Bronx Sex Crimes Lawyer
When most people think of a sex crime, they tend to think of serious allegations of rape or sexual abuse. While these offenses are included under the umbrella of sexual misconduct, this label also applies to an action as simple as an unwanted touch that has a sexual connotation.
Still, even lower level sex crimes are serious matters that can require a person to serve time in jail or may label them as a sex offender. Because of this, it is vital for anyone facing these charges to take aggressive steps to protect themselves.
A Bronx sex crimes lawyer could be someone’s first and best defense against these charges. The experienced defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman could work hard to understand the defendant’s side of the story, examine the prosecutor’s case for any weaknesses, and defend individuals with strength and determination.
What is a Sex Crime?
The basic concept of a sex crime is simple. Anytime a person touches another in a sexual manner without their consent, that person commits a sex crime. According to New York Penal Law §130.05 a person may not be able to consent for several reasons. These include age, physical or mental capacity, or being under duress.
Any sex offense is a serious matter. A conviction for even a relatively minor offense can result in a person being sent to jail and labeled as a sex offender. Therefore, it is important to consult with an adept Bronx attorney when facing sex crime charges.
Examples of Common Sex Crimes Offenses
Sex crimes vary in severity and punishment depending upon the type of touching that a person does to another. This ranges from a simple unwanted hug or kiss, to full instances of forced sexual intercourse.
Under New York Penal Law §130.60, sexual abuse in the second degree is when a person touches another in a sexual way when the alleged victim is under the age of 14. This also applies whenever a person touches someone who cannot consent for a reason other than age. This is a class A misdemeanor meaning that the court can sentence someone to no more than one year in jail.
Persistent sexual abuse according to New York Penal Law §130.53 is a specialized statute that punishes people who have been previously convicted of sexual abuse or forcible touching. This only applies if someone has been convicted at least twice in the past 10 years and served time in jail for at least one offense. A conviction here is a class E felony and may require a person to register as a sex offender.
A person commits sexual misconduct according to New York Penal Law §130.20 when they have sexual intercourse with any person without their consent, or when they engage in sexual intercourse with a dead body or an animal. This is a comprehensive statute used as a basic level sex offense and is a class A misdemeanor.
These are just a few of the many sex crimes covered in New York Penal Law, many of which can result in punishments of heavy fines and jail time. Most of these crimes can also result in a person needing to register as a sex offender, which puts them on a searchable list that can impact where they can live and work. A Bronx lawyer could attempt to mitigate the consequences of a sexual offense.
What are the Possible Criminal Punishments for Sex Crimes?
The penalties someone may face for a sexual offense vary depending on the nature of the crime. For relatively minor instances, a sex crime allegation may be a class A misdemeanor. In this situation, a conviction can result in no more than one year in jail and the payment of a fine of no more than $1,000.
More serious allegations come with harsher penalties. Many sex crimes are felonies where a conviction can result in a prison sentence in excess of one year. The most severe examples are class A violent felonies where a conviction can result in life imprisonment. These cases typically involve acts of predatory sexual assault. A lawyer in the Bronx could determine what types of penalties a person may be facing based on the sexual crime they have been accused of.
When Might Someone Be Required to Register as a Sex Offender?
Conviction for sexual misconduct can have disastrous consequences. Even if a person eventually pays their fines and serves time in jail, the label of being a sex offender may still follow them. The New York Division of Criminal Justice Services publishes a list of offenses where a conviction in court will require a person to register as a sex offender. For the most part, these offenses are those that involve a violent sexual act or those that affect children. Some examples of these offenses include:
- Luring a child
- Forcible touching
- Sexual abuse
In some situations, registration is mandatory. In others, the identity or age of the alleged victim is the determining factor.
Common Defenses to Allegations of Sex Crimes
No two criminal accusations are exactly alike, and charges of sex crimes are no exception. However, there are some common defenses that apply in most situations. For instance, a defendant could argue that the alleged incident never took place. Having an alibi that places the defendant in a different location can be useful. It may also be possible to argue that the incident did happen but that the alleged victim is mistaken concerning the attacker’s identity.
Another potential defense to a sex crime is consent. Especially in cases involving apparent rape or unwelcome sexual contact, evidence that the alleged victim was a willing participant could help to defeat charges or reduce the severity of the case. A lawyer in the Bronx could determine the defense that best fits a person’s sex crime case.
Speaking with an Aggressive Bronx Sex Crimes Attorney
Allegations of sexual misconduct can forever change a person’s life. The potential punishments for a conviction are harsh and can result in lifelong consequences.
A Bronx sex crimes lawyer could help people fight back against these allegations and stand up for their rights and freedom. Our lawyers could work to discover all the relevant evidence in the case, examine the prosecutor’s case, and exploit weaknesses in front of a jury. Contact a lawyer today to see how they could help you.