If the police arrested you for a sex crime in Lincoln, NE, it is imperative that you take immediate action to ensure your rights are protected and defended. Due to the serious and complex nature of these charges, we strongly advise against trying to face the criminal legal system alone. Without the supportive assistance and personalized legal solutions you’ll receive from a Lincoln sex crimes lawyer at Berry Law, you could be risking your future and jeopardizing your freedom.
Do not sit back and wait for your charges to go away. Ensure your rights are protected by contacting an experienced Lincoln sex crime attorney today. At Berry Law, we will use all of our resources to defend your rights, reputation, and future. With more than 250 years of combined legal experience, our criminal defense attorneys can provide the high-quality legal representation you need.
Common Sex Crime Cases in Lincoln
There are many types of sex offenses which can lead to individual criminal charges. Some of the most common sex-related crimes include:
- Sexual assault
- Date rape
- Statutory rape
- Solicitation of a minor
- Child molestation
- Child pornography
- Indecent exposure
These sexual misconduct offenses can result in steep penalties if you are convicted, so it is crucial to hire a dedicated sex crime attorney in Lincoln as soon as possible to help develop your defense.
How are Sexual Offenses Categorized in Lincoln?
Nebraska organizes sexual assault charges into three levels: first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree. Depending on the facts surrounding the alleged act, someone accused of a sex crime might be charged with one or more of these types of offense, and face the corresponding penalties.
First-Degree Sexual Offenses
The most serious offenses are considered first-degree sexual assault. This category includes any form of sexual penetration of a person without their consent. In first-degree offenses, the accuser may claim they lacked explicit or implied consent.
First-degree offenses also include situations where the alleged offender is 19 years old or older, and the accuser is only between 12 and 15 years old. First-degree sexual assault is classified as a Class II felony which is punishable by one to 50 years in prison.
Second-Degree Sexual Offenses
The second level of sex crime offenses also alleges unwanted, non-consensual sexual contact. Charges in this category must also result in a serious bodily injury to the alleged victim. A second-degree sexual crime conviction is a Class IIA felony which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Third-Degree Sexual Offenses
Cases involving sexual contact without someone’s consent that does not cause serious bodily injury are classified as third-degree sexual assault. These Class I misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum of one year in prison and/or a maximum fine of $1,000.
When Do Statutory Rape Laws Apply in Lincoln?
Statutory rape laws are complex. The statutes generally ban sexual contact between adults and minors, but there are some important nuances to this offense that are important to understand.
State law applies a “Romeo and Juliet” exception to these cases which protects younger adults from criminal charges following consensual sexual acts with individuals close to their age. This exception shields any person aged 18 or younger from being prosecuted for statutory rape.
Unfortunately, the “Romeo and Juliet” exemption does not apply to people 19 and over. It is also important to note that claiming a mistake of age is not a viable defense to statutory rape. The state can charge someone even when the minor actively misrepresented their age at the time of the event. For more information about how these laws can impact your case, speak with a knowledgeable sex crimes attorney at Berry Law right away.
Berry Law’s Team Provides You With Multiple Attorney Perspectives
A Skilled Sex Crime Lawyer Can Challenge the Sexual Allegations Brought Against You
Sex crimes tend to hold a greater social stigma than any other criminal offense. Despite their serious nature, some charges for sexual misconduct are based on false allegations. For example, mistaken identity may lead someone to accuse you of a sex crime instead of the true assailant.
In situations such as these, our sex crime attorneys can help you fight these charges and we’ll work diligently to prove your innocence. The legal team at Berry Law will tirelessly fight to protect your future and defend your legal rights.
When is Consent a Viable Defense to a Sex Crime Charge?
Of all the potential defenses for a sex offense, consent is one of the most common and successful arguments lawyers raise. Unlike many other options, arguing that the accuser actually consented to the activity does not require you to claim that sexual contact never happened.
Instead, this defense relies on evidence that the encounter with the accuser occurred with their consent. Ultimately, any consensual sexual act between two adults cannot result in a sex crime conviction.
However, there are situations where a consent defense is not a valid argument. This defense is only an option if the accuser had the legal capacity to consent at the time of the encounter. For example, if the accusing party was too intoxicated to consent, this is not a viable defense. The same is true for minors who are considered legally unable to consent to sexual activity.
Is Failing to Register as a Sex Offender Illegal?
Even with a strong defense, it is not always possible to escape conviction. When the court convicts someone of a sex crime, they must register as a sex offender within three days of sentencing. Failure to do so can result in additional criminal charges.
Convicted individuals also have a responsibility to ensure their information in the sex offender’s registry is up to date. Keeping old information on the registry can also result in additional charges. For assistance navigating the registry after a conviction for a sex crime, get in touch with a local sex crime attorney.
To Protect Your Rights, Consult a Lincoln Sex Crimes Attorney Right Away
If the court convicts you of a sex crime, the immediate penalties and permanent consequences can be devastating. You may be punished with large fines and prison time. Additionally, the court will require you to register as a sex offender.
A criminal record can have a severe impact on your future opportunities and make it difficult for you to secure employment or housing. At Berry Law, we believe that you have a right to explain your side of the story, and we are prepared to fight for you. Our Lincoln sex crimes lawyers have experience defending the rights of individuals facing serious criminal charges. Contact us today to schedule a confidential case evaluation.