Sex-related offenses are a difficult area of law, particularly because of the stigma surrounding them. Unfortunately, juries rarely give the benefit of the doubt to those charged with such crimes. Further, the sentencing guidelines judges refer to for punishment recommend lengthy prison sentences up to several decades long. These types of offenses typically result in enrollment on the Sex Offender Registry. Consequently, this can have a significant impact on day-to-day life and employment.
Rape cases often involve high emotions and a “he said, she said” aspect. The truth is often difficult to reach and prove, especially if alcohol was involved. Our firm will put emotions aside and look at the facts and evidence available for the case. We will also explore possible defenses such as consent, wrong perpetrator, and whether evidence or admissions can be suppressed.
Child pornography charges are a particularly complex area of law due to the technology behind the offense. This area of law no longer involves illegal pictures being sent through the mail. Today, child pornography generally involves pictures being sent or downloaded over the Internet. This can result in hundreds and thousands of images being duplicated or distributed in a matter of seconds. The recommended sentence increases based on the number of images, the type of acts depicted in the images, and other factors. There is even an upward variance in sentencing for the images being accessed electronically, despite the fact that nearly all offenders today view the images on a computer! The upward sentencing variances frequently result in the recommended sentence range reaching or exceeding the maximum sentence for the offense.
Most alarmingly, the statute doesn’t distinguish between those who download, receive, or view the pictures accidentally and those who did so purposely. The laws in place are designed to harshly punish the worst offenders. However, they are inherently flawed and often result in harsh sentences for everyone who has possessed illegal images on their computer, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the offense (i.e. an individual who uses Dropbox and intends to download a legal, adult pornography folder but unintentionally downloads a folder with thousands of child pornography images may still be subject to the same punishment as someone who sought out the illegal images).
When the law is not on your side, having an experienced attorney to help you make informed decisions is important. It can be the difference between decades in prison and a sentence below the nationally recommended length for the offense. Our firm has defended individuals charged with rape, child pornography, indecent exposure, and other sex offenses.