case facts and potentially provide legal representation in court. Charges for a sexual offense could have lasting and negative effects on a person’s future ability to find employment or housing.
Types of Sex Crimes
There are several types of sex crimes that someone may be charged within Loudoun County. Some of the most common may include:
- Rape or sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Prostitution or solicitation
- Sexual battery on a minor
- Child pornography
Sexual assault is one of the most common forms of a sex offense. In most cases, sexual assault refers to any crime in which an individual is subjected to sexual touching that is unwanted or offensive. Other sexual offenses may include sexual battery, attempted rape, rape, unwanted touching, forced sexual acts, and forced penetration.
Prostitution and Solicitation
Engaging in sex in exchange for money or other goods may be considered prostitution and could be punishable by jail time and monetary fines. Solicitation commonly refers to an attempt to ask someone to engage in prostitution. Typically, a person who is charged with solicitation of prostitution must communicate a request for the other person to engage in sexual acts in exchange for compensation and have the intention of following through with the acts. However, the acts do not actually need to be completed for an arrest to occur, the mere solicitation and intent are enough to charge someone with an offense in Loudoun County.
Sex Crimes Involving Children
While most sex offenses are considered serious violations, sex crimes committed against children may receive even more severe penalties. When a person over the age of 18 engages in sexual intercourse with a child who is under the age of 13, could be charged with rape and may face a life sentence in federal prison. If the child is between 13 to 15 years of age, the alleged offense could be punishable by up to 10 years of incarceration. This is regardless of whether or not force was involved. Legally, the consent of a child is not considered valid. Any sexual interaction between an adult and a child may be considered non-consensual in the court of law. An adult person who engages in such behavior could be required to register as a sex offender.
Producing, possessing, or distributing child pornography may also incur enrollment in the sex offender registry in addition to a potential incarceration period. When a person registers in the sex offender database, it lists their name, address, and types of offenses for which they were convicted. This database is commonly used for tracking convicted sex offenders and is accessible by the general public. A failure to register could be regarded as a separate criminal charge that also may incur serious penalties. A Loudoun County sex crimes lawyer could attempt to mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.
Potential Defenses Against Sex Crimes Charges
A defendant being charged with any type of sexual assault may have a variety of defenses. In some cases, a person may have been falsely accused. If a person can demonstrate innocence by providing an alibi or securing evidence that they were misidentified they could potentially refute the charge. The burden of proof is typically on the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
In some cases, a defendant may admit to the behavior but argue that the accuser consented which may negate the charges. One of the elements required for sexual assault is that the behavior was against another person’s will. If a defendant can show that the accused consented, they could have a legally valid defense.
Defendants who are mentally incapable of understanding the law or had a mental incapacity at the time of the alleged offense may be able to claim a defense of insanity or mental incapacity. In these cases, the mental defect could remove criminal liability as they were unable to understand the criminal nature of their actions.
Speaking with a Loudoun County Sex Crimes Attorney
A sex crime charge is a serious matter with potentially lifelong implications. Someone convicted of a sex crime faces possible fines, prison time, and mandatory sex offender registration. With so much at stake, it could be important for anyone charged with a sex crime to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. Contact a Loudoun County sex crimes lawyer today to discuss building a credible defense.