Getting charged with a sex crime can turn your life upside down but you don’t have to go it alone. Over than 400,000 cases of rape or sexual assault were reported in 2012 alone. Here’s what to expect after you’ve been arrested for an unexpected charge.
Remember Not All Sex Crimes Are Created Equal
It’s important to remember that not convictions carry the same penalty. Even in the worst case scenario, a guilty verdict doesn’t automatically mean prison time.
Lewd acts, for example, cover a wide range of infractions. This charge can include acts ranging from consensual sex (in a public) to indecent exposure.
Indecent exposure is a charge not limited to genital exposure, but also includes exposure of the breasts in females.
Public sex is also covered in the covers consensual acts in public spaces. This could include sex acts in areas such as public bathrooms or even within the privacy of a parked car in a secluded area.
Violent and non-consensual acts carry heftier penalties at sentencing. Acts committed against minors also carry heavier penalties. These charges may carry additional weight if this involves the continuous sexual abuse of a child.
Accusations of childhood sex abuse may surface years after the alleged event. It is common for children to wait until adulthood to prosecute their alleged abusers.
It’s important to talk to legal counsel in order to decide what your best legal options are.
Know What to Expect
After your arrest, you may have the opportunity to make bail. First, the judge must decide if you qualify.
Qualifying for bail means that the judge will decide whether you are a flight risk or if you can be trusted to show up for trial. If it is decided that you can be trusted, bail will be set and you can make bail with the help of a bail bond.
While bail is usually set at a very high rate, bail bonds can get you out of jail for as little as 5% down. These rates may also qualify for a payment plan. After your release, you will have a much better opportunity to concentrate on your legal defense.
It is very important to have a well-qualified attorney to defend you. Quality legal advice will help you avoid any errors that could make your case more difficult.
Know Your Rights
Before your trial, there is a chance that social services may also approach you. Although they may be aggressive in requesting your cooperation, they have no right to enter your home without a court order.
Your lawyer may also move to have the charges dismissed if the case is unfounded or relies solely on the testimony of the accuser. He may also move for the case to be dismissed if the charge is a victimless crime.
You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you will have one appointed to you. Public defenders are notoriously overworked, however, experienced in fighting criminal cases.
If you are convicted of a sex crime, you have the right to appeal your conviction. Your legal counsel will help you decide what grounds you have to fight your conviction.
Appealing your conviction may mean arguing that some evidence shouldn’t have been allowed in the trial, jury composition, and improper arguements made by the prosecution.
Contact us if you or someone you love is facing criminal charges. Bail gives defendants a fighting chance at the defense they deserve.