Wilton Sex Crimes Lawyer
Being accused of a sex crime in Wilton can have significant personal and professional consequences and being convicted can result in long-term penalties. A qualified Wilton sex crimes lawyer could be an essential ally throughout your case and could work to help you seek a favorable outcome.
What Are the Degrees of Sexual Assault Under State Law?
Connecticut state law defines four different degrees of sexual assault as distinct criminal offenses, along with a handful of other categories of sexual assault that are only applicable in specific situations. The degrees are differentiated based primarily on two factors: whether the offense involves sexual contact versus sexual intercourse, and whether the offense involved the use or threat of force by the alleged perpetrator. All forms of sex crimes are made more serious if the victim is a minor.
Under Connecticut General Statutes §53a-73a, only sexual assault in the fourth degree—which entails sexual contact with someone who materially cannot consent, such as an intoxicated person or a person over whom the perpetrator has some form of formalized authority—can sometimes be considered a class A misdemeanor offense if it is committed against someone over the age of 16. All other sexual assault offenses are considered felonies, with the harshest penalties reserved for class A felonies like aggravated sexual assault of a minor.
Other sex-related criminal offenses like prostitution and solicitation are generally considered class A misdemeanor if they involve only adults, but various extenuating circumstances could enhance applicable penalties.
Are There Any Aggravated Penalties for Offenses Against Children?
As a rule of thumb, any form of sex offense codified under Connecticut state law is enhanced by one level of severity if it is committed against or involves a minor. For example, if someone is accused of fourth-degree sexual assault of a minor, they would be charged with a class D felony offense rather than a class A misdemeanor.
This rule is even harsher when applied to offenses regarding prostitution and solicitation. While offering to exchange money or something of value for sexual services is normally a class A misdemeanor, C.G.S. §53a-83b classifies commercial sexual abuse of a minor as a class B felony, or a class A felony if the minor in question is less than 15 years old.
Further, as police and medical professionals are mandated reporters, a sex offense against a minor could spark a Department of Children and Families investigation. This is separate and in addition to a criminal prosecution, though the two can happen at the same time.
In light of the enhanced consequences this kind of offense allows for, representation from a local sex crimes lawyer can be especially critical for anyone in Wilton accused of committing a sex offense involving children.
Talk to a Wilton Sex Crimes Attorney Today
If you find yourself facing allegations of committing a sexual offense, retaining legal counsel could be crucial not only to contesting your charges in court, but also preserving your personal and professional life outside of court. Call today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Wilton sex crimes lawyer and follow this link to read why hundreds of clients have left 5-star reviews on Avvo.com.