Top Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer: Nicole Blank Becker
Sex crimes, including misdemeanor sex crimes, are serious criminal offenses; they attract severe consequences ranging from a jail term of a few months to life imprisonment, hefty fines, community service, and probation. Criminal defense attorneys can guide you through the criminal justice system and help you fight the charges against you.
You need to hire a criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with a sex crime. A sex crime conviction can have an adverse and long-lasting effect on your life, reputation, and family. Being convicted of a sex crime may cause you to have a record as a sex offender, which could cost you access to employment, suitable housing, or a professional license. So it would be best if you acted promptly.
Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer
Attorney Nicole Blank Becker is a top sex crimes lawyer with decades of experience in representing defendants charged with sex crimes. If you or your family member(s) face sex crime charges, Nicole can help you build excellent sexual assault defense strategies to improve your chances of avoiding imprisonment or paying a fine.
Choosing the Right Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer
Facing sex crime charges can be overwhelming, especially if the stakes are high. The first step following a sex crime charge is to hire a criminal defense attorney. If law enforcement agents contact you for an investigation, you can keep silent (learn more about what happens if you refuse to speak with a detective) until your lawyer is present. Speaking with a police officer or making a confession should be done with the guidance and in the presence of your criminal defense attorney.
There are many criminal defense attorneys in the U.S., and you must make an intelligent choice regarding your defense representation. Choosing the right sex crimes attorney is vital to the success of your case. When you have many criminal defense attorneys to choose from, a factor to consider is experience with sex crimes. The criminal justice system is complex, which is why you need a defense attorney familiar with handling sex crime cases.
Criminal defense attorneys must have all the facts of a case to help them develop an aggressive defense. Therefore, you would need to hire a criminal sexual conduct attorney that you can trust. The attorney-client relationship requires your criminal defense lawyer to keep the confidential or sensitive information you divulge without revealing them to third parties. So, the sex crimes attorney you choose must be someone in whom you can confide.
If you have been arrested for a sex crime, you need aggressive defense counsel to beat the charges against you. You need a sex crimes attorney who can help develop a solid strategy to increase your chances of success should the case proceed to trial. At Blank Law PC, we respect the attorney-client relationship privilege and work with criminal defendants accused of sex crimes to create an excellent defense. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Will You Be Convicted of a Sex Crime if You were Falsely Accused, and How Can You Prove You are Innocent?
A sex crime conviction can land you in prison for a long time and require that you register with the sex offender registry. Therefore, if you have been falsely accused of a sex crime, you must act immediately to avoid being punished unjustly. Many defendants typically reach out to their accusers to see if they can clear their names, which is often counter-productive. What you need to do is hire a sex crimes attorney instead.
Ignoring the false allegations will not make them disappear, so you must get proper legal representation to fight the charges against you. People make false allegations of sexual assault or sexual abuse all the time, and a professional sex crimes lawyer can help you prove your innocence.
Criminal defense attorneys establish the defendants’ innocence by arguing that the evidence against the accused is insufficient. The prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. When the evidence is not enough, it may help to prove your innocence.
Another way a criminal defense lawyer can prove your innocence is if you have no prior criminal record supporting the allegations. Also, where a witness was present when the alleged sex offense occurred, the witness’ testimony may be used to establish your innocence.
Do You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer if You are Charged with a Misdemeanor Sex Crime?
A preliminary step many sex offender lawyers take when presented with a sex crime case is determining whether the offense is a felony or misdemeanor. Misdemeanor sex crimes are lesser offenses and attract a penalty of a jail term of up to one year, a fine, or both. Examples of misdemeanor sex offenses include child molestation, lewd or disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, prostitution, and soliciting a prostitute.
A felony sex crime is the most grievous offense. It is punishable by an imprisonment term of more than one year, a hefty fine, registration as a sex offender, and long-term probation. Examples of felony sex offenses are rape, statutory rape, sexual abuse, child pornography, and sexual harassment.
