Long Island Sexual Offenses Defense Lawyer
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is an incredibly serious charge, but with the wide range of sexual assault charges and other sex crimes in New York, it can be difficult to grasp exactly what these charges could mean and why it is so important to find legal representation as soon as possible to help you or your family member combat these charges.
Sexual assault, rape, sexual abuse and other sexual misconduct crimes require specific actions and can receive specific penalties under New York Law. Many of sexual crimes have multiple tiers of severity under New York law. Understanding these charges is the first step in preparing yourself for the litigation that will follow.
What Are the Tiers of Sexual Abuse Charges?
Like many crimes in New York and even other states, there are different tiers to sexual abuse crimes, with the severity of the crime risking an increased penalty.
Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree
This class B misdemeanor applies when a person has had sexual contact without the consent of the victim. Unlike other sexual abuse charges, there is a possible defense for those less than five years older than the victim if the victim is over the age of fourteen and under the age of seventeen, and the lack of consent is solely due to the victim’s age. This crime carries a potential penalty of one year in jail.
Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree
A person may be charged with sexual abuse in the second degree if a person has had sexual contact with someone who is incapable of consent, for example, due to alcohol, drugs, incapacity, etc. This charge also applies if the victim is under the age of 14. Second degree sexual abuse is a class A misdemeanor in New York. A conviction could result in up to one year in jail.
Sexual Abuse in the First Degree
Sexual abuse in the first degree is a class D felony and involves any sexual contact by forcible compulsion when the victim is physically helpless, when the victim is less than 11 years old, or the person charged is 21 years old or older and the victim is less than 13 years old. This charge holds a sentence of up to seven years in prison.
Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Fourth Degree
A charge of aggravated sexual abuse involves the insertion of a foreign object into another person’s vagina, urethra, penis, rectum or anus when the person is incapable of consenting. This charge also applies where someone physically injures the victim by inserting a finger into that person’s vagina, urethra, penis, rectum or anus when that person cannot consent. If a person is convicted of fourth degree assault, there is a maximum possible penalty of four years incarceration for this class E felony.
Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree
Aggravated sexual abuse in the third degree is a class D felony that carries a possible maximum sentence of seven years in prison. This crime may be committed by inserting a foreign object into another person’s vagina, rectum, penis, urethra or anus when the person is helpless, by forcible compulsion or when the victim is under the age of 11 years old.
Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree
An individual may be charged with second degree aggravated sexual abuse if someone causes injury to the victim of abuse by inserting their finger into the urethra, vagina, penis, rectum, or anus of the victim, if it is done by forcible compulsion, if the person is under the age of 11 years old, or if the other person is physically helpless. This is a class C felony that can carry a sentence of 15 years in prison.
Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the First Degree
Similar to Second degree Sexual Abuse, the charge of first degree aggravated sexual abuse involves a victim who has been forcibly compelled, is less than 11 years old, or is physically helpless who has been injured by the actions of the individual charged. Unlike second degree aggravated sexual assault, this involves the insertion of a foreign object into the victim’s urethra, penis, vagina, rectum or anus. This is a Class B felony, second only to Class A felonies in the state, and it carries a potential sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
What is a Criminal Sexual Act?
Under New York law, an individual may be charged with committing a criminal sexual act for specific actions. As with Sexual Abuse, criminal sexual acts have different tiers corresponding to their severity and their penalty.
Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree
For someone to be charged with third degree sexual assault, they must engage in oral or anal sexual conduct with a victim who cannot consent, either due to incapacity, being less than 17 years old (and the person charged is older than 21), or being otherwise unable to consent. This crime is a class E felony with a potential punishment of up to four years in prison.
Criminal Sexual Act in the Second Degree
This class D felony carries a penalty of four to seven years in prison. A person may be charged with this crime if they engage in anal or oral sexual conduct and: the victim is incapable of consent or the person charged is over the age of 18 and the victim is less than 15 years of age. There is a possible defense if the age difference between the victim and the person charged is less than four years.
Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree
A person may be charged with a criminal sexual act in the first degree by engaging in oral or anal sexual conduct by force, with a victim who cannot consent because they are physically helpless, with a victim under the age of eleven, or with a victim who is under the age of thirteen and the person charged is over the age of eighteen. This class B felony carries a minimum sentence of nine years in prison and as many as twenty-five years in prison.
What Constitutes Rape?
A person may be charged with for sexual intercourse with another individual, under a variety of circumstances and in varying tiers, as with other sexual assault crimes.
