Sex offenses have long been viewed by society as being some of the more reprehensible and heinous types of crime. This means that prosecutors are very motivated to prosecute these crimes, and if you have been arrested for a sex offense, you could find yourself on the fast track to some serious legal troubles. If convicted, certain types of sex offenses could follow you, leaving you marked, for the rest of your life.
The social stigma attached to sex offenders can leave you emotionally, mentally, and socially ruined. If you wind up on the sex offender registry, the rest of your life will be dictated by that list. Where you live, what your neighbors know about you, where you work, will all revolve around the fact that you are a registered sex offender. Your relationships will likely suffer, your ability to earn a living will be impacted, even where you live (and live peacefully) will be affected by this type of conviction. That is why you need an experienced sexual assault lawyer on your side. The Brooklyn sex offender defense lawyers at The Litvak Law Firm have a proven track record of defending clients in sex crime cases. Attorney Igor Litvak has helped many others, and he will help you.
EXPERIENCE AND SKILL IN REPRESENTING CLIENTS CHARGED WITH SEX OFFENSES
Mr. Litvak has the knowledge and experience in representing individuals who have been charged with sex offenses. Some of his more notable sex offense cases as a sexual assault defense lawyer include:
The People of the State of New York v Allyon – Brooklyn, New York – Lead Counsel
Sex offense case involving allegations of statutory rape of a 14-year-old; however, after the charges were vigorously contested, the case was eventually dismissed and sealed.
The People of the State of New York v Ahmad – Brooklyn, New York – Lead Counsel
A case involving allegations of sexual abuse of a child, however, after the charges were contested all sexual offenses were dismissed by the Court.
The People of the State of New York v Loiseau – Brooklyn, New York – Lead Counsel for Post-Trial Proceedings
Sex offense case involving allegations of sexual assault of a child. The client was convicted at trial; however, the verdict was overturned on appeal.
The People of the State of New York v Hobenson – Brooklyn, New York – Co-Counsel
A notable case involving allegations of marital rape against a doctor. The case was resolved with all of the felonies being dismissed.
OVERVIEW OF SEX OFFENSES
There are many different types of offenses that fall under the umbrella of sex crimes. They usually involve coerced or illegal sexual conduct against another person. The laws governing these offenses vary from state to state, but they all are consistent in the basic intent of prohibiting various sex offenses, including sexual assault and rape. These offenses are quite complex as are the laws surrounding them. New York, as well as federal law, set forth certain requirements that must be met in order for prosecutors to build a case. At its most basic level, the primary requirement that a sex offense must meet is “lack of consent.” In other words, the sexual contact or actions that were committed against the other person must have been done without their permission.
This could mean that there was force used and for whatever reason, the victim was not able to stop or prevent the action. It can also mean that the victim was not able to give consent because they were incapacitated in some way, either physically or psychologically. In cases of sexual abuse or molestation, especially involving children, it is still deemed a sexual offense under the theory of Strict Liability even if the victim verbally or by his or her action gave consent.
FEDERAL SEX OFFENSES
People who are accused of sex offenses and are prosecuted at the federal level can face some of the most severe penalties in the justice system. This can include prison, fines, and sex offender registration after incarceration. While most sex offenses remain within the jurisdiction of state law, the Sex Offender Registry falls under the purview of the federal government. Title 18 of the United States Code outlines the federal laws that apply to many sex offenses. Some of the most common include:
- Aggravated sexual abuse
- Sex crimes involving minors and children
- Sexual slavery
- Human trafficking
- Abusive sexual contact crimes
- Sex abuse involving death
- Federal crime pornography
- Repeat sex offender crimes
- Federal sex offender registry failure to notify
NATIONAL SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION AND NOTIFICATION SYSTEM
The National Sex Offender Registry requires that all sex offenders, upon their release into communities in the United States, must register and maintain current sex offender registration information. This means that they are required to provide information on their residence, employment status, school attendance, and other personal information – and make sure that it is kept current at all times. While states may have their own registries, they are all linked to the larger, national system.
As the registrant’s information is updated in the system, that information is automatically sent to the authorities in that specific jurisdiction. It may include the address or geographic area of the offender, their sex offense tier level, and any restrictions specifically assigned to that offender as outlined in their written notification. Registration as a sex offender can also place restrictions on the individual regarding where they live and where they are allowed to be outside. Often there are restrictions regarding how close a registrant can be to a school campus or public park.
