Sex Crime Defense

If you’re ready to hire a criminal law attorney, there are many ways of getting in touch:

Sex Crime Defense Stratedgies

Sex crimes are some of the most serious and frightening crimes you can be faced with. They carry a deep and lasting stigma — even when the allegation is unproven — and frequently come down to one person’s word against another’s. The list of criminal penalties is long, steep and sometimes disproportionate, and they can follow you long after you’ve served your time:

  • Years or decades in prison
  • Steep fines
  • Lifelong registration as a sex offender
  • Restrictions on where you may work or live
  • Requirements to notify neighbors of your conviction.
  • Loss of certain professional licenses
  • Revocation of your right to vote and to bear arms, as a convicted felon.
  • In cases involving children or federal cases, civil forfeiture of property related to the crime.
  • In some cases, ongoing electronic monitoring.

None of these take into account the personal and professional consequences of a sex crime conviction. After a sex-related criminal charge is known, those charged may have serious troubles at work, at home, and in the community. Marriages end, jobs may be lost and friends may disappear after a sex crime conviction. On top of the criminal penalties, these personal and social consequences can be overwhelming. That’s why, if you’re charged with a sex crime in Alabama, it’s crucial to have an experienced, effective legal advocate by your side. Don’t say a single word to law enforcement until we are by your side.

Contact Alabama Criminal Lawyers today at (205) 981-2450 for a free consultation.

Federal and State Sex Crime Defense

Richard Perry defends clients charged in Alabama with serious state or federal sex crimes charges, including:

  • Rape, date rape and statutory rape
  • Non-consensual sodomy
  • Sexual torture and sexual abuse
  • Indecent exposure or public lewdness
  • Prostitution, interstate or foreign prostitution and promoting prostitution (pimping)
  • Enticing a child into a building or vehicle for sexual purposes
  • Sexual abuse of a child under 12
  • Soliciting or transmitting obscene material to a child by computer
  • Sex offender registration violations
  • Crossing state or foreign borders for sex with a minor
  • Overseas “sex tourism”
  • Child-pornography-related charges

In many cases, state and federal charges are both possible for the same crime. Charges relating to the internet, interstate or overseas travel or federal lands are most likely to be federal charges, while simple sexual assault is most likely to be a state charge.

Rape & Sexual Assault

First-degree rape is the most serious rape charge in Alabama. You will likely to be charged with first-degree rape if your accuser claims you used force to have sexual intercourse; had intercourse with someone who was drugged or otherwise incapable of giving consent; or had intercourse with a minor under 12 years old (as long as you’re 16 or older).

Second-degree rape is Alabama’s statutory rape charge; it applies to people over 16 accused of intercourse with a minor between the ages of 12 and 16, but with an age difference of at least two years. The same rules apply to sodomy charges; consensual sodomy is not illegal in Alabama.

Sexual torture is the name Alabama gives to non-consensual penetration with an inanimate object, while sexual abuse is the name for non-consensual, non-intercourse sexual contact. If the alleged victim is under age 12, this is charged as sexual abuse of a child.

An incest charge requires sexual intercourse with a blood or adopted relation, or a stepchild or stepparent. Indecent exposure and lewd acts in public are both misdemeanors criminalizing public sex acts or self-exposure.

The State of Alabama takes sex crimes very seriously. The least serious of these charges, promoting prostitution in the third degree and indecent exposure, are Class A misdemeanors carrying up to a year in prison. The most serious, including first-degree rape and sexual torture, are Class A felonies that draw 10 years to life.

Because of their interstate nature, the federal charges can be even more serious. If you are involved in any way — personal or financial — in moving a minor across state lines for sexual purposes, you can spend 40 years to life in prison. In many other cases, you face 5 to 20 years in prison or more for federal sex crimes violations.

Aggressive Sex Crime Defense

We understand that a criminal charge related to sex can be devastating. At Alabama Criminal Lawyers, we believe that everyone deserves an aggressive and thorough defense, no matter what the charges against them. Because sex crimes are emotional, headline-grabbing cases, law enforcement sometimes cuts corners in its haste to build a case.

