Our team has taken 1,000+ cases to trial, including 400+ jury trials. We’re not afraid to mount an aggressive defense, and prosecutors know it.
More innocent people, in our opinion, are falsely accused of a sex crime than probably just about any other crime, other than domestic battery. However, it is perhaps the hardest allegation to defend. Even those who have made a mistake deserve a great defense and someone fighting for the best outcome. If your attorney has little or no experience in defending those accused of a sex crime, then you will face an uphill battle – and your freedom and reputation will be in dire jeopardy. When defending someone accused of a sex offense, even the best criminal defense attorneys may falter if they don’t have enough experience in the sex crime arena.
Our lawyers have successfully defended clients who have been accused of a wide range of sex crimes, including winning jury trials for clients accused of rape, child molestation, sexual battery and sexual misconduct with a minor. We have also convinced prosecutors not to file charges or had charges dismissed before trial for clients accused of molestation, rape and a wide range of other sex offense charges as well.
What is the secret to our firm’s success? Experience. It simply can’t be replaced. Understanding the mentality and motivation of someone making a false allegation is vital. Picking apart a forensic interview and recognizing the role of family dynamics can win these cases. Knowing how to deal with the prosecutor and the “victim’s advocate” usually assigned to assist the accuser is also a detail that gets overlooked as the case unfolds.
Suffice it to say, over the years, our experience has saved accused clients from being imprisoned and helped restore their reputations. No matter how bad the case looks on paper, we will use our legal expertise to come up with a defense and trial strategy for your case with the goal of obtaining the best practical outcome.
What Are Sex Crimes?
The term “sex crimes” is an umbrella phrase that actually refers to numerous types of criminal charges. It is not a specific charge itself. A sex crime simply refers to any type of illegal activity that includes engaging in sexual contact with another person by force or by engaging in sexual conduct when the victim is unaware or unable to consent to the action. Some of the most common charges that fall under the sex crimes category include:
Rape – Level 3 Felony
Rape is legally defined by the state as knowingly or intentionally having sexual intercourse with another person through force or threat of imminent force. It also covers sexual intercourse with an individual who is unaware or unable to consent to act and sexual conduct with a person who is mentally disabled or deficient to consent to sex. A rape charge may be escalated to a Level 1 felony offense if it is committed by using or threatening deadly force or if committed while armed with a deadly weapon. Rape may also be a Level 1 felony if it results in serious bodily injury to a victim or if during the commission of the rape, the victim was given drugs or a controlled substance without their knowledge.
Sexual Battery – Level 6 Felony
Sexual battery is conduct that includes touching a person in order to arouse the alleged offenders’ sexual desires. This can happen either through force or threats or when a victim is unable to give consent due to a mental disability. The charge can rise to a Level 4 felony if deadly force or deadly threats are implemented, the individual is armed with a deadly weapon, or if the victim was given drugs without their knowledge or consent.
Prostitution – Class A Misdemeanor
Anyone at least 18 years of age who knowingly performs or agrees to perform sexual acts for money or property may be charged with the crime of prostitution. Anyone who has two prior convictions for prostitution who engages in prostitution may be charged with a Level 6 felony.
Child Molesting – Level 3 Felony
Child molestation is considered any intentional act of performing or submitting to sexual contact with a minor under the age of 14 years old. If there are aggravating circumstances such as the use of a deadly weapon, serious bodily injury to the victim, providing drugs to the victim without their knowledge, or the act is committed by someone over the age of 21, the charge may be increased to a Level 1 felony. If the sexual act only includes fondling for sexual arousal, the charge may be considered a Level 4 felony but raised to a Level 2 if there are similar aggravating circumstances.
Vicarious Sexual Gratification – Level 5 felony
If someone over the age of 18 intentionally directs or helps a minor under the age of 16 to touch or fondle themselves with the intent to satisfy their own or the child’s sexual desires, that may be charged with vicarious sexual gratification. Some factors may turn this charge into a Level 2, 3, or 4 felony, depending on the circumstances or age of the victim.
Child Pornography – Level 5 Felony
Knowingly or intentionally producing, creating, sharing, sending, sponsoring, or bringing sexually explicit material of a minor under the age of 18 into the state of Indiana can result in a child pornography charge. The material can be in the form of pictures, films, videotapes, and digitized images. There are numerous circumstances that can result in the charge becoming a Level 4 felony depending on the sexual acts depicted and other aggravating circumstances.
Child Solicitation – Level 5 Felony
Child solicitation involves an adult over 18 knowingly or intentionally trying to coerce, urge, or request that a minor under the age of 14 engage or participate in a sexual act. Solicitation can take place in person, online, by telephone, or in writing, and can become a Level 4 felony under certain circumstances.
