If you’ve come face-to-face with a sexual crime allegation, you may feel like your world has stopped spinning. These accusations can be a nuisance, or they can be life-altering, depending on the circumstances.
A false accusation that’s easily nipped in the bud still has damaging consequences to your reputation. People will believe what they want rather than looking at the facts.
Beyond that, an allegation that makes it to court becomes a serious concern. You need to reach out to a sex crime attorney as soon as possible to create a defense with a solid foundation.
Each defense has a unique set of punishments, so every nuance counts.
What is a Sex Crime?
When another person accuses the defendant of sexual behaviors, it’s a form of assault. It becomes a crime when the action causes the victim to become helpless or mentally incapacitated.
This occurs when the perpetrator administers or causes the delivery of an intoxicating substance or if they physically restrain or manipulate the victim into performing a sexual act.
There are different levels. Sexual battery means there was an intrusion into the other person’s body, however slight. Aggravated force is defined as the use of physical force or violence of an aggravated nature. This includes a threat with a deadly weapon.
And the punishment changes if the victim is found to have been mentally incapacitated, physically helpless, or mentally defective, as well.
Defenses Against Sex Crimes
These factors play a role in the overall penalties should you be found guilty. But your attorney can mount an argument for you with one of these three defenses.
In a court trial, you are innocent until proven guilty. The prosecutor must prove that you were guilty of the accusations made. But if you can show that it would have been impossible for you to be guilty, your innocence can be firmly established. This usually happens if you have an airtight alibi. As long as you have no history of prior similar behaviors and the ability to assert your innocence with a credible alibi, your attorney can use the “innocent” defense.
2. The Act was Consensual.
For a sexual act to be consensual, both parties have to explicitly or implicitly agree to the behaviors. Implicit consent is harder to prove. If you and your attorney can show that there was consent involved, there is no crime. This, of course, will vary depending on the facts. A minor can’t consent, and neither can someone without legal authority. If your allegation is against someone in these categories, your attorney will have to find another defense.
3. You Were Mentally Unstable
A less common defense is that the defendant had a mental disease at the time of the incident. Your attorney must obtain expert witnesses and testimonies to show that you were mentally unstable when you committed the sex crime. In that case, the penalties are likely to be less harsh. This defense says that you admit to the crime, but you did not understand the consequences when the action occurred.
Should you or your loved one be charged with a sex crime, it’s essential that you seek legal help quickly. There are serious consequences involved, including jail time and a permanent stain on your reputation. With a reputable attorney, this punishment can be lightened or avoided altogether.