Sexual Assault Defense Lawyers
If you are found guilty of sexual assault you face imprisonment, loss of child custody, voting rights and firearm ownership, mandatory AIDS testing, monetary fines as well as Sex Offender Registration for life.
Lewd or Lascivious Conduct
Lewd and lascivious conduct refers to conduct of people living together who are known not to be married, entertainment which aims at arousing the libido or primarily sexual sensation, open solicitation for prostitution or indecent exposure of genitalia (which is itself a crime). Lewd and lascivious conduct usually applies to pornography, prostitution, and indecent acts.
We live in a world in which sexual mores are continuing to be more permissive but this can lead to trouble when sexual conduct is acted out in public, even if it is between consenting adults. Many of these sex cases involve “sting” operations by undercover police targeting gay men or men succumbing to the propositions of prostitutes. This crime is usually charged as a misdemeanor but it carries with it very serious consequences because of the possibility of derogatory publicity, the possible requirement of registering as a sex offender and negative ripple effects on family life and employment. To address these charges a defendant needs legal representation that is both personal and sensitive.
Few occasions can stir up as many complicated emotions as the sexual abuse of children. Even the mere mention of such an event can predispose people to the belief that all accused of such crimes are automatically guilty, and must pay for their alleged crimes with their freedom, their assets, and their reputations. The stigma of a child molestation charge can ruin a life.
Child Molestation is the crime of committing sexual acts with children up to the age of 18, including touching of private parts, exposure of genitalia, taking of pornographic pictures, rape, inducement of sexual acts with the molester or with other children and variations of these acts by pedophiles. Molestation also applies to incest by a relative with a minor family member and any unwanted sexual acts with adults short of rape.
Child molestation is a crime that can carry a permanent social shame and serious legal consequences. If you are convicted of child molestation, the possible punishment for a conviction can be quite severe because of Megan’s Law, a conviction could mean that you must register as a sex offender everywhere you go for the rest of your life.
Obscenity is a highly subjective reference to material or acts which display or describe sexual activity in a manner appealing only to “prurient interest,” with no legitimate artistic, literary or scientific purpose. Pictures, writings, film or public acts which are found to be obscene are not protected by the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment.
Obscene behavior is the act in which any person knowingly exposes his person or private parts in any public place, or in any place where it may be common area to other persons to be offended or annoyed. Obscene behavior can also be charged as a misdemeanor to a person whom advises or helps any person to expose himself or takes part in any manner that is offensive to decency.
Many of the obscenity crimes charged involve internet, book and magazine pornography laws, which can fall under either State or federal jurisdiction and a large number of these involve legislation that was approved in order to protect children and often result in cases that prosecutors utilize for their controversy and the high-profile media exposure that can result. The evidence used in such cases is usually obtained either through monitoring of internet activity or search and seizure of an individual’s home and possessions. Be aware that investigators in most cases must have obtained permission from a judge through a search warrant in order to conduct such activity and if they do not the case may be tainted through an illegal search and seizure.
Pedophilia is an obsession with children as sex objects. Overt acts, including taking sexually explicit photographs, molesting children and exposing one’s genitalia to children are all crimes. Pedophilia includes pornography involving children, as well as distributing such images to others.
Alleged sex crimes against children stir up a number of emotions. The innocent people accused of these savage and repugnant crimes often find themselves judged guilty in the court of public opinion long before any evidence has been discovered. It takes a certain amount of delicacy to handle these complicated and emotionally-fraught cases.
The definition of a pedophile is someone who is primarily sexually attracted to children but this does not make someone a criminal. This orientation only falls under the category of a crime when such a person acts out on their desires through such acts as sexual abuse, molestation, statutory rape or possession of child pornography, to name the most common such charges filed. They affect a significant portion of criminal activity as prison statistics show that about seven percent of the men who are now serving sentences were put behind bars for a crime committed against a minor. There are some female pedophiles but they are about four to five times less likely to become involved in criminal activity than men. Pedophiles can come from many segments of society and it is not unusual for a defendant to be married and a respected member of the local community who either acts out in a physical manner by having inappropriate sexual contact with a child or by indirect behavior, such as the possession of child pornography.
Even though most such offenders are classified as pedophiles, some may not actually suffer from this condition. There are situations in which the motives may be different and a person may not believe that criminal activity is involved because consent may have been given by a minor. However, according the laws any type of sexual activity between an adult and a minor is illegal. The laws specifically state that a minor, by definition is unable to give his or her consent to any type of sexual activity and the behavior by the adult is criminal. Mental health data shows that pedophiles cannot be cured of their desires, although in some cases treatment by professionals can be of assistance. The scientific data also shows that most pedophiles are unable to halt their behavior, acknowledge that they are acting illegally or report their activities in the hope of seeking help. Because of the likelihood of repeated behavior and the social stigma attached to such crimes the laws affecting pedophiles are very strict and involve stiff fines, lengthy prison terms and registration as a sex offender. Even after being released from custody such individuals are subjected to official supervision and must follow prescribed guidelines that affect their proximity to minors.
