Guide to Sex Crimes Defense – Massachusetts’ Leading Defense Attorney
Federal law and Massachusetts law enforcement take sex crimes very seriously, and the penalties can be immense. Besides the lengthy state prison sentence that comes with each of these charges, a conviction for these offenses will leave you stigmatized and with substantial limitations of convicted sex offenders.
Unlike simple assault and battery accusations or other misdemeanors, sexual abuse defendants aren’t entitled to a clerk’s hearing are sex offense charges. Once someone accuses you, their word alone can get you arrested, and they can’t “drop” the charges even if they’re a family member. The District Attorney will listen to the case, and you’ll be prosecuted.
For these reasons, it’s important to seek representation from a skilled attorney with a track record of successful case outcomes for sex-related criminal charges, from sexual contact, indecent exposure, and solicitation to sexual exploitation and statutory rape.
Overview of Massachusetts Sex Crimes Laws
Here’s an overview of the main provisions of the state sexual assault laws:
Indecent Assault and Battery on Person Over Fourteen
Indecent assault and battery essentially refer to touching someone in a manner offensive to contemporary moral values, like touching the buttocks, breasts, or genitals.
- Up to five years in state prison
- Two and a half years in the house of corrections
Indecent Assault and Battery On a Child Below Fourteen 14
A child below 14 years of age can’t consent to indecent sexual conduct. Touching the breast, genitals, or buttocks of a child below fourteen years has the following penalties:
- Up to 10 years state prison sentence
- Two and a half years in the house of correction
Indecent Assault and Battery On Person with Intellectual Disability
Touching a person with an intellectual disability attracts the following penalties:
- Up to ten years state prison sentence
- A minimum penalty of five years
Indecent Assault and Battery On a Disabled Individual or Elder
Sexual contact on someone with a long-term or permanent mental impairment or physical disability has these possible penalties:
- Up to ten years in state prison
- At least two and a half yours house of correction
Aggravated Indecent Sexual Assault and Battery
Aggravated Indecent Assault and Battery On a Minor Below Fourteen Years
This applies if you’re a mandated reporter or touched the minor during a felony offense. The penalties are:
- Up to life behind bars
- Minimum of ten years
Mandatory Sexual Offender Registration
Mandatory sex registration is sometimes required in the state’s sex offender registry board. Intentional non-compliance to the Sexual Offender Registration by failing to register or using false details has severe consequences like going back behind bars.
Charges for child molestation vary with the crime’s severity.
Indecent Assault and Battery of a Child
This includes any sexual misconduct on a child below fourteen. The possible penalties are:
- Up to ten years in prison
- Life in prison for a subsequent offense
Sexual intercourse with a minor below 16 attracts rape charges. Furthermore, threatening or forcing them attracts additional charges. The maximum penalty is a life sentence.
This is any material depicting children in sexually obvious ways, including videos, film, or pictures. Charges include:
possession of Child Pornography
This charge has these possible penalties:
- Up to five years’ prison time
- $10,000 in fines
- Longer jail sentence for a second and third conviction
Distribution or Production of Child Pornography
This includes using any method to share child pornography. The crime may earn you up to 15 years’ prison time or $5,000 in fines.
hat Are the Available Defenses?
Your specific sex crime charges will determine your case’s most applicable defenses. That said, the three common defenses that attorney’s use to defend sex crimes and assaults include:
There Was No Sexual Act
One strategy to defend yourself is that the act didn’t occur between you and the alleged victim. Your attorney would argue that the victim wrongfully believed that the defendant did a non-consensual sexual act and falsely accused you of the same. The Commonwealth must prove that you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt before you’re found guilty.
The Crime Occurred, But You’re Not the Perpetrator
This defense acknowledges that the sex crime occurred, but you weren’t responsible for the act. Often, sex crime victims are pushed to identify perpetrators or witnesses in a lineup, which can be inaccurate.
The Act Occurred, But It Wasn’t Criminal
This defense focuses on proving consent, an element that distinguishes most sexual assault charges from the rest.
While these possible defenses can impact your case, working with a reputable sex crimes attorney could help you develop a strong defense. Your attorney will fight to achieve a favorable case outcome.
How Will a Sex Crimes Attorney Impact Your Case?
Sexual offenses are complex, and a simple mistake or miscommunication could leave you facing years behind bars. Even if you’re certain that you’re not responsible for the act, partnering with a sex crimes lawyer could be the deciding factor for your case outcome and future.
Here’s how an attorney will impact your case:
- Your criminal defense lawyer knows the legal environment, and their experience, legal background, and connections could positively impact the case.
- If you’re facing sex crime charges, your attorney will take you through the charges, informing you of the lawsuit process, your rights, and possible penalties.
- Filing the paperwork correctly and keeping track of it is no easy feat, but your defense attorney will take care of this to avoid mistakes.
- They’ll use their knowledge of the law to understand your charges and any opportunities to reduce them, offer great legal advice, and identify any loopholes you’re likely to miss without the comprehension.
- You’ll likely face stigma when facing lewd sex offense charges. However, your criminal defense attorney will defend your rights and prevent anyone from taking advantage of you.
- Your defense attorney always has your back and is morally bound to your defense. Whether you’re innocent or guilty, they’ll try to ensure a seamless process for you.
- Defense attorneys have an entire team behind them with your case; all focused on moving things quickly and getting your normal life back.
- A reputable defense attorney can be costly, but when you compare the cost with the money and time you’ll save when you work with them, it’s a no-brainer.
- Your attorney is the only person with whom you can openly discuss anything related to the lawsuit. They’ll provide the emotional and technical support you require.
Speak with A Reputable Massachusetts Attorney
Sex crimes are unique, hence require in-depth knowledge of the relevant state laws. You also need a strong defense considering the nature of the possible penalties. Only a reputable sex offenses attorney can guarantee the best possible case outcome.
Of course, you have vast options to choose from in Attleboro, Quincy, New Bedford, Fall River, Dedham, or Brockton, all promising to grant justice and achieve favorable lawsuit outcomes. However, only a few can offer the unmatched track record you’d find at Riccio Law. What’s more, we’ll evaluate your case for free.
Speak with us via (508) 226-4500 to discuss your case.