Sex Crimes: Criminal Charges With Lifelong Consequences
Any criminal offense that involves a sexual element, such as a violation of the state’s age of consent law or a violent, sexual act committed against a victim, is a sex crime. Sex crimes have serious penalties that include fines, incarceration and mandatory registration with the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry. If you are facing a sex crime charge, you need to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend your case.
At Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC, we know that a sex crime conviction is serious and can have a permanent, negative impact on your life. Our criminal defense attorneys work to ensure that clients in Neenah and Appleton have the strong defense they are due, that their voices are heard and that they have quality legal representation.
Sex Offenses Recognized In Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, the age of consent is 18. Unlike some other states, Wisconsin does not have laws in place that permit sexual activity between individuals aged 18 and 19 and adolescents a few years younger. Sex between any individual aged 18 or over with another individual aged 17 or younger is an act of statutory rape.
Other sex offenses recognized as criminal acts in Wisconsin include:
- Sexual exploitation of a child
- Sexual assault
- Possession of child pornography
- Soliciting a child for prostitution
- Sexual contact between a corrections officer and an inmate
In addition to the other consequences of a criminal charge, in Wisconsin, individuals who are convicted of most sex crimes are required to register with the state sex offender registry. Depending on the charge, the individual may be required to register for 15 years following the completion of his or her sentence or he or she may be required to register for life, and this registration is available online.
Defense Against A Sex Offense Charge
There are many strategies that can be employed to fight a sex crime charge. The right defense for your case depends on the charge you are facing and all the facts of the case. A few examples of defense strategies that can be used to fight a sex crime charge include:
- Not knowing that a victim was underage. Adolescents can lie about their ages, misleading adults into committing acts of statutory rape.
- The accusation is false. Sometimes, particularly in contentious child custody disputes, one party might accuse the other of committing a crime against the child in an attempt to have that party’s parental rights revoked.
- The alleged victim consented to the act. In a case of alleged sexual assault, a defendant may claim that the sexual encounter was consensual and that the allegation is false.
- The defendant’s incapacity to consent to sex. If the defendant is mentally unstable or cognitively impaired, he or she may be deemed to have been unable to know what he or she was doing when the alleged act occurred.
While the results of a guilty verdict can be severe, working with an attorney can help you build a strong defense.
Work With An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a sex crime in Wisconsin, work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to develop a strong defense strategy to fight the charge. To begin building your case, contact our lawyers online or call 920-202-8872 or toll-free at 866-720-0009.