Sexual crimes are some of the most serious crimes under Georgia law. Cases involving alleged sex offenses are aggressively prosecuted. If convicted, a defendant could face harsh legal penalties, as well as permanent, negative social consequences. If you have been charged with a sex offense, contact a Georgia criminal defense attorney immediately. A sex offense lawyer at The Sessions Law Firm can work to help you develop a thorough and strategic plan immediately.
TYPES OF CHARGES WE HANDLE
At the Sessions Law Firm, we understand that criminal cases go beyond merely what is alleged, and can have a devastating impact on our clients' lives. For years, we have represented Atlanta residents in the following types of sex offense cases:
- Statutory Rape
- Possession of Child Pornography
- Sexual Assault
- Public Indecency
- Child Molestation
- Sexual Battery
- Prostitution/Solicitation and
- Enticing a Child For Indecent Purposes
These are a few of the many sexual offenses defined under Georgia law. Each charge has different elements for what constitutes the crime. For example, prostitution is defined as performing, offering, or consenting to a sexual act for items of value such as money. There are two elements to this specific crime: performing, offering, or consenting to a sexual act; and money or other items of value. In a sex crimes case, the prosecutor must prove all elements of the crime. He or she must do so beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor fails to meet this burden, the defendant would be found not guilty of the charge.
Sexual offense cases can be quite complicated because the sex crimes laws in Georgia are complex. It is important to seek practiced legal advice from a reputable attorney as soon as possible after arrest. Your attorney will not only defend you against these serious charges, but can also protect your constitutional rights as a criminal defendant.
CHILD MOLESTATION CHARGES IN GEORGIA (O.C.G.A. § 16-6-4 )
A person can be charged with child molestation in Georgia when it is alleged that they:
(1) Have committed any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of or with any child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person; or
(2) By means of an electronic device, transmits images of a person engaging in, inducing, or otherwise participating in any immoral or indecent act to a child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person.
POTENTIAL PUNISHMENT FOR A CHILD MOLESTATION CONVICTION IN GEORGIA
Except as discussed for the “Romeo and Juliet” provision below, a person convicted of a first offense of child molestation shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years and shall be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Sections 17-10-6. 2 and 17-10-7. Upon a defendant being incarcerated on a conviction for a first offense, the Department of Corrections shall provide counseling to such defendant. Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, upon a second or subsequent conviction of an offense of child molestation, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten years nor more than 30 years or by imprisonment for life and shall be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Sections 17-10-6.2 and 17-10-7; provided, however, that prior to trial, a defendant shall be given notice, in writing, that the state intends to seek a punishment of life imprisonment.
“ROMEO AND JULIET” PROVISION OF THE GEORGIA CHILD MOLESTATION LAW
If the victim is at least 14 but less than 16 years of age and the person convicted of child molestation is 18 years of age or younger and is no more than four years older than the victim, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall not be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section 17-10-6.2.
The potential penalties you could face upon conviction vary according to your charges. Many sex offenses are considered felonies under state law and can be punished by prison sentences longer than one year, among other penalties. Atlanta residents facing sex crime charges are often concerned about the possibility of being required to register as a sex offender. In some cases, a convicted sex offender will have to register for a designated period of time, or possibly for the rest of their life. The impact of registering as a sex offender can prevent you from pursuing certain jobs, may limit your housing options, and can have long-term consequences. Before you plead guilty to any sex-related crime, speak with a qualified sex offense lawyer. The consequences of not consulting with a qualified sex offense lawyer prior to concluding your case could haunt you for the rest of your life.
CONTACT A SEX OFFENSE LAWYER
The Atlanta criminal defense lawyers at the Sessions Law Firm are committed to aggressively defending everyone without judgment or bias. We firmly believe that every client deserves skilled legal help, no matter what the case. We also know what is at stake for our clients. Our firm takes on cases that other lawyers are afraid of, and we have the experience to create innovative legal solutions for clients. Attorney Ben Sessions has handled over 40 jury trials, and will put his trial experience to work for you. If you are facing a sexual offense in Atlanta, contact the Sessions Law Firm today. You can discuss your case with a seasoned sex offense lawyer, and learn about your options.