Being accused of a sex crime can be devastating. It might negatively impact your reputation in your community, as well as mar your relationships and employment record.
If you have been charged with an offense of a sexual or indecent nature, it may be in your interest to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A Mount Pleasant sex crimes lawyer could create a successful defense in your favor and preserve your future to the extent possible.
Sexual Assault Charges in Mount Pleasant
There are several statutes in Mount Pleasant concerning sexual assault crimes. They vary by degrees and penalties.
What is Criminal Sexual Conduct?
According to the South Carolina Code of Laws §16-3-652, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree is defined as engaging in sexual battery when any of the following conditions exist:
- Aggravated force
- Forcible confinement, kidnapping, or trafficking
- Involuntary intoxication
As a first-degree felony, criminal sexual conduct is punishable by up to 30 years of imprisonment, which may be determined by the discretion of the court. Second-degree criminal sexual conduct consists of engaging in aggravated coercion to accomplish a sexual act.
Second-degree criminal sexual conduct may be punishable by up to 20 years in prison. However, a Mount Pleasant sex crimes attorney may be able to argue efficiently toward a lesser sentence.
What is Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct?
Even if criminal sexual conduct has not been alleged, a charge of attempt may nevertheless result in a harsh penalty. Per S.C. Code Ann. §16-3-656, a conviction for the attempt could result in the same penalty that would be exacted were the act completed.
Because intent must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, this mental inclination may be difficult for the prosecution to establish. A sex crimes lawyer in Mount Pleasant may be able to defend a client successfully in this type of case.
Sex Crimes Involving Minors in Mount Pleasant
Criminal sexual conduct with a minor is another serious offense in Mount Pleasant. Moreover, aggravating circumstances may increase the penalty for those who are convicted of this crime. Per S.C. Code Ann. §16-3-655, a person in Mount Pleasant may be found guilty of this unlawful act in the first degree if the court finds that they committed sexual battery upon a minor who is less than 11 years old.
Additionally, a previously convicted party, who is alleged to have engaged in the sexual battery of someone who is under the age of 16, could also be charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. A conviction in the first degree could result in 25 or more years of incarceration with no permitted probation or suspended sentence.
With such severe consequences for this type of crime, it may be crucial for a defendant to have counsel who is well-versed in criminal matters involving minors. An adept sex crimes attorney in Mount Pleasant may be able to establish mitigating circumstances that might lower the degree of the charge.
Speak with a Mount Pleasant Sex Crimes Attorney Today
If you are being investigated for sexual crimes, you may be panicked about the possibility of a conviction. As a result, it could be vital to retain counsel who could advocate robustly on your behalf, so that you might put these disturbing allegations behind you. A capable Mount Pleasant sex crimes lawyer might be able to form a compelling defense before the court. Call a defense attorney as soon as possible for legal representation.