Sex offenses carry some of the most severe and potentially damaging penalties of any crime – including possible life imprisonment. These cases are highly driven by facts and too often there are no available witnesses other than the alleged victim and the defendant. If you are facing charges for a sex offense, including inappropriate touching, sexual assault, rape or child molestation, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. An attorney can help you better understand not only the procedural aspects of a sex offense case, but the legal ramifications of a guilty plea and registration as a sex offender.
If you have been charged, arrested, or investigated for any of these crimes it is vital that you contact a Providence Rhode Island Sexual Assault Lawyer that will aggressively defend your rights and protect you as soon as possible. Call Nee Law at 401-453-5663 or EMAIL us.
More frightening, perhaps, is the fact that false and/or mistaken allegations are not unusual. Many studies have found that a significant number of allegations of sexual assault are intentionally false, motivated by personal animosity, or arise as a response to a mistaken identity. Some law enforcement studies have found that as many as ½ of allegations of sexual assault are false.
For the above reasons it is imperative that an individual suspected or charged with a sex offense contact a sexual assault attorney or child molestation defense lawyer immediately. It is also imperative that an individual questioned by law enforcement regarding allegations of sexual abuse refuse any interviews until the suspect has had an opportunity to discuss the matter fully with an attorney. Only an experienced criminal defense attorney can evaluate the pros and cons of cooperating with law enforcement.
There are a few types of sexual assault charges with which you may be faced.
- First Degree Sexual Assault is the most serious. This is typically what most people call “forcible rape” and includes an element of sexual penetration. The penalty for First Degree Sexual Assault is 10 years to life in prison. First Degree Sexual Assault is also considered a capital offense which means that the prosecution may ask that you be held without bail pending trial.
- Second Degree Sexual Assault is forced or coerced sexual contact. The penalty is 3 years to 15 years in prison.
- Third degree sexual assault is what many people refer to as “statutory rape”. It can be charged when a person over the age of 18 sexual penetrates a person between 14 years and 16 years old. 16 is the age of consent in Rhode Island so consensual sex with someone 16 or 17 years old is not a crime. The maximum penalty for third degree sexual assault is 5 years in prison.
Child Molestation is Another Serious Crime With Extremely Severe Consequences
- First degree child molestation sexual assault is defined as sexual penetration with a person fourteen (14) years of age or under. Under Rhode Island law, a person under the age of 14 is incapable of consent so consent is not a defense. The penalty is a minimum of 25 years in prison and you may be imprisoned for life. In addition, should an offender be released from prison, the Jessica Lunsford Child Predator Act of 2006 mandates that some offenders be electronically monitored via an active global positioning system for life.
- A person is guilty of a second-degree child molestation sexual assault if he or she engages in sexual contact with another person fourteen (14) years of age or under. This means any sexual contact that is short of penetration. The penalty for second degree child molestation sexual assault is imprisonment for not less than 6 years and not more than 30 years.
- Indecent solicitation of a child. A person is guilty of indecent solicitation of a child if he or she knowingly solicits another person under eighteen (18) years of age or one whom he or she believes is a person under eighteen (18) years of age for the purpose of engaging in an act of prostitution or other indecent acts. The imprisonment for not less than five (5) years.T US
Defenses to Sex Crimes
By working with a criminal defense attorney, you can introduce certain defenses to sex crimes to either lessen your culpability or avoid prosecution all together. For example, you may argue that the sexual contact was consensual. If you are facing a sex crime, you could potentially endure serious, life-changing consequences. To protect your rights and ensure your continued freedom, you need a compassionate, confidential and aggressive advocate in your corner to combat the prosecutor’s allegations and help protect you from incarceration, penalties and mandatory registration as a sex offender. Contact our knowledgeable criminal defense law firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case and learn more about your options.
Call Nee Law at 401-453-5633, email us, or fill out the contact form on this page.