Prince William County Sex Crimes Lawyer
Few criminal allegations carry a greater stigma than sex offenses. That is why defendants accused of sexual crimes need the best legal representation available. If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex offense in Prince William County, please contact a Prince William sex crimes attorney today at (703) 278-2800 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options.
In many cases where accusations involve individuals who are acquainted with one another or Internet sex crimes, individuals will know they are being investigated before arrests are made. The time to hire experienced counsel is the moment you believe you are under suspicion.
The impulse to protect the victims of sex crimes is understandable. Unfortunately, however, all too frequently, it results in the abrogation of the rights and privileges of defendants accused of these crimes. Defendants living in Dumphries, Occoquan, Quantico, Haymarket, Manassas, Dale City and other places in Prince William County, Virginia should safeguard their rights by engaging the services of a Prince William sex crimes attorney as quickly as possible. Karin Riley Porter Attorney at Law and her legal team has experience dealing with all kinds of criminal cases across Virginia. Call her office today at (703) 278-2800.
Virginia Sex Crime Statutes
Sex crimes are a category that includes a variety of offenses. Most sex crimes are felonies. Note that physical contact is not a prerequisite for being accused of a sex crime in Virginia. Acts like indecent exposure and Internet solicitation carry stiff penalties.
Child pornography: Possession, production, distribution or financing of images of children engaged in sexual activity is a crime under both Virginia state law and federal law. The relevant parts of the Code of Virginia are § 18.2-374.1 and § 18.2-374.4.
Carnal knowledge of a minor: According to Virginia state law, a minor cannot consent to a sexual relationship with an adult. The age of consent in Virginia is 18. An age exception applies here to teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17, who will not be prosecuted for a more serious sex crime offense so long as their partner was of a similar age.
Until very recently, Virginia still had a “Crimes Against Nature” crime in its books. The relevant statute was Virginia Code § 18.2-361. This statute was invoked to prosecute adults engaged in sexual activities with minors, when other charges could not be brought for one reason or another. The Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently overturned this statute.
Rape, attempted rape, object sexual penetration and other types of aggravated sexual battery: Virginia Code § 18.2-61 defines rape while Virginia Code § 18.2-67.5 defines other types of sexual attacks.
Being Accused of a Sex Crime in Prince William County
When an individual is arrested in Prince William County, he or she is taken to the Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center and booked. The person will be taken in front of a magistrate where an informal bail hearing will be conducted.
Magistrates use guidelines to determine the appropriate amounts of bail. With certain crimes, including felony sex crimes and sex crimes involving a minor, these guidelines contain a presumption against bond, which means the magistrate does not have the power to set bail.
Under these conditions, a judge at the Prince William General Court in Manassas must set bail. A Prince William County sex crimes lawyer will petition the court for a bond motion. Defendant’s counsel will establish that the accused is not a danger to public safety or a flight risk, which often successfully overrides the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office objection to bond.
Sex crime indictments in Virginia are delivered by a Grand Jury. In many cases, defendants are entitled to a preliminary hearing where the Commonwealth must prove probable cause as to the commission of the alleged crime. Going through these various steps is disheartening and complicated, which is why it is recommended that you retain the services of a qualified Prince William sex crimes attorney. Click here to learn more.
Penalties for Sex Crimes in Prince William County
The penalties for sex crimes in Prince William County, as elsewhere in Virginia, are severe. Convicted sex offenders may serve jail or prison time, pay punitive and compensatory fines, and be subject to other penalties as well.
Individuals convicted of rape, forcible sodomy, object sexual penetration, carnal knowledge of a minor younger than 15 years old, or indecent liberties with a minor will be required to register in a statewide sex offender registry.
Other sex crime convictions also require registration in a sex offender registry. An experienced Prince William sex crimes lawyer, however, can petition to have this requirement dismissed following successful completion of prison time and other penalties.
Prince William Sex Crimes Attorney
The Prince William County sex crimes lawyers with Karin Riley Porter Attorney at Law are experienced in strategies that help clients achieve the best possible outcome in whatever legal situation they are up against. If you are charged with a sex crime in Prince William County, call us today for a free consultation at (703) 278-2800.
If you are instead seeking information or representation about sex crime charges in Maryland, please visit this link to learn more.