Before a sex offender is released from prison, jail, or a mental hospital they are notified that they have a federal duty to register and that they are required by law to keep their information current at all times. The length of time an offender remains on the registry is determined by a tier system.
- Tier I sex offenders must maintain a current registration for 15 years
- Tier II sex offenders must maintain a current registration for 25 years.
- Tier III sex offenders must maintain a current registration for a lifetime.
NEW YORK SEX OFFENSES
There are many different types of sex offenses in New York. What is important to understand here is that there are essentially two categories for what makes a sex act a crime. The first category involves a sex act where an able-bodied adult is forced into compliance. The second involves any sexual act done to a child or minor but may include people who are not able to give consent such as someone who is not mentally competent or has a physical limitation (they are in a comatose state, drugged, etc.). Sex acts that fall under the second category are automatically classified as criminal.
Types of sex offenses include:
- Forcible rape
- Forcible sodomy
- Sexual assault with an object
- Forcible fondling
- Human trafficking or sex slavery
- Child pornography
- Statutory rape
New York takes sex offenses very seriously and has some of the toughest sex offense laws in the country. Typically, when a person is charged with a sex offense, he or she will be prosecuted at the state level. However, federal and state sex crime laws often overlap and while a person may be prosecuted under state law, they can also be placed on the federal National Sex Offender Registry. The laws are strict and complex. It can be difficult to navigate the court system and fully understand your case without an experienced sexual abuse lawyer or sexual assault lawyer beside you.
PENALTIES FOR FEDERAL SEX OFFENSES
Sex offenses carry stiff penalties in the federal court system. People convicted of these offenses can face 10 years, 15 years, 30 years, or even life in prison. The federal government also oversees the National Sex Offender Registry so even cases prosecuted at the state level can still be subject to its requirements and those convicted will likely be placed on it. For the most part, though, sex offenses will follow the state-mandated penalties, although there are some exceptions.
PENALTIES FOR SEX OFFENSES IN NEW YORK
Most sex offenses in New York are felonies, with only a few exceptions. When a felony sex offense is violent in nature, it becomes a violent felony offense and incurs harsher punishment. Under New York law general penalties for sex offenses include:
- Rape in the first degree – 5 to 25 years in prison
- Rape in the second degree – 2 to 7 years in prison
- Rape in the third degree – 1.5 to 4 years in prison
- Sexual misconduct – Maximum 1 year in prison
- Criminal sexual act in the first degree – 5 to 25 years in prison
- Criminal sexual act in the second degree – 2 to 7 years in prison
- Criminal sexual act in the third degree – 1.5 to 4 years in prison
- Forcible touching (misdemeanor) – Maximum of 1 year in prison
- Predatory sexual assault – 10 to 25 years in prison
- Predatory sexual assault against a child – 10 to 25 years in prison
- Course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree – 5 to 25 years in prison
- Course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree – 2 to 7 years in prison
- Sexual abuse in the first degree – 2 to 7 years in prison
- Sexual abuse in the second degree – Maximum 1 year in prison
- Sexual abuse in the third degree – Maximum 3 months imprisonment
- Persistent sexual abuse – 1.5 to 4 years in prison
- Aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree – 5 to 25 years in prison
- Aggravated sexual abuse in the second degree – 3.5 to 15 years in prison
- Aggravated sexual abuse in the third degree – 2 to 7 years in prison
SEX OFFENSE DEFENSES
People are accused of sex offenses every day – and many of them are innocent. The primary defense strategy in a sex offense case is to attack the evidence. Sex offender lawyers may assert that there is no way that the accused could have committed the crime because they were not in the area where the crime took place or that they were misidentified by the victim.
Consent is another common defense. Often, when the victim has given consent, then the charges are negated. This can be a strong defense if it can be proven. When a minor or child is involved, it gets more complicated. The age of consent in New York is 17. Even if someone tells you they are of age, if they are under the age of consent you can still be charged with statutory rape. Even if that person lied to you, you are still liable.
If you have been charged with a sex offense, you should not try to handle it on your own. You need to ensure that your rights are protected, and Mr. Litvak has the experience and education to do just that. Call the experienced sex offense lawyers at The Litvak Law Firm at (718) 989-2908; your initial phone consultation is free. There is nothing like the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you have an accomplished sexual assault defense lawyer who is on your side, will work hard for you, and make sure that you have the best outcome possible. Call today and get the representation you need to protect your rights.