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Understanding Your Sex Crime Charge

By | Katie Barns

Whether you have been accused of a sex crime or are a potential victim of one, it is important to understand the differences between particular crimes. A sex criminal is still a criminal, but when it comes to sex crime, it is vital that somebody is arrested under the right charges.

Whatever your situation, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the basics of a sex crime in general. Your attorney can handle the major parts of the paperwork, but the more you know, the more you can contribute.

Get a Lawyer

Before you do anything else, get an attorney. A good attorney with an understanding of sex crime laws in your state can not only help in the long term but might be able to advise you on certain elements of the particular criminal charges or crimes involved in your own case.

There is almost no reason to not get a lawyer, especially if you do not know enough to defend yourself or carry out the case alone. Even a government-appointed lawyer can be a major asset to have during a criminal case, especially one based in sex crime where evidence can be very limited.

Sex Crime Punishments

Remember that each kind of sex crime can have varying punishments, which vary even more depending on the nature of the crime itself. If you know the general sex crime that you have been accused of, it can help you understand what is at stake and how serious the charges are.

An attorney can be a good resource here since they will be able to tell you exactly what kind of situation you are in and how difficult it might be to defend you. Since an attorney is obligated to protect their client no matter what, you will still have their support, even in tough cases.

Sex Crime

A professional sexual assault attorney is often the best way to distinguish different crimes since many can be considered sexual assault if carried out in certain ways.

Public indecency and indecent exposure are two similar crimes, but with one major difference: public indecency involves more than one person having sexual contact in a public place, while indecent exposure is focused on a single person exposing themselves.

Almost all states consider prostitution to be completely illegal, but there is also a separate crime for the solicitation of prostitution. The solicitation does not have to involve an actual prostitute – asking a non-prostitute to have sex for money is still considered part of the crime.

Sexual assault and sexual abuse can overlap and are often considered the same thing, but sexual abuse is more likely to apply to cases with younger victims. Generally, the difference is not that major, but it can still be important to know which is actually being accused.

Finally, there is failure to register as a sex offender, something that can apply in all states. It is vital to register as a sex offender once convicted (not simply arrested) for a sex crime. Failure to do so can land you with another charge.

Remember that registering is not just about the initial offense. You also have to re-register or update details after moving to a new home for more than ten days, and failure to do so can also be a crime.

Sex Crime Involving Minors

There are technically five different kinds of sex crime that can involve minors, all of which can have their own punishments and particular laws depending on which state you are in.

The first, sexual exploitation of a minor, is based around child pornography and other suggestive images. This can be a very serious crime, especially if the evidence involves visible proof or logs of the accused person downloading and engaging with that kind of material.

Second, there is the crime of providing a minor with pornographic materials – although technically lesser than child pornography, it is still considered a serious crime and treated as such.

Then there is sexual conduct with a minor, luring a minor, and child molestation. All three are essentially different variations of sexually assaulting a child, these are major charges that result in extremely harsh punishments. 

While they might all sound like the same thing, you should get your attorney to explain the difference. You could even be accused of two or more at the same time or one without any of the others, and that can completely change the way you need to defend yourself.


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