Kansas City Sex Crime Attorney
Defending Clients Facing Sex Crime Charges in Jackson County
Of the various crimes of which people are convicted, few have a worse reputation than those involving sex offenses. Even a mere accusation is enough to permanently injure a person’s reputation, and a conviction carries the possibility of consequences such as fines, prison time, and lifetime inclusion on the sex offender registry.
These challenges can make it nearly impossible to proceed with life. If you were charged with a sex crime, you cannot afford not to retain qualified representation for your legal rights. The Kansas City sex crimes lawyer at the Law Office of Michael Crawford stands ready to help you.
What is the Age of Consent in Missouri?
In Missouri, a person must be 17 or older to consent to sex. That means if a sexual act occurs between someone 16 or younger and an adult, the adult can be charged with statutory rape. The exception to the age of consent is the Romeo and Juliet Law. Missouri has this law to prevent young adults in consenting relationships from wrongly being labeled as sex offenders. The Romeo and Juliet law states that if both people are over the age of 14 and under the age of 21, then the sex is consensual and legal. If one person turns 21 and the other is still under 17, the adult is subject to statutory rape charges.
What are the Different Types of Sex Crime Cases?
Being accused of a sex crime in Missouri can be complicated and intimidating. Depending on the facts of the case, there are different types of sex crimes that you may be facing. Here is an overview of some of the different types of sex crime cases in Missouri:
- Rape: In Missouri, rape is defined as sexual intercourse without consent by force or threat of force against another person. It is considered one of the most serious forms of sexual assault.
- Statutory rape: Statutory rape occurs when an adult engages in sexual contact or intercourse with a minor under 17, even if the minor consents to the activity.
- Child molestation: Child molestation is any form of inappropriate sexual contact between an adult and a child under 17, including touching, fondling, oral or anal sex, or exposure to pornography. This type of offense carries severe penalties in Missouri.
- Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment includes unwanted verbal or physical advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct that creates a hostile environment based on gender.
If you have been accused of committing a sex crime, you must immediately get legal advice. An experienced lawyer can evaluate your case, help protect your rights, and ensure you understand all your options going forward.
What are the Penalties for Sex Crimes in Missouri?
Committing a sex crime in Missouri can result in severe penalties, including jail time, hefty fines, and being required to register as a sex offender. With the exception of touching another person’s private parts without their consent—charged as a Class A misdemeanor—all sex offenses are considered felony crimes. The specific type of punishment depends on the severity of the offense and the accused's prior criminal record. For example, rape crimes are typically punished more severely than statutory rape or sexual harassment cases.
The following are some of the potential punishments for committing a sex crime in Missouri:
- Fines: Depending on the type of crime, fines can range anywhere from $500-$10,000.
- Jail time: A conviction for a sex crime can involve jail time ranging from several months to life in prison.
- Probation: Probation typically involves supervision by law enforcement officials and/or counseling and drug testing requirements.
- Registration as a Sex Offender: A person convicted of certain sex crimes may be required to register as a sex offender, limiting their economic opportunities and residential options.
Missouri Sex Offender Registration Requirements
Sex offenders in Missouri must register with the state and abide by numerous restrictions when released from prison. Depending on the severity of the crime, a person may be required to remain on the sex offender registry for ten years or more. The following outlines some of the different requirements for those who must register as sex offenders in Missouri:
- Informed consent: When registering, individuals must provide informed consent about their obligations as registered sex offenders. This includes notifying law enforcement officials if they plan to move or travel out of state.
- Registration information: Offenders must submit detailed registration information such as personal identity details, address, place of employment, and any vehicles they use.
- Reporting restrictions: Depending on their offense, sex offenders may have certain reporting restrictions imposed on them, such as being unable to go near schools or daycare centers.
- Public notification: Some sex offenders may also be subject to public notification, making their information available online for everyone to see
Contact Our Kansas City Sex Crimes Lawyer Today
While you are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, the truth is that fighting these charges can be harder than simply proving you are innocent. You need an aggressive advocate who can fight to completely exonerate you of the charges you face. As a former prosecutor, Attorney Michael Crawford understands the strategies used by your accusers, and our firm understands what it takes to build a strong defense. Don’t wait to get started on your case.
Contact the Law Office of Michael Crawford today to schedule a FREE consultation with our sex crimes attorney in Kansas City!
Our Attorney Is A Former Prosecutor With An Excellent Reputation
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