If you have been accused of a sex crime in New York, you may be feeling scared, confused, and extremely worried about how a guilty verdict could affect your freedom and your reputation. You may also be wondering, and rightfully so, if anyone will believe your side of the story. Here at Vasiliou Law, we understand what you are going through, which is why a seasoned Queens sex crime lawyer from our firm stands ready to protect you, every step of the way. Contact us today so we can get started working on your case.
Astoria Sex Crime Lawyer | Protecting Your Reputation & Future
Vasiliou Law believes that not everyone who is accused of a sex crime is guilty. Often, innocent people find themselves facing incredibly harsh penalties as a result of false allegations brought under the pretense of vindictiveness, envy, or other ulterior motives.
That is why a dedicated Astoria criminal defense lawyer is here to help you. Our firm has handled countless sex crime cases in the past. We will listen to you, investigate your case, and fight for your rights. We will challenge the evidence against you, expose the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and present the best possible defense for you. We will not judge you or abandon you at any point. We are on your side, and we always will be.
Sex Crimes in New York State
New York does not have a specific definition in the Penal Law for sex crimes per se, but a good way of defining a sex crime is a crime that requires registration under the New York Sexual Offender Registration Act, which is commonly called SORA. Some of the sex crimes listed under SORA are as follows:
Rape: Forcible sexual intercourse with another person without their consent.
Criminal sexual act: Forcible oral or anal sexual contact with another person without their consent.
Sexual abuse: Forcible touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of another person without their consent.
Sexual misconduct: Engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual conduct with another person without their consent.
Forcible touching: Intentionally touching the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing them or gratifying sexual desire.
Persistent sexual abuse: Committing two or more acts of sexual abuse within a period of ten years against one or more persons.
Sexual assault: Causing physical injury to another person by engaging in sexual conduct with them without their consent.
Aggravated sexual abuse: Engaging in sexual conduct with another person by inserting a foreign object into their body without their consent and causing physical injury or serious physical injury to them.
Penalties for Sex Crimes in New York State
Sex offenses in New York range from Class B misdemeanors to Class A-II felonies depending on the conduct involved, the harm caused, and other factors, such as the victim’s age or ability to consent. You could face prison time and post-release supervision if you are convicted of a felony sex offense. Some of the possible penalties for sex crimes in New York are:
Rape in the first degree: A Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and 20 years of post-release supervision.
Criminal sexual act in the first degree: A Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and 20 years of post-release supervision.
Sexual abuse in the first degree: A Class D felony punishable by up to 7 years in prison and 10 years of post-release supervision.
Sexual misconduct: A Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and 3 years of probation.
Forcible touching: A Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and 3 years of probation.
Persistent sexual abuse: A Class E felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison and 10 years of post-release supervision.
Sexual assault: A Class D felony punishable by up to 7 years in prison and 10 years of post-release supervision.
Aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree: A Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and 20 years of post-release supervision.
In addition to these penalties, you may also be required to register as a sex offender under SORA. This means that your personal information, such as your name, address, photo, and offense, will be publicly available on a state website. You may also face restrictions on where you can live, work, or go. Depending on your risk level, you may have to register for 20 years, for life, or verify your address every 90 days.
Potential Defenses Against Sex Crime Charges
If you are facing sex crime charges, you need a strong defense strategy to protect your rights and keep you out of jail. Depending on the facts of your case, there may be several possible defenses that you can raise, but some of the most common defenses against sex crime charges are as follows:
There is a lack of evidence to convict you: The prosecution has the burden of proving every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If they fail to provide sufficient evidence to support their allegations, such as DNA, witnesses, or medical records, you may be able to challenge their case and seek a dismissal or an acquittal.
The sexual act was consensual: One of the key elements of most cases involving alleged sex crimes is the lack of consent by the victim. If you can show that the victim consented to the sexual activity, or that you reasonably believed that they consented, you may be able to avoid conviction. However, consent is not a valid defense if the victim was under the age of consent (17 in New York), mentally incapacitated, physically helpless, or coerced by force or threats.
You are being falsely accused: Unfortunately, some people may falsely accuse others of sex crimes. Sometimes, people will fabricate these allegations because they regret engaging in a sexual act with another person. Sometimes, people will even completely make up false accusations of sexual assault for attention. Your sex crime lawyer can work to poke holes in their story, question their motives, and overall cast doubt on their credibility.
You have a valid alibi: The best way to prove your innocence is to prove that it would be impossible for you to have committed the crime at all. For example, if you can prove that you were somewhere else at the time of the alleged offense, and that you had no opportunity to commit the crime, you may be able to establish an alibi defense. You may need to provide evidence such as witnesses, receipts, phone records, or surveillance footage to support your alibi, but having a good alibi is, ultimately, the best defense against any criminal charge.
Contact a Sex Crime Lawyer Today
No one should ever have to face an allegation of committing a sex crime on their own. Fortunately, if you are reading this, you’ve come to the right place. Vasiliou Law is here to fight for you and protect your future at every turn. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with our competent, dedicated legal team.