Rape in the Third Degree
If someone has had sexual intercourse with an individual who is less than 17 years old (and the person charged is more than 21 years old), with someone who cannot consent due to incapacity, or with someone who has not consented to the sexual act. This is a class E felony and is punishable by up to a year incarceration.
Rape in the Second Degree
This class D felony could result in four to seven years in prison. Someone may be charged with second degree rape for engaging in sexual intercourse with someone who is incapable of giving consent due to being mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated or where the victim is under the age of 15 and the person charged is over the age of eighteen. There can be a defense to this charge if the person charged is less than four years older than the underaged victim.
Rape in the first Degree
Rape in the first degree occurs when the person charged has had sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion, with a victim who is unable to consent due to being physically helpless, with a victim who is under the age of eleven or with a victim who is under the age of thirteen and the person charged is at least eighteen years old. This class B felony could carry a punishment of 9 to 25 years in prison.
Child Sexual Crimes
Though a number of the crimes that may be committed against adults also apply to children, there are some child-specific crimes under New York law.
Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the Second Degree
This crime is specific not only to children but must also occur over a period of time of at least three months. During those months, the person charged must have engaged in at least two sexual acts. An individual may be charged with this crime for engaging in at least two acts of sexual conduct with a child under the age of 11, or as an adult over the age of 18, the person charged must engage in two or more acts of sexual conduct with a child under the age of 13. This is a class D felony and carries a possible penalty of four to seven years in prison.
Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree
As with the second degree tier of this crime, there must be at least two incidents that occur over at least three months. These may include intercourse, oral or anal sexual acts, sexual contact or aggravated sexual contact with a child less than 11 years old. If the minor child is less than 13 years old but not less than 11 years old, the person charged must be at least 18 years old to be charged for engaging in two or more acts of sexual conduct. This is a class B felony with a possible punishment of nine to twenty-five years.
What Constitutes a Predatory Sexual Assault?
New York also has two predatory sexual assault. Someone can be charged for predatory sexual assault where first degree rape, criminal sexual act, aggravated sexual abuse, or course of sexual conduct against a child has been committed. This class A-II felony applies when serious physical injury has been caused to the victim, there has been use of or threats to use a dangerous instrument. It may also apply where certain first degree sexual acts or incest have been committed against at least another person.
Someone may also be charged predatory sexual assault against a child if that person engages in the same sexual acts against a child under the age of thirteen, where the person charged is over the age of 18. This is also a class A-II felony.
Each of these crimes could potentially lead to a life sentence and a minimum sentence of three to eight years.
What Consequences Could there Be?
If someone has been charged with a sexual crime, there are a number of possible consequences that could rise out of that charge. A conviction could lead to probation, jail or an upstate prison sentence. This charge could hinder someone’s ability to find work, get an apartment, or weaken their defense in a child custody matter, for example. Also, is the sex offender registry. Someone charged with sexual abuse could become listed on the sex offender registry for several years or even the rest of their life.
What to Do after a Charge?
If you or a loved one has been charged with sexual assault, you should consult with an attorney. A conviction even for a misdemeanor assault charge can have a significant impact on a person’s future, well beyond the sentence imposed by the court. These charges will appear on criminal background checks, and because of the violent nature of the crimes, they can hinder your ability to get a job or keep a job after a conviction. There can also be immigration consequences to a conviction for sexual assault.
How Soon Should I Get an Attorney?
You should contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney is an extra protection in the early stages of your case, helping to guard you against unlawful searches and seizures, improper questioning, and improper admission of evidence. It is a good idea to get an attorney as soon as you are being questioned by police, even if you have not yet been charged. An attorney can represent you at bail hearings to determine if you will held in jail until your hearing, present pre-trial motions to prevent the admission of impermissible evidence, question witnesses before they have had time to forget what occurred on the date of the assault, and prepare for your trial. The earlier an attorney begins to work for you, the sooner they can begin advocating on your behalf.
If you have been arrested for a sex offense in Nassau, Suffolk or Queens County, call Scott J. Limmer without delay
You can contact Scott by phone at 516-742-2300 to speak to him immediately. He is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round and your initial consultation is free.
Nassau County Criminal Law Office
200 Old Country Road Suite 2 S Mineola, NY 11501 Telephone: 516-742-2300
Queens County Criminal Law Office
80-02 Kew Gardens Road Suite 300 Kew Gardens, NY 11415 Telephone: 718-742-6300