Sex crimes are treated very seriously in New York, and convictions may be penalized quite harshly. The laws addressing sex crimes are aggressively enforced. If you are charged with any sex crime on Long Island, seek legal help at once by contacting a Nassau County sex crimes attorney.
Sex crimes usually involve some type of sexual act that includes violence, assault, a lack of the other person’s consent, sex with a minor, with a person who is legally incompetent, or with someone incapable of consenting to a sexual act. Sex crimes in the State of New York include:
- rape, date rape, and statutory rape
- sexual abuse, aggravated sexual abuse, and forcible touching
- child molestation and child pornography
What are your rights if you are arrested and charged with one of these sex crimes in New York? What steps will you need to take? How will a Long Island sex crimes attorney defend you and help you fight the charge? If you will continue reading, these questions will be answered below.
How Are Sex Crimes Classified and Penalized in New York?
If you are convicted of a sex crime, the damage to your reputation and to your future could be irreparable. Sex crime charges in New York range from Class A-II felonies to Class B misdemeanors.
A specific charge will depend on the specific conduct, the harm that was caused, and factors such as the victim’s ability to consent, the victim’s age, and whether a weapon was involved.
The penalties for sex crime convictions also vary depending on the type and nature of the offense, the age and mental capacity of the victim, and the defendant’s prior record. All felony convictions for sex crimes may be penalized with a prison sentence and post-release supervision.
For Class D and E felony offenses, New York law allows a convicted offender to be placed on probation, but sex crime offenders will generally serve lengthier probation sentences with stricter terms and conditions than other probationers.
What Are the “Extra-Legal” Penalties for a Sex Crime Conviction?
If it’s a first offense, a conviction for a sex crime creates a criminal record that could follow you for the rest of your life – and make it difficult for you to find employment or housing or to obtain a loan.
If you hold a professional license in New York, a sex crime conviction may trigger disciplinary action by your state licensing board. If you are not a U.S. citizen, a sex crime conviction could prompt a deportation proceeding.
What Is Sexual Abuse? What Is Aggravated Sexual Abuse?
New York law defines sexual abuse as any sexual contact without the other person’s consent – touching someone else’s sexual parts in order to gratify one’s sexual desires. Touching includes touching a victim directly or through that person’s clothing or ejaculating on a victim.
First-degree sexual abuse is a Class D felony, but second- and third-degree sexual abuse are misdemeanors that may be penalized with a jail sentence.
“Forcible touching” is a charge that is similar to sexual abuse. It is a Class A misdemeanor that includes squeezing, grabbing, or pinching. A forcible touching conviction may also be penalized with a jail sentence.
Aggravated sexual abuse is the penetration, digitally or with an object, of someone’s anus or vagina without that person’s consent. Aggravated sexual abuse is a Class B, C, D, or E felony. Physically injuring a victim results in the most serious charges and the harshest penalties.
How Does Sex Offender Registration Work?
Under New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act, most offenders who have been convicted of a sex crime are required to register with state and local law enforcement agencies while they are residing in any New York community.
Sex offender registration is required annually for at least twenty years. Convicted offenders who are classified as high-risk must register annually for life. Offenders must inform law enforcement officials of any changes in residence or employment. Failing to register is a Class D or E felony.
How Will a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help You?
This cannot be stressed strongly enough: If you have been charged with a sex crime on Long Island, you must contact a Nassau County sex crimes attorney as quickly as possible. Your attorney will fight to reduce the charge against you or to have the dismissed.
If the state’s evidence against you is overwhelming and your conviction is likely, in some cases, your attorney will be able to negotiate a satisfactory plea deal. In most plea deals, a defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge and in return serves a reduced or alternative sentence.
If you are maintaining your innocence and the charge against you cannot dismissed and a plea deal cannot be reached, you should insist on a trial by jury. Your defense attorney will have considerable experience handling sex crime cases and will know how to cast doubt on the state’s evidence against you.
What If the Accusation Against You Was Fabricated?
All sex crime accusations should taken seriously by the justice system in this state, but judges and attorneys also know that some sex crime allegations are fabricated. False claims are made for a number of reasons, but if you are falsely accused, your attorney will work to uncover the truth.
The right Long Island sex crimes attorney will protect your rights, provide you with an aggressive, effective defense, and bring the case against you to its best possible outcome.
If You Are Placed Under Arrest
If you are placed under arrest on Long Island and charged with a sex crime, you cannot afford to act as your own attorney. Do not even consider it. The law in New York is far too complicated, too much will be at risk, and any mistake that you make could send you to jail or prison.
If you are taken into police custody, exercising your right to remain silent is imperative. Just say, “I would rather not answer any questions and speak to a lawyer.” Insist on your right to have your lawyer assist you, and follow your lawyer’s suggestions and advice.
You will need to be represented by a Nassau County criminal defense attorney who has substantial experience with sex crime cases and knows how to mount an aggressive, effective defense. If you’re placed under arrest for a sex crime, contact that attorney as soon as possible.