Having charges filed against you is far from pleasant. But while you can walk away from some charges with your name and reputation relatively unscathed even if you are found guilty, there's no walking away from sex crime charges. There's a significant stigma associated with sex crimes, and having such charges on your record can have serious long-term consequences. The unfortunate thing is that relatively minor offenses done with no malicious intent can also land you on the sex offender registry.
Even worse, wrongly convicted individuals have been known to end up on the sex offender registry as well. Once your name is added to the registry, the associated stigma will follow you for the rest of your life, regardless of the severity of your crimes. Investing in an experienced sex crime defense attorney is, without a doubt, the best way to protect yourself against sex crime charges and guarantee a favorable outcome.
Minor Offenses That Can Land You on the Sex Offender Registry
While many on the sex offenders' registry deserve to be there, some had relatively minor offenses whose severity is artificially magnified by the registry. For instance, public urination can land you on the sex offender registry in 13 different states, leaving you branded as a sex offender for the rest of your life. If you flash your breasts, genitals or go streaking as a joke as drunk college kids often do, you can be charged with indecent exposure and forced to register as a sex offender.
Did you know that minors can also be registered as sex offenders? Minors who take nude photos of themselves and pass them on to other minors can be charged with sex crimes and added to the sex offender registry. This can also happen if a minor distributes nude photos of other minors.
Do's and Don'ts When Facing Sex Crime Charges
Given how sensitive sex crime charges can be, let's start with the don'ts. For starters, refrain from answering any questions without a sexual assault attorney. Regardless of what the police tell you, their job is to collect as much evidence as they can against you. Any questions they ask will be designed to fish for information that can strengthen their case. Your right to remain silent is enshrined in the constitution. Do not answer any questions without a lawyer by your side.
Second, do not under any circumstances speak to the alleged victim. Don't give in to the urge to reach out and discuss the charges, as this may be seen as you trying to coerce or intimidate the alleged victim. Furthermore, do not agree to any kind of testing without discussing it with your lawyer. You may be handing over evidence that the prosecution will use against you. On the other hand, try and collect as much evidence that you believe can exonerate you, including email, phone, text, and GPS records. Note down the date, time, and location of the alleged incident, as well as a list of witnesses who can provide more information.
Finally, make sure you hire a professional sex crime defense attorney to represent you. Given just how challenging sex crime charges can be, you should go for an experienced lawyer who has a track record of winning to increase your chances of beating the charges.
Long Term Consequences of Sex Crime Charges
If you are found guilty of a sex crime, you won't just have to deal with the legal consequences; the charges will follow you for the rest of your life. If convicted, you will likely be handed a lengthy jail sentence, a fine, or registered in the local sex offender registry, which has serious long-term consequences. State laws across the country have more than 900 different barriers restricting people in the sexual offender registry access to crucial services and privileges like employment, housing, and family involvement.
With sex crimes on your record, you will have difficulty finding a decent job, good housing, or even integrating into the community. And this can happen for the rest of your life just because you had a momentary lapse of judgment and urinated in public or sent a nude photograph as a teenager. With an experienced sexual assault attorney by your side, your chances of beating the charges will improve significantly, and you won't be facing the consequences of the charges for the rest of your life.
Contact Cabanas Law for Your Legal Needs
Are you or your child currently facing sex crime charges? Was your offense relatively minor and done without malice? You shouldn't have to deal with the consequences of these charges for the rest of your life.
The professional sexual assault attorneys at Cabanas Law have plenty of experience with criminal law, and we will leverage this experience to get you the best outcome possible. Contact the Cabanas Law Firm in San Antonio at (210) 446-4090 to set up a consultation.