By: Mark Polson, 45-Year Veteran Birmingham Sex Crimes Lawyer near me for Alabama Indictments
In Alabama, the laws that pertain to what are classified as sex crimes are very specialized. From the public’s perception, most sexual offenses are committed without the consent of a victim and usually are perpetrated against the victim’s permission or will. Alabama’s statutory rape laws, however, follow the nation trend for making young children of tender age incapable of giving consent, as a matter of law.
Skilled and experienced sex offender lawyers know that every effort must be made by Alabama criminal defense attorneys to keep their clients’ names off the Alabama sex offender registry. This may be achieved through plea negotiation, aggressively pursuing pre-trial motions, pursuing pre-trial or post-trial appeals or winning at a jury trial. The legal services performed by legal counsel in Alabama primarily consist of time investigating witnesses and crime scenes to verify what law enforcement agencies were told by a victim had occurred.
When the Alabama sex offender laws are as tough on state prison time as they are, every effort to find a solution must be made. Being convicted of a sex offense and having to register as a sex offender limits or prevents a great number of future job opportunities and can even restrict where a person on the sex offender registry list can reside.Understanding the Sex Offender Registry Alabama
Inclusion of your photo, address and description of the conviction are part of what is shown on the Alabama Sex Offender list. Every Alabama law enforcement agency has these compilations of convicted sex offenders in their local offices, so that any person can peruse the profiles and locations of those convicted. The purpose of such “open records” is community notification of dangerous people living among others in the area.Possible Sex Crime Penalties and Consequences
In very recent news reports, the State of Alabama legislature has passed a bill to require chemical castration of sex offenders. This extreme measure is only part of the laws of fewer than 10 states, but the Yellowhammer State means business for sexual offenders.
Many sex crimes are classified as felonies under Alabama law and are, therefore, accorded serious consequences. Even those crimes classified as misdemeanors, such as sexual misconduct, involve the possibility of jail time as well as substantial fines. Felonies such as first-degree rape may be punished with terms up to and including life in prison.
In addition, those found guilty often face onerous registration requirements that discourage employers from hiring them, landlords from renting to them, and pose numerous other difficulties for years afterwards. Furthermore, even an individual not found guilty under criminal statutes may face possible civil liability. A civil action would involve an entirely separate trial with a lower standard of proof, and the possibility of extensive financial judgment. In other words, the social and practical consequences associated with any conviction of sex crimes can be enormous.
Common penalties for a sex crime conviction in Alabama include:
- Prison time that can total one or two decades
- Legally imposed restrictions on types of work and limitations on where you can live
- Monetary fines that must be paid as part of any probated portion of your sentencing
- Being listed and “registered” as a sex offender, possibly for the remainder of your life
- Heavily supervised probation or parole, if granted at all
- Forfeiture of property in related civil actions is common
- Ban on gun ownership
- Loss of the right to be a voter again
Numerous offenses are classified as sex crimes under Alabama legal statutes. Many of these crimes are prosecuted incredibly seriously, and are penalized with hefty fines and long periods of incarceration. Many of these crimes may be connected with computer searches and communications and what are commonly called internet crimes. These charges include:
- Rape in the first degree under 13A 6-61, which is a Class A felony.
- Sexual misconduct
- Sexual Assault
- Statutory Rape under Alabama Code Section 13A-6-61 (a)(3), which reads:
(a) A person commits the crime of rape in the first degree if:
(3) He or she, being 16 years or older, engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is less than 12 years old.
- Sexual Massage under Alabama Code Section 34-43-8, also known as masturbation for hire
- Distribution, manufacturing or possession of child pornography
- Sexual abuse or assault
- Electronic solicitation of a child
- Date rape
- Child molestation, which carries fines up to $60,000 and 10 years in state prison. Any sexual contact or intercourse with a child under twelve years of age can support and indictment. This offense is taken extremely seriously in Alabama and if you are convicted, you could be left dealing with up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $60,000. Whether you were falsely accused or know that you have made a mistake, you need a strong representative on your side throughout every stage of your case.
- Sexual battery
Moreover, some cases involve federal statutes as well as Alabama state laws. For example, sexting images of a minor through cell phones invokes federal communication devices and (if sent or received in Alabama) state of Alabama sex crimes laws. It is vital that a sex crimes attorney in Alabama working on a case involving sex crimes be thoroughly familiar with the unique laws and how they apply in the circumstances and police evidence obtained in your criminal case.
