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Sex Crimes Attorney in Cleveland

Offering Sophisticated Legal Defense for Your Sex Crime Charges in Ohio

Sex offenses are not only some of the most serious crimes that a person can be charged with, but they carry some of the most extensive and lasting consequences if convicted. Individuals convicted of a sex crime are required to register as sex offenders, which will affect where they can live, work, and travel for the rest of their lives. If convicted of a felony or aggravated offense, you could also face heavy fines and a lengthy prison sentence.

The best way to protect your freedom and your future is by working with a Cleveland sex crime lawyer. As your legal representation, our team will gather evidence in your defense to create a personalized legal strategy that’s unique to your case. We will not stop fighting until you get the outcome you deserve. To learn more about our services and to receive a free consultation, call HMW Law at 216-369-1352 today.

What is a Sex Crime?

A sex crime refers to a criminal offense that involves sexual conduct or behavior that is considered illegal. These crimes can vary widely and may encompass a range of activities, from non-consensual sexual acts to offenses related to sexual exploitation or misconduct. Sex crimes are taken seriously by the legal system due to the potential harm they can cause to individuals and society.

Some of the common types of sex crimes our firm handles include:

  • Rape: In Ohio, rape involves engaging in sexual conduct with another person without their consent. This includes forced intercourse and may involve physical force, threats, or coercion. It can also involve intentionally intoxicating another person in order to engage in sexual conduct with them.
  •  Sexual battery: Sexual battery refers to the unlawful touching of another person’s intimate parts without their consent. This offense does not necessarily involve penetration, but it encompasses unwanted sexual contact.
  •  Gross sexual imposition: This crime involves engaging in sexual conduct with another person when the offender knows that the other person’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired. It may also involve engaging in sexual conduct with a person who is unaware that the act is occurring.
  •  Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor (statutory rape): This offense occurs when an adult engages in sexual conduct with a person under the age of consent, even if the minor willingly participated. The age of consent in Ohio is 16.
  •  Voyeurism: Voyeurism involves secretly observing or recording another person undressing, engaging in sexual activity, or in other private situations without their consent.
  •  Public indecency: Public indecency refers to engaging in sexual conduct or exposing one’s genitals in public, which can include acts such as public sex or flashing.
  •  Prostitution & solicitation: Engaging in or soliciting sexual services in exchange for money or other forms of compensation is illegal in Ohio.
  •  Child pornography: Creating, distributing, or possessing sexually explicit images involving minors is considered a serious offense.

What Are the Most Common Defenses Against Sex Crimes?

A legal defense is a strategy or argument put forth by a defendant or their legal counsel to challenge the prosecution’s case and attempt to show that the defendant is not guilty of the charges brought against them.

Common types of legal defenses against sex crime allegations include:

  • Consent: If the defense can demonstrate that the sexual activity was consensual and that both parties willingly participated, it may challenge claims of non-consensual behavior.
  • Mistaken Identity: This defense argues that the accuser has identified the wrong person as the perpetrator of the alleged sex crime. It may involve presenting evidence to show that someone else committed the offense.
  • Lack of Evidence: If there is insufficient or unreliable evidence to support the allegations, the defense may argue that the prosecution has failed to meet its burden of proof. This defense asserts that the accuser has made false or misleading statements, either intentionally or unintentionally. The defense may present evidence to undermine the credibility of the accuser.
  • Alibi: An alibi defense involves providing evidence that the accused was not present at the location where the alleged sex crime occurred during the relevant time.
  • Statute of Limitations: In some cases, the defense may argue that the alleged offense occurred outside the statute of limitations, meaning that too much time has passed for the charges to be legally pursued.
  • Insanity or Mental Incapacity: If the accused was not mentally competent at the time of the alleged offense, the defense may argue that they should not be held criminally responsible.
  • Entrapment: This defense claims that law enforcement induced or coerced the defendant into committing the crime, and the defendant would not have committed the offense otherwise.
  • Procedural Violations: The defense may challenge the legality of the investigation or arrest, arguing that law enforcement violated the defendant’s constitutional rights in the process.

