DC Sex Crime Cases

In DC, sexual offense involves some sort of contact or conduct without consent that is sexual in nature. The severity of potential punishment depends on the specific nature of the contact and the conduct. Other aggravating factors that could elevate the conduct to a more serious offense include the use of force or the threat of force. If the alleged victim is a child or a minor, there is a category for child sex abuse. Those carry penalties that are much more significant than one involving a victim who was an adult. There are specific statutes prohibiting sexual abuse or contact with a patient, a client, a prisoner, or someone being cared for by the perpetrator. There are also specific statutes that prohibit sexual abuse against a student by a teacher, coach, or someone else who is in a position of authority in the school in which the alleged victim is a student.

If you are facing charges, you should contact a lawyer who is experienced with DC sex crime cases. A dedicated sex crimes lawyer could advocate for you and help you throughout your case.

Facing Sexual Abuse Charges

Some examples of different sex crimes someone could be charged within DC are sexual abuse charges. There is a range of sexual abuse offenses from a misdemeanor to more serious felonies.

Misdemeanor sexual abuse is sexual contact or a sexual act with a person when the person knew or should have known that the other person did not give permission for the act or contact. Usually, this involves groping or inappropriate, unwelcome touching. There are four degrees of felony sexual abuse. First-degree sexual abuse is when someone forces another person to engage in a sexual act, frightened someone with violence or kidnapping to get them to engage in a sexual act, or renders a person unconscious or drugs a person and commits a sexual act. First-degree sexual abuse is punishable by any amount up to life in prison.

Unique Aspects of Sex Crime Cases

There are a couple of aspects of DC sex crime cases that are different from other offenses. One is the nature of an allegation of a sex crime is a very sensitive topic and could be damning to a person’s reputation and public standing. When someone is accused of any crime, it could have negative consequences to their personal and social life to varying degrees, depending on the type of crime that has been committed and the nature of the alleged offense. Due to the type of conduct and behavior, a sex crime is ostracized more than other crimes will be.

Compared with other types of crimes, the legal presumption of innocence is less likely to follow someone into the cultural or social arena than when someone is accused of a sex crime. That aspect could be particularly concerning and scarring for someone accused of a sex crime. Another common aspect is that with many sex crimes there is often not a lot of corroborative evidence for the prosecution or for the defense. They very often come down to “he said-she said” type of case. It comes down often to the word of the alleged victim versus the word of the person being accused.

When facing a charge with such serious charges, the consequences are a potential lengthy prison sentence. The ambiguity about how the case may turn out could also be frightening for someone facing such serious charges.

Sex Crime Investigations

The investigation of sex crime cases in DC is different from other cases. With the sex crimes investigations, there may be some forensic evidence in terms of DNA or other physical evidence, especially since the nature of the allegation may have generated those types of evidence. For example, if the alleged victim reports the alleged offense right away, such evidence may be preserved. Beyond that, there is likely not going to be other direct evidence. Very often there are not going to be any third-party witnesses. Usually, these are offenses that are alleged to have taken place in a private setting with only the alleged victim and the accused present. There is unlikely to be some sort of public surveillance footage or other documentary evidence. The investigation will typically center on the alleged victim’s statement. There may be communications of text messages, phone calls, emails, or other social media communications between the alleged victim and the accused or between each party and other individuals. The investigation is going to be somewhat narrow because usually, the offense takes place at a very distinct time and location.

Call a DC Lawyer About Sex Crime Cases

Considering the sensitive nature of the information involving sex crimes, it is important to work with an experienced DC lawyer for different reasons. The primary reason is that sex crimes often carry additional penalties directly from the court in terms of potentially lengthy prison sentences and serious conditions of probation. Many times, a conviction for a sex offense will require registration on a sex offender registry. Working with a seasoned lawyer who is experienced with DC sex crime cases could help a defendant avoid those serious consequences, which could have a huge impact on someone’s life.