Being charged with a sex crime can turn your world upside down, alienating and distancing even your closest relationships. The general public is quick to jump to conclusions and too often, to prematurely condemn defendants without knowing the facts.
At Overson Law, LLC we don’t think that represents justice. Our attorneys believe that Sandy residents deserve respectful and compassionate legal representation, regardless of the accusations being made. We will dig to the bottom of the evidence and formulate a tactical defense strategy against your charges, no matter how serious.
To set up a free and completely confidential legal consultation, call Sandy criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson at (801) 758-2287 today.
Sex Crimes Our Sandy Defense Attorneys Regularly Handle
Utah law recognizes numerous sex offenses. While some are graded as misdemeanors, most are felonies which are punishable by decades or even life in prison. Even misdemeanor charges can result in costly restitution fines, months of imprisonment, placement on the Utah Sex Offender Registry, and a permanent criminal record. Our attorneys are prepared to take on a wide variety of charges, including but not limited to:
- Sexual Abuse
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Internet Crimes
- Soliciting Prostitution
- Sexual Battery
Rape vs. Aggravated Sexual Assault
Many people mistakenly use the terms “rape” and “sexual assault” interchangeably. However, there are important legal distinctions which differentiate these crimes from one another.
Rape is addressed by Section 76-5-402 of the Utah Criminal Code. Under Section 76-5-402, rape is plainly defined as “sexual intercourse with another person without the victim’s consent.” It is not an affirmative defense that the alleged victim is your wife, husband, boyfriend, or girlfriend. In the eyes of the law, your romantic relationship is not a factor: all that matters is lack of consent.
The definition of aggravated sexual assault, which is found at Section 76-5-405, is more complex. Essentially, aggravated sexual assault involves rape (or forcible sexual abuse) plus an element of violence, and/or multiple defendants. The specific conditions are:
- Using or threatening to use a dangerous weapon (which can also lead to weapons crimes charges).
- Threatening to kidnap, injure, or murder the victim.
- Additional people aiding and abetting the alleged assault.
Since aggravated sexual assault is more violent than rape, the penalties are also harsher. Rape is a first degree felony, punishable by life in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. Section 76-5-402 provides a minimum sentence of five to 15 years, depending on whether the victim was injured and/or under 18 years old at the time.
Aggravated sexual assault is also a first degree felony, and carries the same maximum $10,000 fine and life sentence. However, the minimum sentences for aggravated sexual assault are slightly longer, ranging from six to 15 years.
Other criminal penalties convicted sex offenders face include:
- Second Degree Felony
- Restitution: $10,000
- Sentence: 15 years
- Third Degree Felony
- Restitution: $5,000
- Sentence: 5 years
- Class A Misdemeanor
- Restitution: $2,500
- Sentence: 1 year
- Class B Misdemeanor
- Restitution: $1,000
- Sentence: 6 months
Who Has to Join the Sex Offender Registry?
Sex crime convictions are unlike other kinds of criminal convictions because of the Sex Offender Registry. In fact, for many defendants placement on the Registry is just as stressful, if not more stressful, than the prospect of incarceration. It’s an undeniable fact that Registry placement has an extremely negative social stigma, sometimes leading to “witch-hunts” and even murders. The Registry is freely available to the public, including your name, address, license plate number, physical description, and the details of your conviction.
In addition to the constant fear of retribution and persecution, people who are placed on the Sex Offender Registry must also abide by extremely stringent rules which make daily life nearly impossible. If you’re put on the Registry, you’ll be severely restricted in terms of where you can live, who you can contact, what you’re allowed to possess, and the sorts of places you’re allowed to visit.
People convicted of the following crimes must join the Registry for a period of 10 years:
- Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor
- Lewdness Involving a Child
- Forcible Sexual Assault
People convicted of the following crimes must join the Registry for life:
- Enticing a Minor Over the Internet
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Kidnapping
- Object Rape of a Child
- Rape of a Child
- Object Rape
The above are not exhaustive lists of all “registrable offenses.”
If you’re facing sex crime allegations, you need to immediately speak with an experienced attorney who can protect your legal rights and advocate for you in court. For a free and private case evaluation, call Sandy sex crimes attorney Darwin Overson at (801) 758-2287 right away. Our lawyers are available around the clock, every day of the week, and can make visits to jails and holding centers.