A sex crime conviction could have life-changing and prolonged consequences. Not only does a sexual offense charge threaten a person’s reputation and relationships with friends and loved ones, but it may also limit their professional opportunities and freedom.

Sex crimes can be difficult to battle in court without a criminal defense attorney, as cases usually revolve around the conflicting perspectives of those involved. If you have been accused of a sex crime, you may need the expertise of a professional Charleston sex crimes lawyer to help preserve your rights and freedoms.

Know the Sex Crimes Laws in Charleston

Numerous laws under South Carolina penal code deal with sex crimes, all of which carry severe penalties. To build a strong defense, it is essential to understand the relevant charge.

Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree

Defined as sexual battery using aggravated force, threats, or incapacitation, or if the victim submits to the sex act while under duress from confinement, kidnapping, trafficking, burglary, or other similar and threatening action. Criminal sexual conduct in the first degree is a felony and could lead to life imprisonment.

Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree

Defined as aggravated coercion to complete a sexual act on a victim. The difference between this and the crime in the first degree is the means to incapacitate the victim or confine the victim. Second-degree criminal sexual conduct is a felony and may carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree

Defined as sexual battery of a victim with the use of force. Third-degree criminal conduct offense differs from second-degree conduct in that the offender has reason to believe that the victim was incapacitated, but they did not cause the victim to be incapacitated. A guilty conviction could lead to 10 years of imprisonment.

Spousal Sexual Battery

Defined as the use of force to complete a sex act against one’s spouse. Unlike some other states, South Carolina has a codified law against spousal rape. A guilty conviction may result in up to 10 years in prison.

An experienced sex crimes lawyer in Charleston could explain the particular definitions of each sexual misconduct offense and how they may apply to a certain case. Each degree carries its own set of potential penalties, and it is crucial that an individual charged with a sex crime understands the potential consequences of their case.

Contacting a Charles Sex Crimes Attorney

It is the burden of the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual charged with criminal sexual conduct committed the crime in question. Sexual misconduct crimes often have few witnesses, which may seem at first to be a disadvantage. In fact, one person’s word against another’s is not a strong argument to prove a person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A sex crimes attorney in Charleston could help build a strong defense and take advantage of weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.

If you have been accused or charged with a sex crime, it is important to act quickly. A seasoned Charleston sex crimes lawyer could help you navigate through the legal process. Do not hesitate to contact a professional lawyer today.