Finding yourself defending your name in a court of law with a criminal defense attorney is an unfortunate situation, especially if you are innocent of the crime you are accused of committing. Learning everything there is to know about the crime you are accused of committing can help you understand what exactly you are being charged with and if there is any validity to the claims.

In particular, sex crimes are some of the most commonly seen in court. To emphasis the prevalence of this type of crime, it is currently estimated that every 68 seconds another American is sexually assaulted, with 1 out of every 6 women having been the victim of attempted or completed rape. 

What is a Sex Crime?

For those unfamiliar with the term, sex crimes are a range of offenses that occur when a sexual component is present. These crimes can involve physical harm, emotional harm, mental harm, or a combination of those. While sexual assault is most commonly seen as the predominant sex crime, with people often relating it to severe crimes such as rape, there are far more types of sex crimes. 

Is a Sex Crime a Misdemeanor or Felony? 

Sex crimes can be both misdemeanors and felonies depending upon what the specific crime a person is being charged with is. However, with that said, most sex crimes have an extreme severity which often means they are charged as felonies. Naturally, felonies carry a far harsher sentence in court, such as many years of jailtime along with hefty fines. 

Most Common Sex Crimes to Be Aware Of

As you start to think about contacting an accredited sex crimes criminal defense attorney, it can be helpful to gain an understanding regarding what you are charged with. The following five offenses are among the most commonly seen with sex crime cases:

  1. Statutory Rape/Rape

Without a doubt, statutory rape and rape are two of the most common forms of sex crimes. Statutory rape refers to sexual intercourse that occurs with a minor, but it is not forced sexual activity. Rape, on the other hand, can occur to minors or adults and is forced sexual activity, often coupled with violent behavior. 

  1. Prostitution

Prostitution refers to the illegal act of paying an individual to perform sexual actions with oneself or another person. Unlike other sex crimes on this list, prostitution is typically charged as a misdemeanor and does not require registration on the sex offender database. It is among the most common sex crimes that people are arrested and charged with. 

  1. Lewd Conduct

Lewd conduct or lewd behavior is one of the more confusing sex crimes for people to understand. This simply refers to any behavior with a sexual component that is considered to be crude or offensive. Oftentimes, lewd conduct involves a minor, but it certainly occurs with adults. Intentionally exposing one’s genitals, including via technology, touching private parts in public for the purpose of annoying or offending another person, or even making certain motions towards another individual could all be considered lewd conduct. 

  1. Sexual Battery

For a rape to occur, even the slightest forced penetration of another individual needs to occur. However, sexual battery refers to the forced sexual contact with another person’s intimate parts regardless of whether or not they are clothed. For example, forcible fondling or touching a victim’s private area would be qualified at sexual battery. In some cases, even forced kissing on the mouth can justify a sexual battery charge in certain situations. 

  1. Child Enticement or Pornography 

Finally, a very serious sex crime is child enticement or child pornography. For those unfamiliar with the term, child enticement refers to the action of attempting to lure a child for the purpose of sexual intercourse. Child pornography, on the other hand, is owning or having material which depicts sexual actions that involve a minor. Both of these crimes carry very serious charges and can result in large punishments. 

Build your legal defense today

Being on the receiving end of an accusation for a crime you never committed is extremely troubling. Even if you believe you can prove your own innocence, you should always hire an accredited criminal defense attorney who has experience with your case. Hiring an attorney doesn’t mean you’re guilty, rather it simply means you acknowledge the limits of your knowledge and want the best shot at getting your charges dropped with the help of someone who knows the legal system. 

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