A sex crime conviction can lead to some of the most severe penalties and consequences of any criminal charge a person could face. Although facing sex crime charges may be a terrifying experience, it is crucial to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty, have the right to remain silent and speak with an attorney. False allegations of sex crimes do occur and without assistance from an experienced sex crimes attorney, you could end up hurting your chances of a dismissal or acquittal.
If you have been taken into custody by law enforcement for allegations of a criminal act, reach out to an experienced attorney to review what to expect from Charleston sex crime cases. A hardworking sex crimes lawyer could advise you on your rights and help you navigate the legal process successfully.
What are Sex Crime Cases in Charleston?
The state prosecutes all sex crime cases harshly and fights for the most rigid penalties. While every case varies significantly, penalties for sex crimes can follow an individual for the rest of their life, such as the Sex Offender Registry, which is for life in South Carolina. While the term “sex crimes” is not considered legal terminology, many people use it to describe a vast range of charges, including:
Criminal Obscenity Laws
It is unlawful to create or distribute obscene material in this state. According to the South Carolina Code Section 16-15-305, a person can face a sex crime conviction if they knowingly disseminate obscenity material, including images involving sexual conduct and vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse. If a court finds an individual guilty of a sex charge, they will receive a felony conviction on their permanent criminal record and face up to five years in prison.
Indecent Exposure Laws
A person who exposes themselves inappropriately in the presence of others may face charges of indecency. If a criminal court finds a person guilty of exposing themselves, they could face up to six months of jail time and costly fines.
A sexual assault charge could fall within the states Assault & Battery statute, which covers a nonconsensual touching of another person’s breasts, butt, or private parts either above or under their clothing. Depending on the circumstances, an individual could face a sexual assault charge via a charge of Assault & Battery in the first or second degree. A conviction for first-degree sexual assault (Assault & Battery) could result in up to ten years in prison, while second-degree faces up to three.
Criminal Sexual Conduct
A person can face charges of criminal sexual conduct in the first, second, or third degree. Like sexual assault, the degree and severity of the consequences depends on a case’s circumstances. However, unlike sexual assault, for a charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct a “sexual battery” must have occurred and involves more than touching. A conviction for criminal sexual conduct in the first degree could lead to up to thirty years in prison.
Second-degree convictions can result in a twenty-year prison sentence, and third-degree charges could lead to 10 years of imprisonment. All carry an automatic Sex Offender Registry requirement upon conviction. After an arrest for any sex crime, a defendant should reach out to a seasoned attorney in Charleston for help.
Meet With a Seasoned Charleston Attorney About What to Expect from Sex Crimes Cases
Sex crime allegations of any type could mean severe and life-altering consequences. A conviction often results in lengthy prison sentences, probation, steep fines, and lifelong sex offender registration.
A skilled lawyer could help you understand what to expect from Charleston sex crime cases and review your potential options with you. A legal representative could advocate on your behalf and protect your rights inside and outside the courtroom. Call today to schedule a consultation.