No one facing allegations of committing a sex offense needs to be reminded of what’s at stake. Many of these offenses carry significant prison sentences and registration as a sex offender, which can make it difficult to find housing and work for decades to come.
However, many people don’t think about the collateral consequences that they didn’t think about until it’s too late.
For example, did you know that if you are convicted of a sex offense related to children, you could be barred from any contact with any minors after you complete your sentence? This could prevent you from living under the same roof as your own children or attending any public events where large groups of children congregate.
Others have been surprised to learn that they were listed as registered sex offenders years after they thought they would be. It could also mean being arrested for looking at legal pornography or being labeled a child abuser in addition to being a registered sex offender.
Get your sentencing right the first time
Appealing a sentence or filing additional petitions after you have served your conviction is an expensive, time-consuming process. Instead of finding out later and then having to deal with these collateral consequences, you could make the right choices in your defense the first time around.
This makes your selection of the right attorney essential. Sex crimes are treated far differently than almost any other offense in the criminal justice system, which means you need an attorney who has an established track record handling these specific types of cases.
Your attorney should know how to:
- Evaluate victim statements and perform effective cross-examination
- Be aware of all of the possible consequences of a sex offense conviction
- Have a strong record at trial and at negotiating favorable plea deals
- Has experience with administrative hearings regarding sex offender registry
A judge can make changes to probation conditions at the time of a plea deal or sentencing, but will not if you or your lawyer does not know to ask for it.
As soon as you learn that you are under investigation for a sex offense, you should be talking to an experienced criminal defense attorney. Addressing these collateral consequences early on the process could save you a lot of time, money and stress in the future.