Sexual offenses are regarded as some of the most serious offenses a person can be charged with. Prosecutors often pay special attention to cases involving sex crimes, and the public tends to root for a conviction before any evidence can be examined. Despite public opinion, a defendant charged with a sex crime is innocent until proven guilty. You need an experienced attorney to help you fight your charges.
There are numerous different sex crimes on the books in Utah. Some are relatively minor and may be charged as misdemeanors. Others are extremely severe and may be charged as felonies. Depending on your charges, the stakes could be very high. When the world feels unforgiving, you need a good lawyer in your corner. An attorney can challenge unfair or unreliable evidence and work to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
If you have been charged with a sex crime, it is likely serious. Our Ogden sex crimes defense lawyers can take on your case without passing judgment. Our team will review the evidence and determine the best way to handle your case. Call Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287 to schedule a free legal consultation.
Criminal Charges for Sex Crimes in Ogden
Sex crimes can be found under Utah Code § 76-5-4 and §76-5b-2. The nature of sex crimes will vary from offense to offense. Offenses considered relatively minor may involve inappropriate touching, while more serious crimes may involve forcible sexual penetration. There is no single way to defend against charges for sex crimes because there is no single category of sex offenses. You should discuss your charges with an attorney to determine the best defense for your case.
Different sex offenses also tend to have different levels of charges and penalties depending on the status of the victim. Your charges might be more severe and your penalties harsher if the victim was a minor. Alternatively, your charges may be more severe if the victim was an adult but could not consent to sex, such as a person who is disabled.
Sex crimes do not always involve sexual contact with the victim. You could be charged with a sex crime simply for exposing yourself to an unwilling victim – often called “flashing.”
Sex crimes may be subject to enhanced sentencing guidelines. Certain sex crimes come with increased penalties and longer prison terms. Other crimes might come with stricter mandatory minimums or restrictions on parole or early release. Our Ogden sex crimes defense lawyers may be able to help with these kinds of cases.
Registration Requirements for Ogden Sex Offenders
Like most states, Utah requires many convicted sex offenders to register their information on an official sex offender registry. Law enforcement uses this registry to keep track of convicted sex offenders. The registry may also be available to the public. People on the registry are restricted from living in certain areas and holding certain jobs. If you decide to move, you must notify the authorities. Failure to notify the authorities of your whereabouts, or failure to register, may be met with criminal penalties.
According to the Utah Department of Corrections, registered sex offenders are prohibited from going to daycares or preschools, public pools, primary or secondary schools, public parks, and public playgrounds. At a minimum, you could be on the registry for 10 years. For more serious offenses or multiple offenses, you might be required to register for life.
Your status as a registered sex offender will follow you for years. Many people on the sex offender registry have trouble finding jobs and housing. You can hopefully avoid registration requirements by having your charges dropped or reduced. Let our Ogden sex crimes defense attorneys help you handle your case.
Sex Crimes and the Internet in Ogden
Sexual offenses do not always happen face-to-face. In our current digital age, sex crimes can take place over the internet. One of the most significant internet-based sex crimes involves child pornography. You could be charged for possession of illegal pornography on your computer. Child pornography is often met with harsh penalties, and defendants can be charged with numerous felonies related to the production, distribution, and possession of child pornography.
You can also face consequences for soliciting minors on the internet. People online can easily hide their true identities, making it easy for people to entice minors into meeting for sex. However, this also means that young teenagers can fool people online and trick them into believing they are adults. Our Ogden sex crimes defense attorneys can help you prove you were not the one using the internet to deceive others.
Defenses to Sex Crimes in Ogden
Defending yourself against charges for sexual offenses will depend on what kind of offenses you are charged with. Some are minor, while others are very serious, but most sex crimes involve a lack of consent from the victim. In many cases, if a defendant can prove they did have the alleged victim’s consent before a sexual encounter, their charges will be dropped.
However, the victim’s consent may be irrelevant for certain kinds of sex crimes. In cases where a child is the alleged victim, consent plays a less significant role because minors are legally incapable of consenting to sex. Even if the alleged victim gave you consent, their consent might be invalid. Not only that, but ignorance of the alleged victim’s real age is often not a valid defense.
Courts are very reluctant to drop charges for sex crimes, especially if those crimes were violent. If we cannot get your charges dismissed, we might be able to negotiate a plea bargain with prosecutors to have your charges reduced. By reducing your charges, you could serve a shorter prison term and possibly avoid being required to register as a sex offender. Talk to our Ogden sex crimes defense lawyers about defense strategies for your case.
Our Defense Attorneys Can Help if You Were Charged with a Sexual Crime in Ogden
If you are charged with any kind of sex offense in Utah, call our Ogden sex crimes defense lawyers for help. Our team can provide you with the best defense possible to fight your charges. Schedule a free legal consultation with Overson & Bugden by calling (801) 758-2287.