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.
Here’s an overview of the main provisions of the state sexual assault laws:
Indecent assault and battery essentially refer to touching someone in a manner offensive to contemporary moral values, like touching the buttocks, breasts, or genitals.
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:
Touching a person with an intellectual disability attracts the following penalties:
Sexual contact on someone with a long-term or permanent mental impairment or physical disability has these possible penalties:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.