The first thing our office will do after taking your case is comb through the evidence against you to find flaws, weak evidence or violations of your rights that can get the case dropped or the charges lowered dramatically, such as:

  • Signs that evidence was obtained illegally
  • Cases built on false, unreliable or unproven testimony (“he said, she said”)
  • Violations of your right to an attorney or other civil rights
  • Withholding or ignoring potentially exonerating evidence
  • Lack of intent or knowledge, both of which are required for many sex-related charges
  • In computer-related cases, alternative explanations for technological evidence

If it’s appropriate to go to trial in your case, we are prepared to hire the private investigators and expert witnesses you need to prove the prosecution is full of hot air. Remember, no matter how the community may feel about the crime you’re accused of, the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt in court. Don’t settle for any less — hire an aggressive Alabama sex crimes defense attorney.

Constitutional Rights in Sex Crime Cases

Constitutional rights are granted to individuals in both the federal Constitution and the state Constitution of Alabama. When individuals are charged with sex crimes, constitutional rights are the strongest defense that an individual has against improper law enforcement conduct and unlawful conviction. When these rights are violated, an individual needs the assistance of competent legal counsel.

Examples of Constitutional Rights

There are several particular rights that an individual has when confronted by law enforcement about a sex-related offense. These rights include the following:

  • Protection Against Ex Post Facto Law. A state cannot pass a law after an individual has committed an act then prosecute the individual for the prior act.
  • Eighth Amendment. The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive bail in federal prosecutions and bars excessive fines in addition to cruel and unusual punishments.
  • Fifth Amendment. Individuals are granted several essential rights through the Fifth Amendment. These rights include protection against double jeopardy or being tried more than once for the same offense, the right to remain silent, the right not to be called as a witness at one’s own trial, and Miranda rights.
  • Fourth Amendment Protection. Individuals have the right against unreasonable searches. In some situations, law enforcement must obtain a search warrant and if the warrant is not lawful then an individual’s constitutional rights are violated.
  • Fourteenth Amendment. This amendment grants individuals the right to “equal protection” of the law, which means that the government cannot deprive an individual or individuals that are shared by select others.
  • Miranda Rights. As a part of an individual’s Fifth Amendment rights, Miranda rights include an individual’s right to remain silent in the face of police interrogation and if an individual faces a serious charge the right to an attorney. In nearly all situations, individuals should assert their right to silence after being read their Miranda rights.
  • Sixth Amendment. The Sixth Amendment provides individuals the right to legal counsel, the right to call witnesses at one’s trial, the right to cross-examine at trial, the right to trial by jury, and the right to be informed of the nature of the charges that have been filed against an individual.

Unlawfully Obtained Evidence

If evidence that is being used against an individual in a court was not lawfully obtained, an attorney is often able to file a Motion to Suppress Evidence. If successful, this motion can be used to keep evidence out of a court of law.

Common Situations

There are several types of situations in which evidence is most often unlawfully obtained. Some examples of these types of situations include the following:

  • An Individual Was Not Provided With Miranda Rights. An individual must be read Miranda rights prior to being interrogated by law enforcement. These rights inform individuals about several constitutional rights that an individual has including the right to remain silent, the right to a trial, and the right to an attorney. If an individual has not been read rights then statements obtained after the arrest may not be admissible. As a result, individuals might be able to argue that to exclude incriminating statements that were made after an arrest when an individual was not read their Miranda rights.
  • Chain Of Custody Orders. The “chain of custody” is a phrase that refers to the process of care and documentation that a piece of evidence goes through between being obtained and being used in a court of law. If the chain of custody is improperly performed, individuals might be able that the evidence in question should be excluded from a court of law because the evidence has lost credibility.
  • Evidence Obtained Without An Individual’s Consent. Video recordings of a person on private property are sometimes excludable because these videos were taken without consent or a valid warrant.
  • Unlawful Search and Seizure. The Fourth Amendment protects individuals against unreasonable searches and seizure. With the exception of a very few limited situations, law enforcement must have a valid search warrant or probable cause that a crime has been committed in order search and collect evidence.

Responses by Law Enforcement

Individuals must be aware that even when law enforcement improperly gathers evidence, there are still some ways that law enforcement can make sure that a piece of evidence is used in a court of law. Some of the various tactics used by law enforcement are arguing an illegally seized piece of evidence would have eventually been discovered through legal methods or that another source in a case would have provided the evidence that was illegally obtained.

Contact A Birmingham Sex Crimes Attorney

In criminal defense cases, particularly when sexual allegations are involved, timing is everything. Get in touch with one of the criminal defense attorneys with Alabama Criminal Lawyers today. Contact us at (205) 981-2450 for a free consultation.