Practice Areas

Sex Offenses

  • Sexual Assault

  • Internet Sex Crimes

  • Child Pornography

Sexual assault allegations can take almost any form – they can involve strangers, coworkers, friends, or even family members. Allegations do not just include forcible assault – they might involve any form of willing sexual contact – between therapists and clients, doctors and patients, teachers and students, and even between a 17-year-old and their 16- or 15-year-old boyfriend or girlfriend. Some cases leade to criminal charges when one person claims that he or she was too intoxicated to give consent.

Stakes in sexual assault cases are extremely high, and people who are accused face special challenges. Sometimes the testimony of an accuser is enough to persuade a jury to convict. Sentences can be very harsh; even probation for sex-offenders is extremely strict. Sex offender registration is required for any felony and sometimes for misdemeanors, too. Even if a sex-offense case is dismissed, the accusation can follow an innocent person for years, and have a devastating effect in their personal and professional life.

False allegations happen. Sex is a sensitive subject, and accusers can be motivated to falsely report sexual abuse by many factors. Defense lawyers must carefully investigate sexual assault to understand the possible motives for a false allegation. This may require special attention to the personal history and mental health background of an accuser. Sometimes a defendant needs to obtain confidential records; the legal procedure for obtaining these records can be time-consuming and complex. Experience in obtaining access to these records can be the difference between a good outcome and a poor one.

There are special rules of evidence that only apply in sexual assault cases. These rules are intentionally designed to make it easier for prosecutors to get a conviction, and to make it difficult for defendants to obtain and use information that may be helpful to their defense. A lawyer must know the rules of evidence (and the twists and turns that apply in sexual assault cases) extremely well, so that the rules work for both sides – not just for the prosecution.

With a few clicks of a mouse, almost anyone can view illegal images of pornography. Sentences are especially harsh in child pornography cases, and mandatory minimum sentences may apply in both state and federal courts. Using a computer to solicit sex from an underage person is also illegal – even if nothing happens as a result, and even if the “victim” is actually a police officer posing as an underage person. Many people do not realize that once a digital image is viewed on your computer, the data can remain there forever, even if you try to delete it. A strong defense requires a thorough understanding of computer forensic issues, and sometimes a computer expert should be consulted. Careful investigation can raise questions about how data was left on a computer. How many different people may have access to the same computer? Did any file-sharing programs place illegal data on your hard drive without anyone knowing?

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