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Washington, DC Sex Offense Attorney
In Washington, DC, a number of the sexual crimes can result in a felony conviction and a very long prison sentence. A felony sex crime on your record can have a significant impact on your ability to find housing, employment, and obtain loans. Further, conviction of a number of sex crimes in DC requires the offender to register as a sex offender. An experienced Washington, DC sex offense attorney can help you to take a proactive approach to your case, protect your quality of life, and even beat the charges. Here is a rundown of the basic information you need when preparing a defense against a sexual offense charge in the District. Sexual abuse is broken down into five categories:
First Degree Sex Offense
Engaging, or causing another to engage in, or submit to a sexual act, defined as vaginal intercourse, oral sex, or vaginal or anal penetration by a hand, finger, or any object, where the act is accomplished through the use of force, threatened death or serious bodily injury or kidnapping, by rendering the victim unconscious, or by administering drugs or an intoxicant through force or without the knowledge or consent of the victim.
This is a Class A felony, for which you face a prison sentence ranging from any terms of years up to life. If convicted, you will also be required to register as a sex offender.
Second Sex Degree
Engaging in, or causing another to engage in, a sexual act by threatening or placing the victim in fear of death, serious bodily harm, or kidnapping, or where the offender knows or has reason to know the victim is incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct, declining participation or communicating their unwillingness to participate.
This crime is a felony, and if convicted you face a prison term of up to 20 years. Conviction of this crime also requires that you register as a sex offender.
Third Degree Sex Offense
Engaging in or causing sexual contact with another, defined as touching with any clothed or unclothed body part or any object, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, where the contact is accomplished through force, threat of death, serious bodily harm, or kidnapping, by rendering the victim unconscious, or by administering drugs or an intoxicant through force or without the knowledge or consent of the victim.
This crime is a felony, and if convicted you face a penalty of up to 10 years’ incarceration.
Fourth Degree Sex Offense
Engaging in, or causing sexual contact with another, by threatening or placing that person in reasonable fear (other than fear of death, bodily injury, or kidnapping), or where the offender knows or has reason to know that the victim is incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct, declining participation or communicating their unwillingness to participate.
This crime is a felony and, if convicted, you may receive up to 5 years in prison.
Engaging in a sexual act or sexual contact with another where the offender knew or should have known that he/she did not have permission to do so. This offense is punishable by up to 180 days in prison.
Aggravating circumstances that apply to these crimes include where the victim is under 12 years of age, where the victim is under 18 years of age and was in a relationship with the offender, where there was one or more accomplice, where there are two or more victims, and where the offender was armed during the crime. In such cases, if convicted you may face up to 1 ½ times the maximum prescribed penalty. Further, if convicted of first degree sexual abuse where one of these aggravating factors exists, you may receive more than 30 years and up to life in prison without the possibility of release.
In any case where a minor is involved, if convicted, you will be required to register as a sex offender. Neither mistake of age or consent is a defense to sexual abuse of a minor. In the case of an attempted sexual abuse, where the sentence prescribed for the completed crime is life, a convicted offender will face up to 15 years in prison. For completed crimes where the sentence is less than life, if convicted of an attempt of such crime, you will face up to half of the maximum authorized sentence.
*For further information regarding these laws, you may refer to the District of Columbia Official Code.