What Are the Potential Penalties of a Sex Crime Conviction?

In Ohio, sex crimes may be classified as misdemeanors or felonies. Generally, felony offenses carry more penalties and can lead to extended sentences. Your specific penalties will depend on the nature of your charges and what you are accused of.

Potential penalties for a sex crime conviction include:

First-Degree Felony

Up to 16 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines. Rape and compelling prostitution of a minor under 16 years old are first-degree felonies.

Second-Degree Felony

Up to 12 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. Sexual battery against a person under 13 and compelling prostitution of a minor between 16 and 17 are both classified as second-degree felonies.

Third-Degree Felony

Up to 36 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, exploitation of a minor, and compelling prostitution are third-degree felony charges.

Fourth-Degree Felony

Up to 18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. You could be charged with a felony if you are accused of gross sexual imposition, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, or promoting prostitution.

Fifth-Degree Felony

Up to 12 months in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. Voyeurism involving a minor is a common example of this charge.

First-Degree Misdemeanor

Up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Unlawful sexual contact with a minor, voyeurism, and public indecency can be first-degree misdemeanors.

Second-Degree Misdemeanor

Up to 90 days in jail and up to $750 in fines. You could face this charge if you are accused of public indecency involving sexual conduct or voyeurism involving the recording of another person.

What Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Do for Me?

Our Cleveland sex crime attorneys want to be your legal advocate. Let us use our resources and experience in criminal defense matters to help you.

Here’s how our legal team can assist you:

  • Legal Guidance and Advice: We offer personalized legal advice tailored to your specific situation. Our team will carefully review the details of the case, explain the charges against you, and help you understand your rights and potential legal options.
  •  Building a Strong Defense: We work diligently to build a robust defense strategy. This may involve investigating the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
  • Protecting Your Rights: We are committed to protecting your constitutional rights throughout the legal process. This includes ensuring that law enforcement followed proper procedures during the investigation, arrest, and questioning.
  • Negotiating with Prosecutors: Our skilled negotiators engage with prosecutors to explore opportunities for reduced charges, plea bargains, or alternative sentencing options when appropriate. We strive to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.
  • Courtroom Representation: In the event the case goes to trial, our experienced trial attorneys provide strong and effective courtroom representation. We present your case persuasively, challenge the prosecution’s evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and argue legal points on your behalf.
  • Navigating Complex Legal Procedures: Sex crime cases often involve complex legal procedures. We guide you through every step of the process, explaining court hearings, filing motions, and ensuring compliance with all legal requirements.
  •  Mitigating Consequences: Our goal is to minimize the potential consequences of a sex crime conviction. We work to protect your reputation and explore options for rehabilitation or counseling that may positively influence the sentencing phase.
  • Appeals and Post-Conviction Relief: If necessary, we explore avenues for appeals or post-conviction relief to challenge unjust outcomes. Our team continues to advocate for your rights even after a conviction if there are grounds for further legal action.

When you choose our attorneys, you are not just our client. You become a part of our legal team. Our goal is to work with you toward the most desirable outcome possible and make you feel comfortable every step of the way.

Call Our Cleveland Sex Crime Attorneys

If you have been charged with a sex crime, we understand what an overwhelming, stressful, and possibly uncertain time this is for you and your loved ones. Let our Cleveland sex crimes lawyers help you today. No matter how extensive or complicated your case may be, we are here to be the powerful and compassionate advocate you need.

Our Cleveland sex crimes lawyers at HMW Law have decades of experience defending our clients in Ohio. We are confident that with our legal backgrounds and knowledge of the legal system, we can help you reduce or remove your penalties or charges. Sex crime cases carry serious criminal consequences, and your life could be changed forever unless you get adequate legal representation.

An Ohio sex crimes lawyer on our team can help you defend yourself today. Whether you have already been charged with a sex crime or you are under investigation, our team can assist you. To learn more about our services and receive a free consultation, contact our law firm by calling 216-369-1352 today.