A sex crime specifically relates to a term known as “sexual gratification”. If a person is doing something for his or her own sexual gratification, or for the sexual gratification of the unwilling recipient of the action, this act is considered a sex crime. This includes touching themselves or another person.
If no sexual gratification is involved for either party, an action is not considered a sex crime. For example, if someone inadvertently touches another’s genitals, or touches the genitals another to offer some type of medical help, it would not be considered a sex crime.
Penalties for Sex Crimes
Penalties for sex crimes can sometimes include something very innocuous. As a result, penalties can range from a jail term sentence up to life in a federal prison, depending on the severity and frequency of criminal acts committed. One of the most common punishments for sex crimes is what is called “sex registration”. When one is convicted of a sex crime, depending on the type of sex crime, this person is frequently required by law to register as a sex offender with his or her local police department for the remainder of their lives. This is something that cannot be waived once such an order is issued by a judge.
Sex Offender Registration
Sex offenders are required to be registered with their local police department. Their name is entered into a database which is open to access by the public. Registration cannot be waived once it has been passed down by the judge. It remains in effect for life.
Members of the public also have access to a website called ’Megan’s Law’ which is linked to the database and includes a map of the location of sex offenders in each area.
Defending Sex Crimes
Sex Crimes can be very difficult to defend as not a lot of proof is required. A person can simply state that another has done something of a sexual nature to them, and that can qualify as a sex crime. As it is a crime that is viewed harshly in the eyes of society, a jury often believes the victim’s claims, and the accused is subsequently found to be guilty.
The only way to defend such a crime is if there is solid evidence suggesting that such a crime was not committed: for example, the victim did not act in a way that a usual victim of a sex crime would usually act. Unfortunately, people often unnecessarily file sex crime cases.
Most Common Defenses
A case where the victim’s story does not sound believable or accurate is generally easy to defend. However, more evidence is required, and we often look at the behavior of both the victim and defendant to determine if their behavior matches their claims.
As an example, it is common to find graphic images and chat messages on the computers or phones of sex offenders. Likewise, victims would generally become reclusive after such a sex crime was committed against them, so should there be evidence of normal social activities as opposed to withdrawal, suspicion may be raised as to the credibility of the claim.
Helping Your Case if Accused of a Sex Crime
It is highly recommended that you do not discuss the allegations or accusations immediately with the police. Being arrested can cause high emotions, and people will often have difficulty explaining their story under such pressure. Innocent people can end up prosecuted simply by presenting facts inaccurately due to nervousness or embarrassment.
When you are arrested, the first thing to do is contact an attorney, or ask your family to contact an attorney. Once that is done, the person is represented and the police are not permitted to talk to him or her. The family and/or attorney can negotiate your release, and after this time we can meet at our office to review the police report, discuss the allegations and victim/witness statements, and then decide how to proceed. After gathering whatever resources are available to assist in defending the case, our attorneys can then agree to a police interview.
Under no circumstances should you discuss anything with the police prior to seeking advice from your attorney.
Gurovich, Berk & Associates is Different We Can Help You
Our firm prides itself on knowledge of the legal system and thorough investigation. We interview witnesses, seek supporting documentation, review the evidence and investigate the prosecution’s theory of the case.
Sex crimes are highly emotional and it is vital to gather any available resources in order to defend such cases. Once the emotion is taken out of a case, we can then carefully consider all the facts and evidence to determine if what has been presented to us is believable.
One of the most detailed areas we investigate is witness reports. These can vary greatly and need to be painstakingly examined, keeping in mind the sensitivity of such cases and the motivation behind the witnesses’ statements.
Once we have examined all of the aspects of a case thoroughly, we will give our recommendation as to how to proceed. We may decide to fight the case and go to trial to test the prosecution’s theory. If we believe it is too risky and the evidence against our client is too great, we may suggest avoiding trial and attempt to reach an agreement with the prosecution to settle the case, aiming for the best possible outcome.
Many times, it is not the facts that matter, it is what you can prove that happened and this is called evidence. That is the difficult part about criminal cases. So, the most important factor is that we do our homework; we gather evidence. Our firm has a team of investigators who help us prepare our cases. We also engage the client and the family if they know something about the allegations and can provide their perspective on the case.