Types of Sex Offense Charges
They start with the offenses that everyone’s familiar with: rape, child molestation. Those are the two that people see most frequently. There’s also statutory rape, which involves someone who is underage. These crimes aren’t even just frowned upon by society; society actively hates people who commit them, or are even accused of them.
You are judged before you even walk into the courtroom. When you walk in and a jury is looking at you and they read those charges, their eyes change and they stare at you as this horrific human being. The stigma is terrible. We see these cases on the news all the time. You don’t want to be that person, but if you are, and you’ve been wrongly accused, you need someone who does this work, who can look at the facts of the case and present them systematically to prove how it wasn’t you, and that you’ve been wrongly accused. Sex offense cases are terrible because once your name gets out there people will always remember who you are. Even after you clear your name, they still remember it because it doesn’t go away. They will always be able to track you, and with the readily accessible Internet they can figure out that you were accused of certain charges. There is, unfortunately, very little protection an attorney can give you once you’ve been charged. Cases like that are almost always reaction cases. The lawyer is reacting to something bad that happened and figuring out how to protect you, and how to keep you out of jail. Your reputation has already been tarnished, though, and even if someone comes forward afterwards and says that they made the whole thing up, your reputation already took the hit. Chances are you lost your job, and people around you have lost all respect for you. They think of you as an animal, and it’s horrible, but that’s what happens.
Misdemeanor vs Felony Sex Offenses
The level of the offense is specific to the event that took place and the way that [the offender is] charged. Felony cases with sex offenders are always brought up and indicted into the circuit court if it’s a low level offense. A general prostitution case is, in theory, a sex offense case, but if it’s a case where you’re soliciting something or you’ve been accused thereof, those generally track as misdemeanors.
Felony cases affect the rest of your life, your ability to vote, and sometimes even your right to bear arms. You get a record, you’re on probation, and you have to register as a sex offender. There’s a definitive line of separation between the two, but misdemeanors are simply that, they’re not as serious as felonies.
Common Misdemeanor Sex Offenses
I would never label something as common; I would look at the facts of the case. You have to be careful with sex offense cases because they can always develop into more, so I don’t particularly care to label them as misdemeanor or felony. I look at them all as very serious offenses that can have serious impacts on your life and your future. To split them apart, I would say it doesn’t serve your client justice to say that something is less advanced than another, because they’re all serious. I have reservations in answering that question.
Consequences for Sex Crime Convictions
The consequences of being caught up in any type of [sex] offense are the stigmas that are attached to you as a deviant, and the stigma when you have to register yourself as a sex offender, which is public record. Wherever you move, you have to stay within certain areas. You can’t be near schools, or places that are specific to children, such as playgrounds, etc. When you register as a sex offender people think immediately that you molest children, or [if you’re male] that you’re a threat to women and they don’t want you in their neighborhood – they don’t want you anywhere near them. Towns and municipalities will pass certain rules and they do it because they know that if a registered sex offender tries to move there they’re not going to allow it. That registry is there forever, it never goes away, and it can label you and tell people where you live. When you register as a sex offender, your name, your home, and everything else about you is on the Internet. It’s available in public record, and it never goes away. That’s one thing about that type of case that should deter any person from making a choice that could be charged as an offense like that. The consequences are dire and your life is over. You are no longer a private citizen; you are on public record forever.