Westport Sex Crimes Lawyer
Connecticut takes the investigations and prosecutions of sex crimes very seriously. Sex crimes are viewed as one of the most egregious actions that a person can take by both the courts and prosecutors.
For this reason, it is important to hire an experienced defense attorney that is not only knowledgeable of the courts and rules of law, but also will handle your case with personalized attention to detail. Some common questions asked by people accused of sex crimes include:
- What does “sex crime” mean in Connecticut?
- What could happen to me if I am convicted?
- What can an attorney do to help my chances?
Westport sex crimes lawyers work with clients to answer these questions and much more. They will sit with you to hear your side of the story, examine the prosecutor’s case for weaknesses, and form a thorough and knowledgeable defense to fit your unique circumstances.
What Constitutes a Sex Crime
When many people think of sex crimes, their minds may wander from sexual assault to indecent exposure, to promoting prostitution. While these certainly are crimes in Connecticut, the total list of sex crimes is more expansive.
The standard concept of sexual assault is included, but there are also a number of other actions that are classified as sex crimes. These include:
- Enticing a Minor – This is when a person uses an electronic device to knowingly persuade or entice a person under the age of 16 to engage in prostitution or any other criminal act. This is punishable as a felony regardless of the circumstances, but depending on the number of previous convictions, may be considered as serious as a class B felony.
Additionally, if the alleged victim is under the age of 13, there is a minimum jail term of five years attached to the sentence. It is worth noting that the act that an accused person persuades the child to do need not be a sexual act to qualify under this statute; it simply needs to be an illegal act.
- Prostitution – Here, a person over the age of 16 may be guilty if they engage, or attempt to engage in a sex act for a fee. If the person is between 16 and 18, they may raise the defense that they were coerced into this action by another person. Children under this age are assumed by the law to be under duress from an adult. A guilty finding of prostitution is a class A misdemeanor
- Sexual Assault in the Fourth Degree – There are many definitions of fourth-degree sexual assault, but the common ones involve when a person makes any kind of sexual contact with a person who is mentally incapacitated
Alternatively, this can include when the accused is a professional person, such as a teacher or doctor, who makes inappropriate contact with another. Depending on the exact circumstances, these crimes may be charged as either a class A misdemeanor or a class D felony.
What Are the Potential Penalties
The potential penalties for sex crimes in Westport range from class A misdemeanors through class A felonies. Below is a general description of these extremes and their prescribed penalties:
- Misdemeanor Class A: These crimes carry a maximum jail term of one year upon conviction. Additionally, a fine of up to $2,000 may be applied
- Felony Classes: The penalties for felonies vary depending on the exact charge. For the sex crimes listed above, the penalties are contained within their individual statutes. For example, aggravated sexual assault in the first degree carries a minimum prison term of 10 years. Additionally, fines may be levied in amounts up to $20,000 for Class A felonies
In addition to any jail terms and fines, upon release, many people convicted of sex crimes will be required to register as sex offenders. Westport sex crimes attorneys can help clients to better understand the exact nature of the crimes of which they are accused and the potential consequences for a conviction.
How a Westport Sex Crimes Attorney Can Help
If a person is arrested for a crime, it is a stressful and serious matter. These feelings are only intensified when that person is accused of a sex crime. Even before entering into the courts, the public may draw conclusions about a person’s guilt and the media may put their case into the spotlight.
When it comes to defending not only a client’s innocence, but also reputation, help from a knowledgeable and dynamic sex crimes attorney in Westport is required. Whether your goal is to negotiate a fair plea deal for your case, or to fight the charges every step of the way up until a trial, skilled attorneys are by your side.
Contact today to see how a Westport sex crimes lawyer can help protect your freedom and defend your reputation in court.