For the purposes of this chapter, a sex offense includes any of the following offenses:
- Rape in the first degree, as provided by Section 13A-6-61.
- Rape in the second degree, as provided by Section 13A-6-62.
- Sodomy in the first degree, as provided by Section 13A-6-63.
- Sodomy in the second degree, as provided by Section 13A-6-64.
- Sexual misconduct, as provided by Section 13A-6-65, provided that on a first conviction or adjudication the sex offender is only subject to registration and verification pursuant to this chapter. On a second or subsequent conviction or adjudication, if the second or subsequent conviction or adjudication does not arise out of the same set of facts and circumstances as the first conviction or adjudication, the sex offender shall comply with all requirements of this chapter. The sentencing court may exempt from this chapter a juvenile sex offender adjudicated delinquent of sexual misconduct.
- Sexual torture, as provided by Section 13A-6-65.1.
- Sexual abuse in the first degree, as provided by Section 13A-6-66.
- Sexual abuse in the second degree, as provided by Section 13A-6-67.
- Indecent exposure, as provided by Section 13A-6-68, provided that on a first conviction or adjudication the sex offender is only subject to registration and verification pursuant to this chapter. On a second or subsequent conviction or adjudication, if the second or subsequent conviction or adjudication does not arise out of the same set of facts and circumstances as the first conviction or adjudication, the sex offender shall comply with all requirements of this chapter. The sentencing court may exempt from this act a juvenile sex offender adjudicated delinquent of indecent exposure.
- Enticing a child to enter a vehicle, room, house, office, or other place for immoral purposes, as provided by Section 13A-6-69.
- Sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old, as provided by Section 13A-6-69.1.
- Promoting prostitution in the first degree, as provided by Section 13A-12-111.
- Promoting prostitution in the second degree, as provided by Section 13A-12-112.
- Violation of the Alabama Child Pornography Act, as provided by Section 13A-12-191, 13A-12-192, 13A-12-196, or 13A-12-197.
- Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree, as provided by Section 13A-6-41, if the victim of the offense is a minor.
- Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, as provided by Section 13A-6-42, if the victim of the offense is a minor.
- Kidnapping in the first degree, as provided by subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of Section 13A-6-43, if the intent of the abduction is to violate or abuse the victim sexually.
- Kidnapping of a minor, except by a parent, guardian, or custodian, as provided by Section 13A-6-43 or 13A-6-44.
- Incest, as provided by Section 13A-13-3.
- Transmitting obscene material to a child by computer, as provided by Section 13A-6-111.
- School employee engaging in a sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with a student, as provided by Section 13A-6-81.
- School employee having sexual contact with a student, as provided by Section 13A-6-82.
- Facilitating solicitation of unlawful sexual conduct with a child, as provided by Section 13A-6-121.
- Electronic solicitation of a child, as provided by Section 13A-6-122.
- Facilitating the on-line solicitation of a child, as provided by Section 13A-6-123.
- Traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act, as provided by Section 13A-6-124.
- Facilitating the travel of a child for an unlawful sex act, as provided by Section 13A-6-125.
- Human trafficking in the first degree, as provided by Section 13A-6-152, provided that the offense involves sexual servitude.
- Human trafficking in the second degree, as provided by Section 13A-6-153, provided that the offense involves sexual servitude.
- Custodial sexual misconduct, as provided by Section 14-11-31.
- Any offense which is the same as or equivalent to any offense set forth above as the same existed and was defined under the laws of this state existing at the time of such conviction, specifically including, but not limited to, crime against nature, as provided by Section 13-1-110; rape, as provided by Sections 13-1-130 and 13-1-131; carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, as provided by Sections 13-1-132 through 13-1-135, or attempting to do so, as provided by Section 13-1-136; indecent molestation of children, as defined and provided by Section 13-1-113; indecent exposure, as provided by Section 13-1-111; incest, as provided by Section 13-8-3; offenses relative to obscene prints and literature, as provided by Sections 13-7-160 through 13-7-175, inclusive; employing, harboring, procuring or using a girl over 10 and under 18 years of age for the purpose of prostitution or sexual intercourse, as provided by Section 13-7-1; seduction, as defined and provided by Section 13-1-112; a male person peeping into a room occupied by a female, as provided by Section 13-6-6; assault with intent to ravish, as provided by Section 13-1-46; and soliciting a child by computer, as provided by Section 13A-6-110.
