The Law Offices of Mike Pignone is here to remind you that sex crimes are taken seriously and aggressively prosecuted to dole out significant penalties. Even if a sex crime was attempted but not completed or does not involve physical contact, the consequences you may face when accused of these things are extreme.
What Is Considered a Sex Crime in Virginia?
The state considers sex crimes as any type of sexual act perpetrated against another person without consent. Consent can be refused, or the victim may be legally unable to give consent based on age, disability, or intoxication through drugs or alcohol.
The most common sex crimes are rape, statutory rape, taking indecent liberties with a child, forcible sodomy, sexual battery, child pornography, and prostitution. However, there are many more different categories of sex crimes.
Potential Penalties for Sex Crime Convictions
The penalties you may face for sex crimes will depend on your charges. Some may only incur monetary fines while others will face a lifetime behind bars. Forcible sex crimes such as rape will carry a heavier sentence. Any violent sexual offenses are considered felonies, which will carry the possibility of life in prison without the chance for parole.
The sentence you potentially face will depend on many factors. Among those factors, the seriousness of the offense, whether or not it was violent, your criminal history, and any special factors such as the age of the victim will all be considered. In rape cases where the victim was under 13 years of age, you will have a mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years if convicted. Generally, you can expect it to be much longer than that.
Certain sex crimes will carry more severe penalties if the victim is a minor or of a protected class. If you have a sexually transmitted disease, you may face additional penalties. The judge or jury also gets quite a bit of discretion when determining sentencing, though the minimum sentence must be imposed.
Since there are so many types of sex crimes and so many variables, it is important to discuss your charges with a criminal defense attorney. They will be able to review your case and give you further details on the penalties you may face upon conviction.
Other Consequences of Sex Crime Convictions
Jail or prison time along with large fines are part of the penalties for being convicted of sex crimes. Perhaps even more daunting are the other consequences you will face if you are found guilty of your charges.
There is a huge social stigma surrounding those who have committed sex crimes. Most sex crime convictions in the state will result in the automatic addition of your name and information to the sex offender registry. It’s a matter of public record, where anyone can find out where you are living, what charges you were convicted on, and the punishment you received. Your picture will also appear alongside your details. Failing to register and update information on the registry as it changes may result in additional charges.
You will also have a criminal record that potential employers will see. With a conviction for a sex crime, you may be prohibited from pursuing certain types of employment. You may also be prohibited from living in certain neighborhoods.
What to Do When Facing Sex Crime Charges in Virginia
If you are convicted of sex crimes, the penalties and consequences will be far-reaching, blemishing your future. You may have been mistaken for someone else, or someone may have concocted a tall tale as an act of revenge. There are also instances where minors lie about their age, giving you the false impression that they are old enough to provide proper consent.