Westchester County Sex Crimes Lawyer
Allegations involving sex crimes are among the most serious enumerated in New York Penal Law. Many of these charges are high-level felonies that can result in lengthy prison sentences and the requirement to register as a sex offender upon release.
Given these potential consequences, it is often vital that people facing a sex crimes allegation take every available step to protect themselves. A Westchester County sex crimes lawyer may be able to help. A distinguished criminal attorney could fight to defend your rights, contest the prosecutor’s case, and protect your reputation in the community.
What is Considered a Sex Crime?
At its simplest, a sex crime is any allegation that a person has violated another in a sexual way. This can range from simple inappropriate touching to allegations of rape. Accordingly, punishments for a sex crime conviction can range greatly depending on the exact nature of the charges.
On the less severe end of the spectrum, New York Penal Law §130.52 criminalizes as a class A misdemeanor the act of forcible touching, which involves sexually contacting another person by force for the purpose of abusing or degrading them. It can also mean forcible grabbing, pinching, or squeezing another person for the purpose of sexual gratification.
Defining Felony Sex Offenses
Criminal sexual acts in the first degree are class B felonies, according to New York Penal Law §130.50. The statute defines these actions as any oral or anal sexual conduct with another person that is achieved by force. This charge also applies when the alleged victim is physically unable to resist or is under the age of 11.
New York Penal Code §130.35 defines rape similarly to the requirements for a criminal sexual act in the first degree. The only difference is that the alleged sexual contact involves intercourse. Just like criminal sexual acts, these allegations are a class B felony.
Common Sex Crime Offenses
The term sex crime covers a broad array of criminal offenses. Each of these offenses carries the possibility of incarceration, and each of them could lead to time spent on the sex offender registry. Some of the most common sex crimes charged in this area include:
- Child pornography
- Sexual misconduct
- Sexual abuse
- Forcible touching
- Date rape
- Aggravated sexual abuse
No matter the specific charge, the risk of facing a sex crime prosecution alone is significant. Developing a winning defense is complicated and could require the experience that is only obtained by handling these cases regularly. For that reason, an attorney in Westchester County could present the best opportunity for an acquittal in a sex crime case.
How Could an Attorney Approach the Defense of a Sex Crimes Case?
There are numerous angles to approach a defense strategy in a sex offense case. In some cases, developing evidence that the alleged sexual conduct was consensual could be the best option. However, consent is not always a viable defense, especially in cases involving children as these actions can never be consensual.
In other cases, the strongest approach could be to focus on the state’s lack of evidence. Often, there is little in the way of evidence of these crimes outside of the allegations of the complaining witness. By casting doubt on those claims, an attorney in Westchester County could help an accused individual secure an acquittal of their sex crime charges.
Likelihood of Registering as a Sex Offender
The consequences for a sex crime conviction may not end upon completion of a jail term, as most convictions also require registration as a sex offender. This can affect almost every portion of a person’s life, from where they can live to what jobs they can pursue.
A conviction for any of the previously listed acts will require registration, but additional sex crimes that require registration include but are not limited to:
- Unlawful imprisonment
- Patronizing an underage prostitute
- Use of a child in a sexual performance
More information about the requirements for sex offender registration can be found online at the Division of Criminal Justice Services.
Is Removal from a Sex Offender Registry Possible?
It can be possible to be removed from the sex offender registry following a conviction for a sex crime, but only under limited circumstances. Removal from the registry depends entirely on a defendant’s risk assessment. Each person convicted of this type of offense is assigned one of three risk assessment levels. A level 1 sex offender is the lowest-tier of the three, and this individual could typically be removed from the registry after 20 years. Individuals that qualify as level 2 or 3 sex offenders must remain on the registry for life. The same is true for level 1 sex offenders that are designated as sexual predators, violent sex offenders, or predicate sex offenders.
Speak with a Westchester County Sex Crimes Attorney
People who are facing charges of sex crimes in Westchester County may wonder what the future may hold and what they could do to help themselves. To that end, hiring an experienced attorney to work with them on their case may be an important first step.
A Westchester County sex crimes lawyer could help you with your case by conducting independent investigations of the incident, contesting questionable evidence at trial, and cross-examining the state’s witnesses.
In the process, they could work to defend your rights in court and protect your reputation in the community. If you were charged with a sex crime, call our office and schedule a consultation today to learn more about how we may be able to help you.