- Any solicitation, attempt, or conspiracy to commit any of the offenses listed in subdivisions (1) to (31), inclusive.
- Any crime committed in Alabama or any other state, the District of Columbia, any United States territory, or a federal, military, Indian, or foreign country jurisdiction which, if it had been committed in this state under the current provisions of law, would constitute an offense listed in subdivisions (1) to (32), inclusive.
- Any offense specified by Title I of the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-248, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)).
- Any crime committed in another state, the District of Columbia, any United States territory, or a federal, military, Indian, or foreign country jurisdiction if that jurisdiction also requires that anyone convicted of that crime register as a sex offender in that jurisdiction.
- Any offender determined in any jurisdiction to be a sex offender shall be considered a sex offender in this state.
- The foregoing notwithstanding, any crime committed in any jurisdiction which, irrespective of the specific description or statutory elements thereof, is in any way characterized or known as rape, carnal knowledge, sodomy, sexual assault, sexual battery, criminal sexual conduct, criminal sexual contact, sexual abuse, continuous sexual abuse, sexual torture, solicitation of a child, enticing or luring a child, child pornography, lewd and lascivious conduct, taking indecent liberties with a child, molestation of a child, criminal sexual misconduct, or video voyeurism.
- Any crime not listed in this section wherein the underlying felony is an element of the offense and listed in subdivisions (1) to (37), inclusive.
- Any other offense not provided for in this section wherein there is a finding of sexual motivation as provided by Section 15-20A-6.
Thus, immediately contacting an attorney after an arrest is crucial. The quality of legal services is usually directly related to the years of total criminal law experience and the number of prior sex crime felonies defended. If you have been accused of a sex crime, your rights, future, and reputation are in jeopardy.
Even people who are eventually cleared of their charges have a difficult time shedding the stigma attached to most sex crimes. For people who are convicted of a sex crime, his or her life will never be the same again. Not only can they expect to face discrimination and ostracism once they have been released from prison, but they will also likely be sentenced to penalties that are unreasonably harsh for the crime at hand.The Role of Your Sex Crimes Attorney
In dealing with these charges, an individual should not wait in contacting an experienced Alabama sex crimes attorney to begin building a defense immediately.
Allegations of a sex crime need to be dealt with as quickly as possible to avoid compounding problems and help achieve a desirable outcome for the future. If you are facing charges of a sex crime, a knowledgeable lawyer will be able to help defend and protect you while building your defense of sex crimes.
Episodes in which these laws are invoked can be quite complicated, involving many different elements of proof which may have a significant impact on the outcome of a court’s determination, and the long-term ramifications. The outcome is tremendously important, potentially affecting employment, housing, and numerous other aspects of daily life.
Both the legal and factual elements of a case involving sex crimes in Alabama must be thoroughly understood by any defense attorney involved in the case in order to work toward the best possible resolution. Anyone facing charges involving sex crimes should consult with an Alabama sex crimes lawyer with extensive experience in this particular area of the law. Mark Polson is among the very few with vast prior court experience for these complex and highly punitive crimes.
An Alabama sex crimes attorney with experience possessed by Mark Polson is fully versed on the specific laws pertaining to sex crimes. Plus, he knows that there are TWO sides to every story. The extenuating circumstances of YOUR case may help ensure that a weak or poorly investigated case is negotiated down to a lesser charge. Further, your criminal defense lawyer can analyze DNA records, police reports, witness statements and other forensic evidence, and provide guidance and help clients mount the best possible sex crime defense against the pending charges.
Contact Mark Polson TODAY, for a FREE lawyer consultation near me, and help calm your nerves about the troubling charges you are facing. Don’t delay or think that you will just plead guilty or trust the case to an appointed attorney with 250 open files to manage. You are talking about the REST OF YOUR LIFE as a sex offender, if you lose. Dial our law firm near me now at (205) 871-8838. The partners at our law office travel STATEWIDE to defend those accused of crimes in Alabama.
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