Having a sex crime conviction on your permanent criminal record could have a negative impact on every aspect of your life. Although you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, an arrest for sex crime charges could damage your reputation and affect the people around you.

If you have been arrested for allegations of sexual assault, our experienced sex crimes attorneys could begin working on your defense immediately. Charleston sex crimes penalties could result in severe consequences, but a dedicated lawyer could help defend your rights in court.

Types of Sex Crimes and Potential Penalties

Depending on the circumstances, sex crimes vary in seriousness. Likewise, each category of sex crimes carries different penalties and consequences.

First-Degree Sexual Assault and Battery

People commit first-degree sexual assault and battery when they injure a victim while touching them inappropriately, whether under or over their clothing. Violent touching can occur in the genital area, breasts, and buttocks. If a court finds an individual guilty of first-degree sexual assault and battery, they may face steep fines, harsh penalties, including sex offender registry, and up to ten years of imprisonment.

Criminal sexual conduct

A defendant could face charges for first, second, and third-degree criminal sexual conduct, with the first-degree being the most severe. A conviction for first-degree criminal sexual conduct might mean that the defendant used or threatened physical force during the act.

People can also face these charges if they kidnap a victim or use drugs to subdue them. The penalties for criminal sexual conduct include a felony conviction on the person’s criminal record and up to thirty years in prison.

Spousal Sexual Battery

Spousal sexual battery occurs when a person uses aggravated force to commit sexual battery against their spouse. Potential penalties include a felony conviction and up to ten years in prison.  Sex offender registry is also a possible consequence of a conviction.

A knowledgeable attorney in Charleston could answer questions about sex crimes charges for a specific case and help build a strong defense for an alleged suspect.

The Sex Offender Registry

According to the South Carolina Code § 23-3-430, if a court convicts a defendant of specific sex crimes in South Carolina, the law requires them to register with the state as a sex offender. In some cases, a judge may require registration, even if an offense is not listed under the statute.

If a person receives a sentence for one of the sex crimes on the statutes in a different state and moves to South Carolina, they must reregister here. Sex crimes that require registration include:

  • Criminal sexual conduct in the first, second, and third-degree
  • Criminal sexual conduct with minors in the first, second, and third-degree
  • Engaging a child for sexual performance or child pornography
  • Producing, directing, or promoting child pornography
  • Criminal sexual conduct
  • Peeping, voyeurism, or aggravated voyeurism

If a judge reverses, overturns, or vacates a conviction on appeal, the state will eliminate the defendant’s name from the registry upon notice from the Attorney General. An aggressive lawyer in Charleston could help strategize a defense to minimize the penalties for a sex crimes conviction.

Call an Attorney Experienced with Sex Crimes Penalties in Charleston

If you face sex crime charges, you must take the potential consequences seriously. It is crucial to begin preparation immediately.

The more time you have for preparation, the better your chances are of protecting your legal rights. If you need help building a solid defense, contact a hard-working lawyer experienced with Charleston sex crimes penalties.