Our sex crime lawyers in Queens,NY will take on your case objectively, enlisting their expert knowledge to act in your defense. Over time, countless individuals in Queens, NY and beyond have come to Law Office Of John A Scarpa, Jr. for help with their sex crimes defense.
Sex Crimes Overview
The general public and the criminal justice system of New York considers sex crimes to be the one of the worst categories of crimes, second only to murder. That's why an allegation of sexual abuse, even for a seemingly minor charge, needs to be dealt with immediately.
Aside to the legal penalties, the social stigma surrounding sex abuse can, and most often does, end up ruining people's lives. The casualties, by the way, are not just the accused. The spouse, parents and other family members of the accused often face criticism for what the public perceives as their failure to notice or act upon. Their children are likely to be bullied at school, or come across conversations or news articles that traumatize them for life. Even after you serve your sentence, you will have to register as a sex offender with the Division of Criminal Justice Services. This is required even if you plead to a lower charge, since you are still admitting to a crime. Like a criminal record, registry on the sex offender list is for life. That means for the rest of your life, information such as where you live and work may be available to the general public.
You can imagine what this means in terms of trying to find a job or a place to live. Because of the life-long consequences, you can argue that being on the registry is just as bad, if not worse, than the actual sentence. That's why it's essential to understand your rights and legal options if you are ever accused of a sex crime. Some of the most common sex offense charges include:
- Sexual abuse
- Sexual misconduct
- Forcible touching
Sex Crime Catagories
Some of these offenses are categorized as first degree,second degree, etc., based on the circumstances. Sexual abuse, for example, can be upgraded to aggravated sexual abuse if the incident involved violence. The penalties for aggravated sexual assault include a prison sentence of 5 to 25 years – a drastic difference from a class B misdemeanor sexual abuse conviction, which carries a sentence of up to 3 months in prison.
Lack of Consent
In New York, a sex crime must first and foremost meet the standard of “lack of consent”. That means the sexual acts that were committed without explicit consent from the victim. Lack of consent is typically demonstrated in two ways:
- The sex acts were forced on the victim, or the victim was forcibly compelled to participate in the sex acts.
- The victim was incapable of giving consent, due to circumstances such as being under the influence of alcohol or drugs (forcibly or voluntarily).
The above factors, however, do not necessarily apply if the victim is a child. Children can, after all, be easily coerced into doing something in order to please an adult. Thus, the concept of giving or denying consent is irrelevant for minors, since New York laws recognize that children do not have the intellectual or emotional capacity to make informed decisions about sex. The same consideration applies to physically and/or mentally handicapped victims, regardless of age.
Accused of a Sex Crime
If you are accused of a sex crime, speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney should be your first step. Along with informing you about the exact nature of your charge, an attorney can verify whether you were charged correctly to begin with. He or she can also verify whether the prosecutor has met the burden of proof required in such cases, which in turn, will help you formulate the best possible defense. An effective defense includes a wide array of evidence, including police reports, DNA evidence, surveillance footage, electronic communications and witness statements. Witness statements are especially important, since you have the right to cross-examine the prosecution's witnesses in court. These witnesses typically include the victim, along with law enforcement officers and medical professionals such as doctors and nurses.
Call John Scarpa NOW.
In short, there's a lot that can be done to fight your charges, even before your case goes to trial. However, most of these actions require assistance from an attorney like John Scarpa who is very familiar with New York's sex crime laws, as well as the protocol used by the New York criminal courts.