Sex Offenses

Various information on sex offenses.
Photo by Lacie Slezak
 I. Potential Defenses for Sex Crimes

Actual Innocence

  • There is no greater defense than actual innocence. An experienced attorney can assist you in presenting a compelling story of innocence, including circumstantial evidence and your testimony.

Reasonable Doubt

  • Prosecutors are required to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a unanimous jury before you can be convicted of any federal crime. You do not have to prove your innocence in criminal cases. Your attorney may be able to attack the prosecution’s case and leave the jury with a reasonable doubt.


  • Again, dependent on the sex crime charge(s) against you; you may be able to raise consent as a defense in your case. Not applicable in crimes against children.


  • Entrapment is a defense when another party, (the “victim” or law enforcement), tricked or forcibly persuaded you into committing a crime. This may be an available defense, such as transmission of data concerning minors.

Mental Capacity

  • Your defense attorney can explore issues related to your mental capacity to make a sound decision at the time of the criminal act.


II. Types of Domestic Violence

Psychological Violence:

  • Verbal abuse such as threats and name calling; unreasonable possessiveness; isolating the victim from his or her support system such as family and friends; destroying physical property

Physical Violence:

  • Domestic abuse assault, domestic abuse assault and battery, domestic abuse strangulation, and domestic abuse with a dangerous weapon

Sexual Abuse:

  • Forced sexual advances or attempts at forcing sexual advances


  • An attack on an individual’s mental state


  • Coercion through forced financial co-dependency


III. Penalties for domestic violence convictions

A first-time domestic violence/abuse charge is a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. First-time domestic violence offenses can have a much larger penalty, if an aggravating factor is present:
Domestic Abuse in the presence of a minor:

  • Minimum of six months in jail

Domestic Abuse, subsequent offense: felony,

  • Up to four years in prison

Domestic Abuse with a dangerous weapon:

  • Up to ten years in prison

Domestic Abuse with great bodily injury:

  • Up to ten years in prison

Domestic Abuse with a firearm or deadly weapon:

  • Up to life in prison