Also, many sex crimes may be classified as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of the offense. These crimes are known as wobblers. An example of a wobbler is oral copulation with a minor.
Although misdemeanor sex offenses are not as severe as felonies, they still attract harsh punishment. So, you should contact a criminal defense attorney if you face misdemeanor sex crime charges. If you are convicted, you may be required to do a sex offender registration, which can affect your life for a long time. You also risk imprisonment and paying a hefty fine. Therefore, you need the expertise of a criminal defense attorney who understands the legal system to help you avoid a sex crime conviction.
Nicole Blank Becker is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled several misdemeanor sex offense cases. She can help you create an excellent defense strategy tailored to your particular case. Our contact form sends information about your case straight to her desk (contact form).
Will You Be Charged to a State Court or a Federal Court for a Sex Crime?
Generally, sex crimes are punishable in the state where the sex offense occurred. State laws prescribe severe punishments for sex offenses. In Michigan, sex crimes fall under a broad category called criminal sexual conduct. Four degrees of criminal sexual conduct (CSC degrees) cover a wide range of sex offenses.
With that said, sex offenders may also be charged in federal courts. For example, see is child pornography a state or federal law?
Sexual assault cases may appear before a federal court where aggravating factors contributed to the commission of the crime. The federal courts may also be involved where the crime occurs across borders, involves the federal government or its agents or property, or violates federal law. A sex offense may also be considered a federal crime where the sex offender has committed it multiple times or is a case of numerous sex offenses.
Examples of federal sex crimes include production, possession, and distribution of child pornography, sexual assault, aggravated sexual abuse, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation of a minor.
When a sex offense violates state and federal law, the offender may be tried in the state and federal courts. This risk of facing double convictions is not prohibited by law. Thus, the state and the federal government may punish the criminal defendant.
What are the Available Legal Defenses if You Have Been Charged with a Sex Offense?
The law permits a person accused of a sex crime to provide a defense. The prosecution must prove that the alleged perpetrator committed the sex offense beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. However, where the defendant provides a valid legal defense, they can avoid a conviction and other penalties.
There are several legal defenses against sexual assault charges, such as:
It may serve as a valid legal defense if you have been charged with sexual assault, but can prove that the victim consented to the acts. Generally, the law allows consensual sexual activity between two adults. Therefore, consent may be an available defense to sexual assault charges if the victim is not a minor, and you can establish that they gave consent (see non-consensual sex meaning). The age of consent in Michigan is 16. For federal sex crimes, the legal age of consent is 18. Even if the minor initiated the act, it would not serve as a defense for you.
If the victim is an adult, but cannot give consent due to mental incapacity, you can not claim that consent was provided. In some states, the defendant will not be acquitted even if they did not know the victim could not give consent.
Also, the marital status of the victim and the perpetrator is irrelevant. If they are married or in a romantic relationship and consent was not given, the defendant will be charged with sexual assault (learn more about date rape charges here).
● Mental Incapacity
Defendants in a sexual assault case might be able to form a solid defense if they were mentally incapacitated when the alleged crime occurred. This mental incapacity may be due to an illness, disease, or intoxication. You may be required to get a medical report to establish this legal defense. In some states, the defendant who shows mental incapacity will not be absolved of the punishment. Instead, the court may impose a lenient sentence.
If you are falsely accused of a sex offense, but were not at the scene of the crime, it can be a defense to the charges against you. If you can establish a solid alibi, you can avoid being convicted of the offense.
● Insufficient Evidence
The prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If they cannot meet this high standard of proof, the defendant can be declared guilty. Therefore, a lack of sufficient evidence can serve as a valid legal criminal sexual conduct defense against sexual assault charges.
Establishing the occurrences of sex crimes require proving the existence of some elements of the offense. For example, the prosecutor must prove the following elements in a case of a misdemeanor sexual battery:
- The defendant touched the victim sexually
- Such sexual contact was to gratify or arouse the defendant
- The sexual act occurred without the alleged victim’s consent
All these elements must be proved to secure a conviction; see what is offensive touching.
