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Greenville Sex Crime Lawyer

Sex crimes can have devastating consequences on your day-to-day life. Even allegations will severely damage your reputation and impact your personal and professional relationships. In light of this, it is important to remember that everyone has the same rights in the criminal justice system. You are innocent until proven guilty of the criminal charges leveled against you, and it is crucial that you take the situation seriously and work with a dedicated Greenville sex crime lawyer who understands the legal challenges you are facing.

Our legal team at TF Law has experience building defense strategies for similar cases. We are prepared to provide legal advice and representation for you regardless of the severity of your charges. Contact one of our Greenville criminal defense lawyers today to schedule a free confidential consultation for your case.

What Offenses Qualify as Sex Crimes?

South Carolina codifies most criminal offenses based on sexual acts as criminal sexual conduct while those that involve non-consensual sexual intercourse or penetration as sexual battery. Criminal sexual conduct can be divided into a number of different degrees based on factors including the age of the affected party, use of force, and inability of anyone involved to consent to the act.

The severity of the penalties and consequences for a criminal sexual conduct conviction vary based on the degree. They all are listed as felonies under South Carolina law aside from sexual battery involving a student 18 years of age or older that does not involve the use of force, which is classified as a misdemeanor charge. The felony charges associated with criminal sexual conduct carry punishments of maximum prison sentences ranging from 10 to 30 years if the alleged victim is an adult, and a maximum sentence of life in prison if they are a minor at the time.

Will You Have to Register as a Sex Offender?

If you are convicted of criminal sexual conduct of any degree you will be required to register with the South Carolina Sex Offender Registry. This information will include your name, home address, criminal history, and fingerprints. Even if you serve time in prison as part of your sentence, a sex offender registration can stick with you for years. This can severely limit your personal life, specifically in terms of where you are permitted to live and impact your professional opportunities as it will show on a criminal background check.

A registered sex offender may not live within 1000 feet of a school, playground, or daycare center and may be required to register in any counties in which they work, attend school, or own property. They may also be required to re-register at least once per year and pay any associated registration fees. The local sheriffs in these counties will release the registration of anyone with a 1st or 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction.

Learn More: How Much Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost?

Penalties For Sex Crimes in Greenville

The various degrees of criminal sexual conduct recognized by law in South Carolina carry different penalties according to the circumstances surrounding the case. The consequences of a conviction are listed below:

1st-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

This is a felony charge that can result in a maximum prison sentence of 30 years. It is classified by the following circumstances:

  • The use of violence aggravated physical force, or threatened use of a deadly weapon
  • The circumstances surrounding the act involved extortion, trafficking, kidnapping, forced confinement, burglary, housebreaking, etc
  • The victim was drugged into an incapacitated or helpless state without consent

2nd-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

This is a felony charge that can result in a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. It is classified by the following circumstances:

  • The victim was coerced into an act of sexual battery through credible threats of violence or force of a high and aggravated nature
An attorney reviewing detailes for a client charged with a sex crime.

3rd-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

This is a felony charge that can result in a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. It is classified by the following circumstances:

  • The victim was coerced into an act of sexual battery through the use of force without any additional aggravating circumstances
  • Had knowledge or reasonable opportunity to have knowledge of the victim's mental or physical incapacitation

1st-Degree Sexual Assault and Battery

This is a felony charge that can result in a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.  It is classified by the following circumstances:

  • The victim was injured while the defendant touched their private parts either over or under their clothing both without consent and with "lewd and lascivious intent". Private parts are considered the genitals, buttocks, or breasts.

2nd-Degree Sexual Assault and Battery

This is a misdemeanor charge that can result in a maximum prison sentence of 3 years in addition to a fine of up to $2,500. It is classified by the following circumstances:

  • The victim was injured or the intent to injure existed while the defendant touched their private parts either over or under their clothing without consent, but not necessarily with harmful intentions

Spousal Sexual Battery

This is a felony charge that can result in a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. It is classified by the following circumstances:

  • One spouse commits an act of sexual battery against the other using aggravated force using the threat of a weapon, violence of a high and aggravated nature, or physical force

Sex crime charges are serious and can carry severe criminal punishments. Protect yourself by retaining the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Dissemination of Obscene Material to a Minor

Anyone 18 years old or older who knowingly disseminates what is classified as obscene material, such as pornography,  to anyone under 18 years old will be charged with a felony and, if convicted, can face up to 5 years in prison. If the minor is twelve years old or younger the potential jail time increases to up to 10 years.

How Our Firm Can Help You

If you are facing criminal charges for sex crimes you will need the help of a knowledgeable lawyer throughout the legal process. At TF Law, our talented sex crimes defense attorneys will fight to help you avoid a criminal conviction or negotiate a plea deal for lesser charges and protect your legal rights. We understand the difficulties these charges can bring and know the best defense strategies depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Contact us today to schedule a no-cost initial consultation to see what we can do for you!

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