New York Sex Crime Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of, or arrested for, a sex crime, it is urgent that you consult with a powerful criminal defense attorney promptly. Sex crimes are considered particularly abhorrent because they invade a victim’s most intimate body parts, cutting deeply into his or her sense of privacy and self-worth. In a great many cases, sex crimes violate federal, as well as New York State laws. Because a conviction, and often just an accusation, of a sex crime can alter the course of your life, it is crucial that you connect with a knowledgeable, highly skilled criminal defense attorney who can be proactive in protecting your rights, your reputation, and your future.
If you are in or around Albany in upstate New York, you have the advantage of accessibility to one of New York State’s premier criminal defense practices: the Law Office of Mark J. Sacco.
Types of Sex Crimes
Some sex crimes are much more serious than others. Even relatively minor ones, like indecent exposure, can still stain your reputation and may come back to haunt you during job searches or attempts to find acceptable housing. Though many kinds of sex crimes are not explicitly violent, they may promote, encourage, or involve violence somewhere along the line. Possessing child pornography, for example, may not seem to physically injure anyone, but the reality is that the production of such material necessitates the abuse of children. This is why penalties for such crimes are harsh.
Sex crimes in New York for which you can be prosecuted include:
- Forcible rape
- Indecency with, or sexual molestation of, a child
- Indecent exposure
- Lewd and lascivious acts (such as masturbating in public)
- Making, viewing, or distributing child pornography
- Pandering, prostitution or advertising prostitution services
- Sexual abuse of a child
- Sexual assault (including of a spouse)
- Sexually motivated unlawful imprisonment
- Statutory rape (consensual sex with a minor)
- Soliciting for prostitution
What About Teenage Sex?
For adolescents and their parents who reside in New York State, it is important to know that an individual who is under the age 16 but older than 13 years old can consent to sex with a person who is no more than 4 years older. It should be noted, however that any person who is 13 years old or younger cannot legally consent to having sex, even with a person of the same age. Teenage sex also becomes a crime when a person over the age of 21 has sexual relations with a person under the age of 17. In the latter case, the older individual can be convicted of 3rd degree rape and spend up to 4 years in prison.
State vs. Federal Laws Regarding Sex Crimes
As mentioned, the most serious sex crimes violate federal, as well as state, law. Federal sex crimes include:
Buying or selling of children for purposes of sexual abuse
Sexual exploitation of minors, including production or importation of child pornography
Transporting individuals for interstate or foreign prostitution or other sexual activity
Kidnapping or taking a minor (under the age of 16) out of state to entice, solicit, or engage in sexual activity
Sex Offender Registry
Since The Federal 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill became law, every state is required to create a program for registering those convicted of sexually violent offenses or other federal sex crimes to register with appropriate state law enforcement agencies for 10 years to life (depending on the severity of the crime) after their release from prison. Sex offenders are categorized as Level 1 (low risk), Level 2 (moderate risk) or Level 3 (high risk).
Each state is tasked with maintaining a registry of such offenders, to punish those who fail to register, and to keep track of those offenders’ whereabouts. Clearly, after the bill’s passage in 1994 it became abundantly clear that sex offenses were being taken extremely seriously by both state and federal agencies. As proof of that statement, repeat sex offenders convicted of federal sex crimes now have their terms of imprisonment doubled.
The Consequences of Conviction for a Sex Offense
In addition to resulting in a lengthy prison sentence, being convicted of a sex offense has the potential to affect a great many aspects of your life. It will undoubtedly affect your present and future relationships, your potential employment, and where you are permitted to live. You will most likely be on parole or under probation supervision and will have to sign in with the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) regularly and inform them of any change of address no more than 10 days after you move and of your enrollment in any institution of higher learning. You will also be required to show up in person at regular intervals to be photographed. You may be prevented by New York State law from living within 1,000 feet of a school or any facility that cares for children. Your posting on social media and use of any internet services will also be monitored.
As you can see, conviction for a sex offense will alter your life in more ways than you may have imagined. This is why it is so crucial for you to engage the services of Mark J. Sacco, a first-rate criminal defense attorney with comprehensive knowledge of New York State and federal law and with a track record of 20 years of successful criminal defense.
Factors That Heighten Your Risk Level and Potential Punishment
You are more likely to be assigned a higher risk level if, in addition to being accused of a sex crime, you are accused of making the crime worse by:
- Using physical force
- Using a weapon
- Using alcohol or drugs
- Causing injury to the victim
- Committing a sex crime against a minor
- Committing a sex crime against a relative, spouse, or partner
When assigning you a risk level, the court will evaluate how likely you are to repeat the same or a similar offense and how much you are considered to be a threat to the community.
Clearly, the fact that you have been accused of committing a sex offense doesn’t mean you are guilty of that crime. When our attorneys defend you we always take the position that you are innocent until proven guilty. We have all read about individuals who have been accused of sex offenses by others using the accusation as a means of revenge, in order to sully the reputation of a competitor or rival, for financial gain, during fights over child custody, or to save themselves from prosecution. At the Law Office of Mark J. Sacco, we are well aware of such false accusations and the harm they can do which is why we focus to intensely on protecting you from sex offense charges.
Possible Defenses for Sex Offenses
Mark J. Sacco will strategize the best defense for your particular case. Possible defenses for sex crimes include: credible alibis substantiated by witnesses or other evidence, claims that the plaintiff (if a mentally competent and physically able adult) consented to the act in question, proof that the defendant had serious reason to believe that the plaintiff was above the age of consent (in cases of statutory rape), or insanity or mental incapacity to understand that the action taken constituted criminal behavior. Mr. Sacco is fully aware that claims that the sex was consensual can backfire and uses this tactic sparingly. When you come to the Law Office of Mark J. Sacco, we will treat you with the respect you deserve. Our skill at negotiation tactics may also enable us to avoid the publicity of a trial by working out a plea bargain. You can reach us by phone or by filling out the contact form on our website.