In addition, an excellent sex crimes attorney will also look into existing physical evidence to show your innocence. Where fingerprints or DNA evidence exist, they may be used as a defense against the charges.
What are the Penalties if You are Convicted of a Sex Crime?
Sex offenders are severely punished under state and federal laws. Common punishments include:
● Prison sentence
● Hefty fine
● Community service
● Mandatory registration with the sex offender registry
Other consequences of a sex offense conviction include:
● Losing your job
● Struggling to find gainful employment
● A tarnished reputation
● Losing an immigrant visa or professional license
Generally, misdemeanor sex crimes attract a lighter sentence, usually a jail term not exceeding one year. For instance, the penalty for sexual battery includes a jail term not exceeding one year, a $3,000 fine, and probation of up to five years.
Sex offenses like prostitution or soliciting a prostitute are punishable with a 93-day jail term and a fine of $500 for first-time offenders. The penalty becomes harsher with each subsequent conviction.
The punishment for child molestation depends on the severity of the offense. When it is classified as a misdemeanor, it attracts a jail term ranging from six months to one year, a fine, or both. When it is categorized as a felony, the punishment is harsher.
Also, offenders convicted of child abuse, including sex offenses relating to children (see MCL 750.145(c)(2)), are required to register with the child abuse registry. The new child abuse registry law in Michigan makes the criminal record of the sex offender available to the public.
Indecent exposure is punishable by a jail term of up to one year, a $1,000 fine, or both. There are situations where indecent exposure may be aggravated, such as where sexual misconduct occurs in the presence of a child. In such cases, the sex offender may be charged with aggravated indecent exposure. Aggravated indecent exposure is punishable with a prison term of up to two years, a $2,000 fine, or both.
The penalty for statutory rape is determined by the alleged victim’s age and type of sexual acts. If the sexual assault falls under the criminal sexual conduct 1st degree in Michigan, it is punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. If it falls under the criminal sexual conduct 2nd degree or criminal sexual conduct 3rd degree, it is punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment. If it is a criminal sexual conduct 4th degree offense, it is punishable by a jail term of up to two years, a $500 fine, or both.
Producing child pornography is a felony attracting a sentence of up to 20 years and a $100,00 fine. Distributing child sexually abusive material is punishable with a seven year sentence and a $50,000 fine. The punishment for possessing child pornography is a maximum sentence of four years and a $10,000 fine.
Sex offenders convicted of a federal sex offense may be compelled to visit a national medical center, such as the Federal Bureau of Prisons Facility, after release or as part of their sentence. This facility treats sex offenders, mentally ill, and terminally ill criminals.
Such sex offenders are also required to register as sex offenders at a federal level. Their criminal records are available to the public and typically contain information like their name, address, description of the offense committed, and a photograph of the offender. This registration is long-lasting and difficult to erase.
Registering as a sex offender imposes restrictions on housing and employment. Offenders may not be allowed to live close to schools, housing communities, or parks. They may also be prohibited from being in certain entertainment areas for the public.
When Should You Talk to a Sex Crimes Lawyer if You Have Been Charged with a Sex Crime?
Sex offenses are punished severely in many states. A conviction can affect your life adversely for a long time. Registered offenders often struggle to fit into society and may suffer stigmatization. To avoid these harsh consequences, contact a sex crimes attorney as soon as possible.
You must contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately if you or a loved one has been arrested for a sex crime. Do not speak with law enforcement officers without your attorney present. Excellent criminal defense attorneys will provide guidance and help you develop a defense tactic.
Hire Blank Law, PC
At Blank Law PC, we are committed to helping criminal defendants fight sexual assault charges and increase their chances of success at trial. Nicole Blank Becker is an excellent sex crimes attorney with decades of experience with various sex crime cases. Having worked as a former prosecutor in Macomb County, she is familiar with criminal prosecution and can help you develop an aggressive defense strategy. Contact her at (248) 515-6583 for a free consultation today.