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Understanding possible sex crime charges

One of the first things to do when you are charged with a crime is to make sure you understand exactly what you are being charged with. The nuances between criminal charges might seem small, but they can make a big difference in how your case is tried and what the minimum and maximum sentences are. Working with a criminal defense attorney helps you understand what those nuances are and helps you protect your rights no matter what charges you are facing.

Sex crime charges are especially critical to understand since the difference can be great in possible sentences if a conviction occurs. Sex crimes might be handled at either federal or state levels, depending on the type of charge, and they don't always involve allegations of an actual sexual act.

Sex crimes can include violent acts, such as sexual assault or rape. Sexual assault against a spouse is also considered a crime. Sex crimes can include less violent acts, such as lewd conduct or indecent exposure. In some areas, crimes against nature laws mean sex crime charges don't even always involve another person.

Sex acts of any type that involve a minor child are almost always considered a basis for criminal charges. This includes sexual conduct with a child who is a minor, using pornographic images of a minor child, molesting a minor or sexual abuse of a minor.

Kidnapping or transporting people for the express act of prostitution of sexual slavery is also considered a sex crime. Often, when sex crime allegations are involved, other criminal charges might also be involved. Understanding how all these charges impact your case can help you make educated decisions about your options.

Source: FindLaw, "Sex Offenders and Sex Offenses: Overview," accessed Jan. 15, 2016

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