Even though it may appear that modern society has rather loose moral opinions, there are certain standards and guidelines that keep people from crossing too many boundaries. Unfortunately, few people realize what they are enjoying may be considered pornographic until the police slap the handcuffs on them and are carted off to jail.
This confusion has led to far too many innocent people to discover they need legal counsel to protect themselves and their rights. Different municipalities define pornography differently. There are, however, countrywide definitions of pornography that apply equally everywhere. The Supreme Court defines pornography is all sexually explicit material intended primarily to arouse the reader, viewer, or listener.
There are both federal and State laws that deal with the crime of pornography and many of them can be very complex and very strict because the government has put the issue of child pornography and exploitation at the top of its list of important prosecutions. There are also, in this computer age, many people who have become enmeshed in the prosecutorial net and many of these entanglements involve material that was found on computers. Keep in mind that almost nothing can be lost on your computer and just the fact that you have brought one to a repair shop can expose you to an investigation because computer technicians are legally required to report any child pornography that they find in the machine.
This may or may not be material that you have downloaded or has been downloaded by someone else who has used your computer or owned it before you bought it. A technician, of course, is not an expert on pornography and may or may not be passing on material that could be criminally actionable and may have made mistakes in documenting this material. The government also has enormous resources at their disposal with forensic specialists who are designated to investigate such cases.
Rape is the crime of having sexual intercourse without consent and accomplished through force, threat of violence or intimidation or with a girl who is underage. Rape can be charged after a man on man attack as well as a man on women. A woman can also be charged with rape if she assists a man to rape another woman. Lack of consent includes saying “no” or being too drug-influenced or drunk for the woman to be able to either resist or consent.
There are few crimes that are as aggressively pursued by law enforcement personnel and prosecutors and that arouse the passions of the public against the defendant as the crime of rape. Rape convictions also carry severe consequences. Felony convictions can carry long prison sentences, heavy fines and a devastating record that severely hampers a defendant’s efforts to resume a normal life after serving the punishment prescribed. One of the consequences is being added to the state sex offender registry, which can also prevent you from residing in prescribe neighborhoods and limit your ability to travel.
Our society promotes a culture that seems to advocate certain behaviors at one time, and then admonish them at others. This can lead to a number of confusing situations, and accusations of date rape can arise from an innocent mistake, frequently compounded by the use of drugs and alcohol.
Because date rape cases usually involve only the testimony of the accuser and the accused and the events in question almost always occur in private such cases can be aggressively defended by an experienced lawyer. There is often little physical evidence and no witnesses other than the two parties involved so such cases can hinge on the per-trial work that is done to cull through the history of relationships, psychological profiles, strains in the relationship that may have motivated an accuser, financial difficulties and any of the other relevant factors in the relationship that may have come into play to affect the incident.
Detailed analysis of any drugs or alcohol involved and the degree they may have played and how such evidence was handled or mishandled by the authorities also is important. Was evidence seized and if so was it properly obtained through a search warrant? What should you do if the police seek to interview you? Do you have to provide a DNA sample? What happens if a civil suit is filed against you? Those are among the many questions that can be quickly answered by a lawyer.
The application of date rape can vary significantly depending on the circumstances involved. One definition of date rape is “forcible sexual intercourse by a male acquaintance of a woman, during a voluntary social engagement in which the woman did not intend to submit to the sexual advances and resisted the acts by verbal refusals, denials or pleas to stop, and/or physical resistance.”
The fact that the people involved knew each other or that the woman willingly spent time with the man are not legal defenses to a charge of rape. In fact, some lawyers can use a previous relationship against a defendant, as it can appear to be malice aforethought or the actions of a stalker.
Statutory Rape is the unlawful act of sexual intercourse with a female considered a minor (under 18) as long as there is a three year difference between the perpetrator and the minor. This charge is still considered rape even if the female gave her consent. Depending on the circumstances, this could be a misdemeanor or a felony charge.
In today’s society with changing morels and the explosion of sexually oriented movie, television and social media content there are more and more statutory rape charges being filed. Such allegations should be taken very seriously because the crime can carry severe punishments and the requirement that a defendant become a lifetime sex crimes registrant. Factors such as those on an individual’s background can exact a heavy toll on future prospects of employment or social success in the community because of the stigma of the charges. Because the definition of this crime is intercourse with a minor a conviction is possible even if the victim consented to the act because, under the law, a minor cannot give consent.
There are many cases in which the victim has not come forward or has been unwilling to come forward but his or her guardians have filed complaints, triggering the possibility of criminal charges. Generally speaking, statutory rape charges can be misdemeanors if the defendant is three or fewer years older than the victim. If the defendant is 21 or older and the victim is younger than 16 authorities can file felony allegations which can lead to substantial prison terms.
Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer
To protect yourself in such incidents you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to obtain the best representation at the earliest stage of an investigation in order to protect your legal rights.