Sexual Misconduct with a Minor – Level 5 Felony
The age of consent in Indiana is 16. Sexual misconduct with a minor occurs when an individual over the age of 18 years knowingly performs or submits to sexual contact with a minor under the age of 16. It can be a Level 4 felony if the individual is over the age of 21, and a Level 1 felony if there are aggravating factors such as being armed with a deadly weapon or furnishing the victim with drugs without their knowledge.
The actual phrase “statutory rape” is not a listed crime in Indiana. However, it may be illegal for a person in the age range of 18—20 to have sexual contact with a person 15 years or under.
If they charge you with this, you may think there’s no way to create an effective defense. However, a variety of defenses may be available if you are accused of having sexual contact with someone under the age of 16, including what our firm calls the “Romeo and Juliet” defense, and also having a reasonable belief that the person was 16 or older. We have fought for our clients utilizing those defenses, as well as others, with a high degree of success.
While these are some of the most common types of sexual crimes, there are numerous other activities that may be deemed a “sex crime.” If you have been charged with any type of sexually related crime, you need a solid and experienced defense team on your side fighting for you. At The Criminal Defense Team, we have experience handling a wide range of sex crimes. From giving you the support you need during this difficult time to utilizing our extensive pool of resources, we are fully prepared to tackle your case. The Criminal Defense Team is ready to build a compelling and solid legal defense for your situation.
Indiana Penalties for Sex Crimes
The type of penalty that an individual can receive for a sex crime conviction depends on the crime itself and whether there are aggravating circumstances connected with the crime. Many penalties can include a combination of prison time, fines, probation, and placement on the state’s sex offender registry. Indiana assigns a range of possible punishments depending on the level of the offense. Many sex crimes are felony-level offenses. These are the corresponding penalties:
Level 1 Felony
- 20 to 40 years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
Level 2 Felony
- 10 to 30 years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
Level 3 Felony
- 3 to 16 years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
Level 4 Felony
- 2 to 12 years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
Level 5 Felony
- 1 to 6 years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
Level 6 Felony
- 6 months to 2 ½ years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
While these are the legal penalties for many sex crimes, these types of offenses carry more than just legal consequences. Sex crimes carry with them a stigma that can impact everything from an individual’s family life and other personal relationships to job prospects and advancement opportunities. A sex crime conviction may also impact where you live and your ability to go certain places. Sex crime convictions are serious and have the potential to significantly alter the course of your life for years to come.
Registering as a Sex Offender
Being convicted of a sex crime in Indiana may result in the individual being placed on the state’s sex offender registry. In 1994, the state passed Zachary’s Law. The law was named in honor of 10-year-old Zachary Snider, an Indiana boy who was sexually molested and murdered by a neighbor who had been previously convicted of child molestation. Under Zachary’s Law, all convicted sex offenders are required by law to register with local law enforcement in their county of residence.
Registering as a sex offender is an invasive and lengthy process. It requires an individual to provide accurate and detailed information about almost every aspect of their lives. It also requires offenders to frequently check in with local authorities. A convicted sex offender will be legally obligated to abide by the following Indiana state requirements:
- Provide detailed information including name, race, height, weight, hair color, eye color, identifying marks or tattoos, social security number, driver’s license number, vehicle description, plate number, current address, school enrollment, email address, social media platforms, usernames, and employer.
- Register your main address as well as other addresses where you spend more than seven nights in a 14-day period with local law enforcement.
- If you work, go to school, or volunteer in a county other than the one where you live, you must also register in person in each county where you conduct your business.
- Changes to your address, employment, school enrollment, or other identifying information must be reported to local law enforcement within 72 hours.
- Sex offenders must register in person with local law enforcement at least once every year. Some offenders may be required to register in person every 90 days.
- Offenders planning on taking a vacation for more than seven days must inform local law enforcement. You may also be required to report in person to law enforcement in the county that you are visiting.
- Some convicted offenders can be barred from going near or living by school property, youth centers, and public parks.
Sex Crime Defenses
Prosecutors in Indiana take sex crimes very seriously, but there are effective defense tactics that can counter these aggressive prosecutors. To build a strategic defense, you need an equally aggressive team committed to protecting your rights. There are a variety of avenues that The Criminal Defense Team may explore when it comes to defending an individual accused of sex crimes.
At The Criminal Defense Team, we firmly believe that each case and every case is unique. We never apply a blanket strategy to our cases, we carefully and thoroughly review the circumstances of each case, get to know our client, and then craft a thoughtful and well-designed strategy that aims to obtain the best possible outcome for the situation.
CALL (317) 687-8326 NOW TO SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY.
Our team of lawyers is uniquely qualified to protect your freedom and interests. We believe in taking swift, aggressive action to out-maneuver the prosecution and build a strong defense. We’ve done it for thousands of clients and we can do it for you.
We defend clients in Hamilton County, Marion County, Johnson County, Hancock County, Shelby County, Boone County, Hendricks County and counties throughout Indiana. We can help you as well.