When you stand accused of committing a sex crime, it can feel as if the whole world has turned against you. These sorts of charges carry an extremely difficult social stigma, and too often, defendants find even close friends and family are quick to jump to conclusions without knowing the facts.
Our attorneys don’t believe that sort of treatment represents the values our justice system stands for. At Overson Law, LLC it’s our stance that every South Jordan resident deserves the benefit of compassionate attorneys who are willing to listen, examine the evidence, and get to the bottom of the truth. We formulate aggressive defense strategies and are prepared to tackle even the most serious of felony allegations. We work with adult and juvenile clients alike, and have more than 15 years of experience handling thousands of cases throughout the South Jordan area of Utah.
To set up a confidential legal consultation free of charge, call defense attorney Darwin Overson at (801) 758-2287 today.
Types of Sex Crimes Our South Jordan Attorneys Handle
Utah recognizes dozens of different sex crimes, ranging from misdemeanors to first degree felonies. Some of the more common charges we regularly see include:
- Rape — Rape has a simple legal definition: sexual intercourse without consent of the victim. It’s important to point out that your relationship to the alleged victim is not an affirmative defense. The law does not care if the person is your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend.
- Aggravated Sexual Assault — This charge specifically involves alleged violent rape. That could mean seriously injuring the victim, threatening to commit homicide, or using a weapon (which often leads to additional weapons crimes charges). There is no simple sexual assault charge in Utah.
- Sexual Exploitation of a Minor — This refers to child pornography allegations. That could mean possessing or viewing materials, distributing materials, or even having the intent to distribute.
- Sexual Battery — Despite the term “battery,” this charge actually means touching a victim sexually while knowing the touching would cause distress. It is not a defense to argue that the victim was clothed.
- Voyeurism — This refers to filming somebody, in an environment where they would expect privacy (such as their home or property), with intent to view the footage or photographs of their body.
- Lewdness — Lewdness means engaging in sexual behavior in the presence of a witness 14 years old or older, resulting in distress to the witness. If the victim is under 14 years old, the charge becomes “lewdness involving a child.”
South Jordan Criminal Penalties for Sexual Crimes: Fines and Sentencing
Like most states, Utah divides crimes into misdemeanors and felonies. Many people think that misdemeanors are “not a big deal,” but in reality, both types of convictions have the potential to trigger long sentences, expensive fines, supervised probation, and a permanent criminal record. Unless you can seal your record through a process called expungement, any potential employer, lender, or landlord can look through your criminal history by running a background check.
Utah enforces the following maximum fines and penalties for convictions by grading:
- Class B Misdemeanor — $1,000 fine and 6 months
- Class A Misdemeanor — $2,500 fine and 1 year
- Third Degree Felony — $5,000 fine and 5 years
- Second Degree Felony — $10,000 fine and 15 years
- First Degree Felony — $10,000 fine and life in prison
Remember, these numbers represent the maximums. Our attorneys may be able to reduce the severity of your charges, or even have your charges dismissed outright.
Will I Be Required to Register as a Utah Sex Offender?
Most sex offense convictions lead to mandatory placement on the Utah Sex Offender Registry. These are called “registrable offenses.” Some registrable offenses require a 10-year registration, while others require permanent, lifelong registration.
Offenses which require a 10-year registration include:
- Forcible Sexual Abuse
- Lewdness Involving a Child
You will also be required to register for 10 years if you are convicted of sexual battery or lewdness not involving a child on four occasions.
Offenses which require permanent registration include:
- Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child
- Aggravated Kidnapping
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Enticing a Minor Over the Internet
- Rape and Object Rape
- Sexual Abuse of a Child
- Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
The undeniable truth is that being a convicted and registered sex offender brings a host of long-term, everyday challenges. First, there are the formal consequences, such as court-ordered restrictions on where you can live, the types of places you can visit, who you can contact, and what you can have in your possession. Registered offenders may also have to check in with a probation officer, submit to lie detector tests, and have blood drawn for DNA purposes.
The informal consequences — such as hostility from the general public, enormous difficulty finding an approved place of residence, and the negative social repercussions — can be just as difficult to deal with.
Trust Our South Jordan Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been arrested for any of these charges in South Jordan, sex crimes lawyer Darwin Overson can help. To schedule a free, completely private consultation, call Darwin at (801) 758-2287. Our lines are open around the clock, seven days a week, and we can make jail or holding center visits if necessary.