Charged with a Sex Crime in Fairfield County?
Sex crimes are among the most serious and potentially damaging allegations that can be levied against a person, and even if they are untrue, the stigma can remain for years after your name is legally cleared. If you have been charged with a sex crime in Connecticut, you need an attorney who understands the law in these high-pressure situations, and who will give you the best chance to clear your name if the accusations are untrue.
Four Different Charges
Connecticut law recognizes four different degrees of sexual assault, as opposed to delineating different charges for rape, sexual assault, statutory rape, and other sex-related crimes. It is also possible to add an ‘aggravating’ factor, such as the use of a weapon, the help of accomplices who are present, or the display of “extreme indifference to human life.” It is possible to charge someone with both aggravated and non-aggravated sexual assault in the same degree, though one can only be convicted of one or the other.
It is important to understand that being accused of a lesser degree of sexual misconduct does not mean that the charge should not be taken extremely seriously. While first and second-degree sexual assaults are felonies carrying up to life and 40 years’ prison sentence respectively, even a fourth-degree misdemeanor charge of sexual assault carries a penalty of up to one year in jail. This is on top of any fines and required registry as a sex offender.
Sex Offender Registry Required
In most sexual assault cases, perhaps the worst part of a sentence is being required to register as a sex offender. Connecticut’s requirements are generally 10 years for a nonviolent sexual offense or for a sex offense against a minor (with lifetime registration then required for a second conviction), or an immediate lifetime registration for those who have committed sexually violent offenses. In addition, the courts have discretion to require sex offender registry for someone who commits a felony “for a sexual purpose.” In these cases, 10 years is normally the required length of time one must register for, at least for a first offense.
Because the stakes are so high, it is important that you seek legal assistance as soon as possible. The pressure to prosecute sex offenders is intense, and it is sadly not uncommon for law enforcement to make mistakes or even cut corners in their search to get dangerous people off the streets. If you have an attorney on your side from the beginning, you can rest a bit easier knowing that your rights are protected.
Can a Stamford Sex Crimes Attorney Help You?
Being accused of a sex crime you did not commit is a terrifying place to be in, and having an experienced Stamford sex crimes attorney on your side can help ensure that you know your options. The Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner have handled many of these cases, and we will work hard to ensure that you get a fair day in court. Contact our offices today at 203-348-5846 for a free consultation.