Charged with a Sex Crime?
Types of Sexual Offenses and Penalties
Often times, any allegation of a sexual assault or sex crime will lead to an investigator calling and wanting to interview you, and other parties they think could have knowledge of the allegations. One of the most disturbing things we hear law enforcement tell people is that if they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear and should freely and openly speak to a trained investigator no matter the situation. This could not be further from the truth, as law enforcement officers are training in the art of interrogation, and if they are making calls about an alleged sex crime, they are looking to make an arrest. Despite families sometimes wanting to keep such allegations private, and deal with them as a family, rather than have the State involved, once a call has been made, it is out of your hands.
Common sex crimes in Georgia include rape, statutory rape, child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes, prostitution, public indecency, sexual battery and aggravated sexual battery, to name a few. Being accused of, let alone found guilty of such a crime can change the outcome of your future for the worse for many years to come. Our state's sex crimes include the following:
- Rape – In Georgia, the key elements of rape are (1) forcible, (2) penetration, (3) against the will of another. Georgia rape charges can be brought even against married spouses, and if the victim is unable to consent because of extreme intoxication.
Rape in Georgia can be punished by death, by imprisonment for life without parole, by imprisonment for life, imprisonment for 25 years followed by probation for life.
- Statutory Rape – Georgia statutory rape involves having sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 16, assuming they are not your spouse. The elements of traditional rape charges (force, penetration, and against the will of the person) are not at issue in a statutory rape case. Also, a mistaken belief that the person was 16 or older is not a defense.
Statutory Rape can be punished by imprisonment for not less than 1 year nor more than 20 years. However, if the defendant is 21 or over, 10 year sentence. Additionally, if the victim was at least 14, and the Defendant was under 18, or no more than 4 years older than the victim, statutory rape can be a misdemeanor.
- Child Molestation – Georgia law defines child molestation as doing any immoral or indecent act with or in the presence of a minor under 16, with the intent to arouse the sexual desires of the child or other person. The law also prohibits transmitting images of immoral or indecent acts to a child under the age of 16 with the intent to arouse either party. It is not required to show their was actual skin-to-skin contact, or that the victim was actually aroused in order to be charged with child molestation.
First offense child molestation charges include imprisonment for not less than 5 years or more than 20 years. For a second offense, imprisonment not less than 10 years nor more than 30 years or by imprisonment for life. Like with statutory rape charges, child molestation can be charged as a misdemeanor under certain circumstances where the victim and other party are close in age.
- Sexual battery – Georgia sexual battery charges can be brought when a person makes physical contact with intimate body parts of another without that person's consent. Sexual battery in Georgia is a high and aggravated misdemeanor but can be punished by imprisonment for not less than 1 year, nor more than 5 years if the victim is under 16 years old, or on a second offense.
The most advantageous course of action to take immediately upon being questioned for any sex crime is to contact a seasoned criminal defense lawyer from Zeliff | Watson to begin work on your case. This type of criminal defense matter can be hard to navigate and must be acted upon right away.
Falsely accused of a sex crime in Forsyth County?
While it is vital to have such harsh punishments for valid sexual offenses if they are factually committed, being falsely accused of a sex crime can lead to unjust penalties, being unnecessarily labeled as a sexual offender and could also cause irreparable damage to your reputation. We are here to fight for and protect your rights and liberties. Our aim is to produce the most positive outcome possible, by using our 20+ years of experience on your behalf. We have a team of committed attorneys and a vast network of resources to use to defend your case, and produce results.
Sex crimes can be effectively defended against once all the facts are investigated and properly presented. Take advantage of our no-charge initial consultation to find out what can be done for your individualized circumstances.
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