Being charged with or convicted of a sex offense in DC is a serious matter. Not only can a conviction have immediate negative impacts, such as jail time or heavy fines, it can also have long-term implications in your personal and professional life.

The laws surrounding sex offenses in DC are complex, therefore if you have been charged with a sex crime, a DC sex crimes attorney can lead you through the intricacies of the criminal justice system.

Sex Crime Charges

DC law incorporates rape and sexual assault into one broad crime of sexual abuse. However, sexual abuse (not including sexual abuse of a child) is divided into five degrees.

  • First Degree: Causing a person to engage in a sexual act (sexual, oral or anal intercourse) with the intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the person committing the offense, accomplished through the use of force, threatened use of a weapon or use of a threat sufficient to force coercion.
  • Second Degree: Causing a person to engage in a sexual act with the intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the person committing the offense, accomplished by threatening or inciting reasonable fear in the victim, or knowing the victim was incapable of providing consent or communicating his or her unwillingness to participate in the act.
  • Third Degree: Touching clothed or unclothed area with the penis, hand, fingers, or similar, accomplished through the use of force, threatened use of a weapon or use of a threat sufficient to force coercion.
  • Fourth Degree:  Touching clothed or unclothed area with the penis, hand, fingers, or similar, accomplished by threatening or inciting reasonable fear in the victim, or knowing the victim was incapable of providing consent or communicating his or her unwillingness to participate in the act.
  • Misdemeanor:  A sexual act or contact occurred, and the person knew or should have known they did not have permission to do so.

The multiple offenses and degrees of offenses with which a person could be charged for a sex crime in DC can be overwhelming. Someone who is accused of committing a sex crime might be confused by the charges and not know the best method for defending themselves. That is why it is important to contact a DC sex crimes lawyer who has the experience to know the strongest defense strategies for someone.

Sex Crime Penalties

Sex offense convictions can lead to lengthy jail sentences, expensive fines, and in some cases, being added to the sex offender registry. Misdemeanors in DC are punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $500 fine for a first offense. Both forms of punishment can severely impact your life as you currently know it. Many people who are convicted of sex offenses in DC end up losing their jobs and experiencing personal problems in terms of their relationships with friends and family members. The consequences of being a registered sex offender are severe.

A DC sex crimes attorney with experience defending sex crime charges will be able to help someone avoid the negative implications that a conviction would have on their life. They will have the skill and resources required to either avoid a guilty verdict altogether or mitigate the punishments they might receive.

Contacting a Defense Attorney

Having a conviction on your record for a sex offense in  DC would have substantial negative impacts on your life.  A skilled criminal defense attorney will be well-suited to defend your sex crime cases. A DC sex crimes attorney will examine your case to determine the best possible method of defense against the prosecution.