Sex crimes are considered especially serious offenses in Virginia. Being charged with a sex crime can have serious negative consequences on your life and the lives of your loved ones. Convictions for many sex crimes can result in significant incarceration, which means being separated from family members for an extensive period of time.
In addition, if convicted, you may be required to register as a sex offender, which can severely limit where you are allowed to live and restrict your ability to obtain employment, loans, or financial aid.
If you are under investigation or facing charges for a sex offense in Fauquier County, it is important that you hire an experienced Fauquier sex crimes lawyer who can help you understand the charges against you and the possible penalties you face.
Virginia laws regarding sex crimes are varied and complex. The wide range of sex offenses includes everything from public indecency to forcible sex crimes. Crimes of indecency include obscene sexual displays and indecent exposure, which are both Class 1 misdemeanors, and engaging in sexual acts or activity with a child 15 years or older, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense. If the child is less than 15 years old, the offense becomes a felony.
Forcible sex crimes include:
Under Virginia law, many sex crimes involving a victim not only include activity between the perpetrator and the victim, but also activity in which the perpetrator forces the victim to perform sexual acts on themselves.
In addition, Virginia law does not require the victim of a forcible sex crime to physically resist or cry out against an attacker; however, the absence of resistance or objection may be considered, when applicable and relevant, to prove that the act was not performed against the will of the complaining witness.
All sex crimes can carry serious penalties for conviction. For sex crimes that violate decency laws, such as obscene sexual displays or indecent exposure, sentences can be as high as 12 months in confinement and/or a fine of $2,500.
Forcible sex crimes are punished more severely under Virginia law. While sexual intercourse by an adult with a child over 15 years old is categorized as a Class 1 misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of 12 months of confinement and/or a fine of $2,500, offenses such as sexual penetration by object/animal, aggravated sexual battery, and rape carry far more severe punishments.
Conviction for aggravated sexual battery can result in imprisonment of anywhere from one to 20 years and a fine as high as $100,000. Sexual penetration by object/animal carries a minimum sentence of five years, and can be as high as a life sentence. Sentences for rape include imprisonment from between five years to life. If a person engages in sexual intercourse with a child less than 13 years old, he or she faces a life sentence.
Subsequent convictions for felony sex crimes also carry steep penalties. A subsequent conviction for felony sexual assault automatically requires that the maximum sentence for that offense be imposed. A subsequent conviction for a violent felony sex offense carries a mandatory life sentence.
In addition, for statutory rape and forcible sex crime offenses, an offender is typically required to register with the Virginia sex offender registry. If a registered sex offender from Virginia moves to another state, they may also be required to register with that state’s sex offender registry.
Under Virginia law, registered sex offenders are also prohibited from loitering around, entering, working at, or even residing near schools, parks, and playgrounds. They are also unable to have contact with any children that are not in their custody. Violations of these requirements can result in additional felony charges.
The penalties of a sex offense conviction are not to be taken lightly. Sex crimes are considered especially heinous under Virginia law and carry extremely harsh punishments that include jail time, hefty fines, and registration as a sex offender. In order to avoid the severe negative impact that a sex crime conviction could have on your personal and professional life, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Karin Riley Porter is a highly skilled attorney who will fight aggressively to protect your rights and mitigate the effects of the criminal charges you are facing. Call her Virginia law office today to schedule a free case evaluation.
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