How to Fight Sex Crime Charges in Utah

A conviction for a sex crime often has numerous consequences in Utah. If you have been charged with a sex crime, you will want to prepare your defense to fight the case as soon as possible.

Our attorneys have been helping clients fight their sex crime charges for years and are here to help you. These cases are incredibly sensitive. Fortunately, our team knows how to collect evidence and question witnesses with care. After reviewing your case, we can help devise strategies to fight it. What defenses we will use will depend on the sex crime being charged. In some cases, we might be able to show that the accusations were false. In serious cases with physical evidence, we can test it on your behalf to rule you out as a suspect. We can also fight physical evidence if the prosecution made an error while collecting or testing it.

Call Overson Law, PLLC today at (801) 758-2287 to get your free case review with our Salt Lake City sex crime defense lawyers.

What Defenses Can I Use Against Sex Crime Charges in Utah?

Being charged with a sex crime in Utah can throw your life into complete turmoil. Your mind will likely be racing with numerous thoughts after being arrested, the least of which will be how to fight your sex crime charges. The best way to fight sex offenses is to contact our Ogden sex crime defense lawyers as soon as you are charged or know you are under investigation. Our firm has nearly two decades of experience helping clients defend against their charges, whether they are felonies or misdemeanors.

The sooner you get your defense started, the better. Fighting sex crime charges involves developing detailed strategies that will be highly dependent on the facts of the case. Our team will have more time to gather evidence and question witnesses the quicker your defense is underway. Some defenses will question the credibility of the accuser and their claims, while others will be directed at the police and prosecution for errors they made in your case. The following are ways our attorneys can fight your sex offense in Utah:


At the root of many sex crime cases is the notion of consent. Many sex crimes in Utah are defined by the lack of consent to any sexual activity. So, one of the first factors our attorneys will look for is whether you had consent for the sexual encounter you were charged for. In some cases, the evidence for consent might be the testimony of the alleged victim and defendant.

However, other pieces of evidence might be able to help corroborate your claims of consent. For instance, if you have evidence showing a consensual sexual relationship with the alleged victim, that can help cast doubt on the allegations. Of course, our team will investigate for evidence that shows consent for the allegations made in the current case, which is usually the best defense.


Another defense that is often airtight, if proven, is the alibi defense. When you are under investigation for a crime, the police will want to know where you were when the crime occurred. If you have an alibi, though, you cannot be placed at the scene of the sex crime.

Perhaps you were flying to another city at the same time the crime is alleged to have occurred. Your plane tickets can be used as evidence that you were not there at the time. Even better would be being captured on surveillance video in a completely different location from the crime. Perhaps you were on a business trip at the time of the allegations. Security cameras might have footage of you at the hotel or venue, or staff remember you being there.

However, an alibi might not be a great way to fight a sex crime if the witness providing the alibi is somewhat untrustworthy or has an incentive to lie for you. For example, an alibi for the accused’s mother or a convicted felon will likely not carry much weight with the prosecution or court. Our attorneys can interview your potential alibis to determine if they can help you fight your charges.

False Accusations

Sometimes, the sex crime being alleged did not even occur. While it is important to take allegations seriously, there must be some evidence of a sex crime before potentially destroying someone’s life and reputation. If the accusations were the result of a falling out in the relationship or motivated by revenge, they should not be the basis of a prosecution.

If your sex crime accusations are false, we can find strategies that show these claims are baseless. The prosecution will likely be focused on convicting you or making a plea deal. Your defense attorney will be the one focusing on the evidence that shows your innocence. This includes gathering evidence that proves your prior relationship with your accuser, like threats you were messaged with regarding false claims. We will also examine the alleged victim to see if their story cracks under questioning.

Rape Kits

One way to conclusively fight sex crime charges is to have the rape kit in the case tested if one was taken by the police. Rape kits are used by law enforcement to collect and preserve evidence of the offense. Police will often collect pubic hairs, semen, blood, and other biological fluids, from which they can get DNA samples. If these samples were collected in your case, we can help you get them tested.

The prosecution will have its own tests done, which it is obliged to share with the defense, but our attorneys will not rely on this. We will conduct tests ourselves so you can be sure of the results. If we can prove that your DNA and the rape kit’s DNA sample do not match, it can be powerful evidence to fight your charges.

Test for Substances

Some sex crime charges are based on allegations that the victim was drugged or blacked out and, therefore, could not consent to or resist the sexual act. If the alleged victim claims to have been drugged, it is usually one of a few substances that are likely if the charges are true, such as “roofies” or ketamine.

