Five Things to NOT Do After Being Charged With a Sex Crime
Jan. 26, 2023
Sex crime charges are serious business. You may have thought you were engaging in a consensual act, but other factors may weigh in on your guilt or innocence. For instance, the mental or physical status of your alleged victim, the age of the other person, threats of force, violence, use of weapons, and other “aggravating” factors can play a huge role in the charges and penalties you may face if convicted of a sex crime.
Sex crimes, as defined by Indiana Code Title 35, Article 42, Chapter 4, range from rape to sexual battery to child seduction and child molestation to sexual misconduct with a minor. All are felonies that can result in prison terms, fines, probation, and listing on the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry. Felony convictions can also result in the loss of voting rights while serving time and the loss of the right to possess and use firearms once out of prison.
If you are under investigation or being charged with a sex crime in or around Indianapolis, Indiana, you need to seek immediate legal counsel and representation. Contact Wruble Law LLC to begin setting up a vigorous defense against the potential or actual charge.
At the same time, you need to realize that your conduct going forward will be under the legal microscope. Your words and actions can harm your case. Our criminal defense attorney will not only challenge the prosecution’s case at every turn, but will also advise you on how you should take care not to feed the prosecution with any additional fodder to use against you.
Wruble Law LLC proudly defends clients throughout Indiana, including Marion County, Hendricks County, Hamilton County, Boone County, and Johnson County. Reach out immediately if you’re under investigation or facing a charge.
Overview of Sex Crimes in Indiana
Rape, of course, is prominent when it comes to sexual crimes. To most people, rape equates to a violent act of intruding upon someone’s privacy and forcing sex with them through threats or violence. While this certainly qualifies as rape, other situations can result in a rape charge as well.
For instance, if you think you’re having consensual sex but, according to the Indiana Code, the “other person is unaware that the sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct is occurring,” that too is rape. This would apply to situations where the other person is high or intoxicated or mentally deficient or disabled.
Sexual battery involves the nonconsensual touching of another person “with intent to arouse or satisfy the person’s own sexual desires or the sexual desires of another person.” Again, if the other person is unaware because of intoxication, mental deficiency, or disability, or if the perpetrator uses or threatens to use deadly force, the touching amounts to a felony.
A conviction for rape can result in a prison term of 3 to 16 years along with a fine of up to $10,000. If the act involves the use or threat of deadly force or results in serious bodily injury to the victim, the prison term is 20 to 40 years, with a fine of up to $10,000.
Sexual battery is a felony with a prison term between 6 months and 2.5 years and a fine of up to $10,000. If, like rape, the act involves threats or the use of deadly force, the penalty rises to between 2 and 4 years with a fine of up to $10,000.
Sex crimes involving minors are also felonies, and penalties are contingent upon the age of the victim, the age and relationship of the perpetrator to the victim, the use of intoxicants or controlled substances, the threat or use of deadly force, any resulting serious injuries, and any resulting sexually transmitted diseases.
What Not to Do When Facing a Sex Crime Charge
If you’ve ever read or heard the Miranda Rights warning that law enforcement officials are required to give you when charged with a crime, you should remember the sentence, “Anything you say can and will be used against you.” Keep this in mind when you’re being interrogated or charged. You don’t need to answer any questions.
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives you a right to remain silent, and indeed, you should. Seek experienced legal representation immediately and work with your attorney on how to handle any questions or investigations. Going forward after that, keep the following points in mind:
AVOID SOCIAL MEDIA: Anything you post on social media will be accessed and scrutinized by law enforcement and prosecutors. Don’t even mention the charge, even to assert your innocence. “What you say” can and will be used against you, even if you think you’re just stating the truth or defending yourself.
DON’T TALK TO POLICE OR PROSECUTORS: To reiterate, you are under no obligation to answer police or prosecutor interrogations. They will try to trick you into admitting some sort of guilt or involvement that they can use against you in court. Let your attorney handle police and prosecutors.
DON’T CONTACT THE ALLEGED VICTIM: You may want to explain what happened or even apologize to the person with whom you had sexual contact, but resist the feeling and the urge. The victim may resent what you say and twist every word when reporting the conversation to law enforcement. Again, “what you say” can and will be used against you.
DON’T AGREE TO ANY TESTING BEFORE THE ARREST: You may be asked to provide a DNA sample, for instance, but don’t do so without consulting with your attorney or reaching out to an attorney to seek their representation.
DON’T TAKE THE CHARGE LIGHTLY: Remember, a sex crime charge is serious. If you’re convicted, it can ruin your life forever. You may end up on a registry, your friends may abandon you, and your job prospects may diminish or disappear. Work closely with your attorney and do and say exactly as advised.
Take Every Precaution to Safeguard Your Future
If you’re facing a sex crime charge, your future is on the line. A felony conviction can make life extremely difficult going forward, even if your jail time is minimal. A felony conviction will stay on your record, making it difficult to obtain the job of your dreams or even to obtain public benefits to help you provide for yourself. As the saying goes, your reputation will proceed you.
Rely on the criminal defense team at Wruble Law LLC to protect your rights and develop a defense strategy to achieve the best possible result. We will fight for your freedom at every turn. Reach out immediately if a sex crime charge looms.