Of all crimes in the U.S States like California, there’s nothing more devastating than being convicted of a sex crime. If you face accusations of sex-related crimes, you may be sentenced to jail imprisonment or different fines. In severe cases, you will be required to register as a sex offender. This will affect your life as your name, conviction details, and other personal information will be made public, and you will be banned from visiting parks and schools.
With your life, future, and freedom at stake, you need to consult a sex offender defense attorney to help you deal with your court case. You need an experienced practitioner in this case as this area has many landmines.
Not all sex offenses have to involve physical contact with the victim. Common sex crimes include:
- Sexual battery
- Forceful sodomy
- Indecent exposure
- Statutory rape
- Child pornography
- Sexual assault
- Human trafficking
Here are reasons why you should hire one:
1. Statutory Claims
Most sex crimes are often defined based on consent. If two consenting parties were involved, then there’s no basis for suing the other party, especially in a rape case. However, When talking about statutory rape, the courts don’t consider the circumstances of the situation (force or violence) and consent.
Different states have different definitions of statutory rape, but it is determined when the victim is below the age of consent across all states. A professional sex offender defense attorney will understand the exceptions to this rule across their state of practice.
2. Sex Crime Registry
Like aforementioned, the most devastating punishment after conviction of a sex offense is being registered under the sex crime in your locality. In some cases, it is a lifelong registration. This means your name, photo, address, and details of the crime are added to the public record.
Appearing on this registry will affect your social life, renting or buying a home, and your ability to get decent employment. A good lawyer will help negotiate your case to avoid getting into this red list.
3. Indecent Trial
Sex offense cases are known to get a lot of public attention from the community and the media because of their nature. The media will always cover the innermost details of the case. The case participants will most likely be asked uncomfortable questions, including details of the event. You may even be asked about your past sexual experiences and other personal topics that breach the privacy contract.
Working with a sex offender defense attorney gives you an upper hand as they’ll prepare you for testimonials you’ll need to provide in court on case hearing. They will take you through what to expect and approaches to answering the questions.
They will guide you on how to stay calm and conduct yourself before your accuser and the Judge. If accusations out of bounds are made to you, the lawyer will speak on your behalf.
4. Impact on Your Academics and Profession
If you’re a student and get accused of a sex crime, you’re at risk of getting suspension or expulsion from school. If you want to sit a professional exam or apply for a job, such an offense will pull you back from reaching your professional goals.
A skilled lawyer will advise you the right way on how to minimize these impacts and convictions so that they don’t spoil your future.
5. Civil Liability
If you get a sex crime accusation, you will face both criminal charges and a civil lawsuit from the accuser. While a criminal conviction supports a civil suit, this may not be the case here. It means, even if the criminal court finds you not guilty, the accuser might still demand financial compensation from you.
Discuss with your lawyer how you’re going to protect yourself from this suit. Some accusers are only after extorting huge amounts of money from you.
While choosing an attorney for your case, you should note that not all lawyers are the same. It is, therefore, your responsibility to do the due diligence to get the proper representation.
You can look at how long they have been in practice, maybe the number of similar cases they have handled before, and their outcomes.
A skilled sex offender defense attorney will help you negotiate with the court to reduce or drop some charges against you. They may even be able to reverse the possibility of your name and details appearing in the public registry. An experienced attorney can make a difference in your life if you get accused of a sex offense.