Virginia Sex Abuse Lawyer
“Sexual abuse” is a general term that commonly refers to a wide range of sex crimes. When charged with one, you should quickly seek the counsel of a Virginia sex abuse lawyer. These crimes include:
- Rape, which can also include spousal rape.
- Aggravated sexual battery.
- Forcible sodomy involving cunnilingus, fellatio, and anal intercourse.
- Object sexual penetration occurring when the perpetrator forcibly penetrates the alleged victim with a foreign object, or causes the penetration to occur, such as forcing victims to penetrate themselves.
- Abduction with immoral purposes often, but not always, involving victims who are under the age of 16, Adults can also be abducted with the “intent to sexually defile” on the part of the suspect. If a minor of 15 years or younger is the victim, the abduction charge may be structured to read as intending to force the victim into prostitution or to participate in the production of child pornography.
- Indecent liberties with children involving a broad range of offenses. The most notable include soliciting minors for sexual behavior (or exposing them to sexual behavior), exposing one’s genitals to a minor, forcing a minor to feel or fondle the perpetrator’s genitals, or suggesting specific sex acts to a minor.
- Prostitution and solicitation referring to the exchange of sex for money, and the procurement of sexual services by a prostitute or third party. Both the sellers and the purchasers of these services may be charged with a crime.
The Commonwealth of Virginia takes all sex-related crimes very seriously. Those convicted of these crimes may receive the harshest penalties the law allows, including:
- Long prison terms
- Serious fines
- Sex offender registry requirements
- Loss of certain civil rights
Since many sex abuse cases are accompanied by violence, these underlying charges can add years to the original punishment, thereby resulting in potential length prison terms for those convicted of the most serious offenses. Many guilty sex offenders are also subject to civil damages filed against them by their victims, separate and apart from any criminal prosecutions.
Penalties for Virginia Sex Abuse Offenses
Below are a few of the many potential sex abuse penalties. Your attorney can explain the penalties for any Commonwealth of Virginia sex abuse charge.
- Rape – Five years to life, depending on a variety of factors and underlying charges. Certain convictions carry a minimum of 25 years [Virginia Code Section 18.2-61].
- Sexual battery – If no underlying violence is committed against the victim, it is a class 1 misdemeanor (12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500). However, if violence is involved, the charge is aggravated sexual battery. The maximum prison sentence is 20 years, and there can be a fine of up to $100,000. Another mitigating factor that increases the sentence is if the victim is a minor [Virginia Code Section 18.2-67.3].
- Forcible sodomy – This is an especially complex statute in regards to potential punishments, so be sure to discuss the facts of your case with an experienced defense attorney. As an example, If the victim is a minor, the minimum sentence in some cases is 25 years and the judge must also impose a suspended sentence of not less than 40 years. If the victim is an adult, or the forcible sodomy takes place in the context of certain other offenses, the sentencing options may vary significantly. [Virginia Code Section 18.2-67.1].
- Abduction with immoral purpose – This is commonly charged as a class 2 felony. The convicted suspect can receive a life sentence in person, with a potential suspended sentence of not less than 40 years as well. Be sure to contact an experienced sex abuse defense attorney if you face any of these serious allegations. [Virginia Code Section 18.2-48].
- Indecent liberties – Depending on the actual offense, the number of previous convictions for a sex crime, and whether any underlying felonies were committed, this offense can be punished as a class 5 or class 6 felony. In addition, certain indecent liberties committed by minors on younger minors may be charged as a class 1 misdemeanor. $2,500 [Virginia Code Sections 18.2-370 and 18.2-370.01].
- Object sexual penetration – The penalty is a minimum prison term of five years and a maximum of life in prison. Several mitigating and aggravating factors account for such a wide range in potential punishments. They can include whether there is an underage victim, the presence of violence or the use of a weapon during the commission of the crime [Virginia Code Section 18.2-67.2].
- Prostitution and solicitation – Prostitution (and patronizing one) is a class 1 misdemeanor (up to 12 months in jail, and up to $2,500 for a first offense).
- Solicitation (which can also be charged as pimping, pandering, or promoting) can be elevated to a a class 4 felony (two to 10 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine) [Virginia Code Section 18.2-356].