You can usually defend against these allegations by proving that you have never been in possession or are suspected to have been in possession of these substances. We might also be able to have your accuser tested if the prosecution’s case relies on the existence of certain substances in their system. For instance, if there is no evidence that the victim was roofied, the claims are essentially baseless.

Evidence Suppression

Another method our attorneys use to fight sex crime prosecutions is to attack the evidence that makes up the foundation of the case. The prosecution has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt to the jury, and it needs evidence to do that. If the police or prosecution obtained evidence in violation of your constitutional rights, you might be able to have it suppressed by the court and kept from being used against you. Suppose the police gathered evidence from your home without the proper warrants. In that case, our lawyers will file a motion to suppress any evidence obtained as a result of that illegal search and seizure as a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights.

This defense is very important where evidence of the sex crime was obtained under police interrogation. The police might cross the line in a sex crime case, looking for evidence against the accused. For instance, they might lead a potential victim or witness along to get them to say the facts they know will get a conviction. The police might also intimidate the accused into making statements against themselves or outright confessing.

We can challenge the information from these interrogations if it was coerced and have false confession tossed from the case. If the prosecution then lacks the evidence to prove the elements of its case, the charges might be dismissed by the court.


You might have been charged with a sex crime when you were entrapped by law enforcement. Entrapment happens when law enforcement places you in a situation where you will commit a crime. This might be in the form of encouraging you to commit a sex crime you did not intend to commit. If our team can find evidence that the police coerced the circumstances so you would be arrested, we can fight the arrest and the evidence that was seized as a result.

Computer Hacking

In rarer yet increasingly more common cases, computer hacking might be a defense to your charges. Our lawyers will usually look into this possibility in cases where the defendant has been accused of possessing child pornography. It is absolutely possible in this day and age for a vengeful hacker to break into your hard drive and download illegal content into it. The hacker might not even know you, as it could have come from a virus you accidentally downloaded when you clicked on an unknown email.

When computer hacking occurs, some traces of it can usually be found. However, finding that evidence without the help of professionals skilled with computers can be nearly impossible. If you have been falsely accused of a sex crime where hacking is a possibility, our team will arrange for experts to comb through your software and hard drive for evidence that you were the victim of a vile cyber-attack.

What Are Some of the Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction in Utah?

A conviction for a sex offense will typically have consequences far beyond the trial and incarceration. Once a prison term is finished, those convicted of a sex crime will have to register as sexual offenders in Utah, which will have repercussions throughout their lives. The following are long-term consequences our attorneys can help you avoid by fighting your charges:

Misdemeanor and Felony Convictions

The type of punishment for a sex crime conviction will depend on what degree the sex offense was charged at. Some sexual offenses do not rise to the level of a felony, resulting in a misdemeanor conviction. However, convictions for misdemeanors can still result in jail time and other consequences. Misdemeanors are graded from class A to class C, which can result in imprisonment for terms between 90 days and one year, according to Utah Code § 76-3-204.

Serious sex crimes are typically charged as felonies. Felony convictions are much more serious and can result in far longer terms of incarceration. Under Utah Code § 76-3-203, a defendant can be sentenced to prison for five years to life for a first-degree conviction, one to fifteen years for a second-degree conviction, and up to five years for a third-degree conviction. Our lawyers can fight your charges and potentially lower the degree of the crime in which you are being charged.

Registration as a Sex Offender

A conviction for a sex crime will also usually result in the person being placed on Utah’s sex offender registry. Even a misdemeanor sex crime conviction can land you on this list. Once convicted, the defendant is registered as a sex offender as they enter incarceration. They will remain on the registry while on probation and long after they have satisfied their sentence.

This can limit you in several ways. Not only will it make it difficult to find a home or steady work, it will prevent you from moving around freely. Every time you change your address, you need to inform the court of your new address. If you do not, it can be taken as evidence that you are trying to conceal your past, which can get you sent back to prison. You must also register as a sexual offender in a new state if you are planning to move there.

Registration as a sex offender in Utah could be necessary for several years. How long a person needs to register as a sex offender will depend on the type of sex crime they were convicted of. If you are on this list, we can help see if your name can be removed.

Trouble Finding a Home and Work

Because being on the Utah sex offender registry will appear on a background check, finding a place to live and work can be extremely challenging. Employers and landlords are allowed to deny individuals who have a felony or misdemeanor conviction on their record, according to Utah Code § 53-10-108(2)(c)-(d).

This can prevent you from pursuing many different opportunities, especially if a security clearance is needed. A sex offense conviction will almost certainly stop you from being cleared by the government, causing you to miss out on opportunities to work with a secured government agency.

Our Utah Sex Crime Defense Attorneys Can Help You Fight Your Charges Today

For a free case evaluation with our Park City, UT sex crime defense attorneys, contact Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287.