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Virginia Sex Crimes Lawyer
Sex crimes have long been a significant consideration for local courts, and the laws regarding what constitutes a sex crime continue to evolve even today. Although seldom enforced, in the recent past sex between two consenting adults was illegal in Virginia when the adults were unmarried. Until the Virginia Supreme Court found the law unconstitutional in 2005, those convicted of having sex with another consenting adult outside of wedlock could face a fine up to $250.00.
Today, sex crimes focus on crimes against other people, especially when the acts are not consensual. Sex crimes are outlined in state codes § 18.2-61 through § 18.2-67.10 under Title 18.2 – Crimes and Offenses Generally. Some examples of sex crimes commonly prosecuted include:
- Rape (including charges informally referred to as date rape and statutory rape)
- Aggravated Sexual Battery
- Possession, Production, Financing, or Distribution of Child Pornography
- Carnal Knowledge of a Minor
- Object Sexual Penetration
Defined generally, a sex crime in Virginia is a sexual act on a person that has not given or is incapable of giving consent. Physical contact with another person is not always necessary, as indecent exposure or Internet sex crimes are also illegal. For more information, you can contact an experienced Virginia sex offense lawyer within our firm.
Areas of Practice
Our lawyers represent clients accused of sex crimes throughout Virginia, including the following cities and counties:
Sex Crime Criminal Process in Virginia
Those accused of a sex crime may receive a presumption against bond from the court hearing the case if it involves a felony sex crime or sexual activities with a minor. One of the first tasks for a Virginia sex crimes attorney is to petition a court for a bond motion. The Commonwealth's Attorney Office often opposes bond in felony sex crimes, but proper legal representation by a Virginia sex offense lawyer can successfully establish that the accused is not a danger to public safety or a flight risk, among other facts in the accused's favor in order to allow the accused to be admitted to bond.
All persons charged with a sex crime in Virginia have the right to a preliminary hearing before being indicted by a Grand Jury, unless their charge came as the result of a direct indictment. During this hearing, the accused does not enter a plea to any charges, and the Commonwealth only has to prove probable cause as to the alleged crime committed, but it can be an invaluable part of the representation process.
Federal Sex Crimes Charges in Virginia
Certain sex crimes charges in Virginia will be prosecuted at the level of federal government. As a general rule, any sex crime that crosses state lines – including interstate sex trafficking and child pornography - will fall into this category. For a more detailed list of what constitutes a federal sex crime and different kinds of federal sex crimes, visit this page here.Visit our federal sex crime lawyer page to learn more.
Penalties for Sex Crimes in Virginia
Sex crimes carry harsh penalties, and most sex crimes are felonies of various classes. Attempted sex crimes also carry penalties. An attempt to commit sexual battery, for example, is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor under state law, and is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $2,500.00 fine. Attempted rape, forcible sodomy, or nonconsensual sexual penetration by any object is considered a Class 4 felony with up to ten years in prison and/or a $100,000.00 fine. If you have been charged with any of these crimes, or the others that fall under the umbrella of a sex crime in the Commonwealth, please schedule a free consultation with a Virginia sex crimes attorney with our firm.
In addition to imprisonment and fines, those convicted of sex crimes in Virginia may also be required to register as a sex offender in the state registry. Crimes requiring registry include:
- Forcible Sodomy
- Indecent Liberties With a Minor
- Object Sexual Penetration
- Carnal Knowledge of a Minor (ages 13-14) where convicted is more than five years older than victim
Many other sex crimes require convicted persons to register on the sex offenders registry, but a sex crimes lawyer with our firm can petition to have this penalty dismissed following successful completion of jail time, community service, and/or probation or parole. Visit our Virginia sex offender registry page for more information.
All Virginia sex offense lawyers within our firm have experience representing their clients against the types of charges you may be facing. Your charge, and the penalties that would be issued with a conviction, depend largely on the unique facts surrounding the circumstances that led to your arrest. While every case is different, our experience will help our legal team prepare a strong defense against the charges you face, while also making sure you are ready for any roadblocks that might stand in your way. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to obtain a positive result in your case, and the experience that they have accrued over years of litigation. Allow them to use that experience on your behalf. Schedule a free consultation with a Virginia sex offense lawyer in our firm today to begin your defense.