There are many different categories of sex crimes. Some are misdemeanors, and others are felonies. Regardless of which type of sex crime a person is under investigation for, these charges should always be taken seriously because of the potential serious life-long consequences of a conviction.
If you are convicted of a sex crime, there’s a good chance you will end up receiving a jail or prison sentence. For example, for first-degree sexual abuse, the maximum penalty is life in prison and a fine of no more than $250,000. If you are convicted of second-degree sexual abuse, you could be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail, and if you are convicted of third-degree sexual abuse, the judge can sentence you to five years in prison. Even if the crime you’re convicted of is a misdemeanor sex crime, you can be sentenced to 180 days in jail.
If you are incarcerated as part of your sentence, chances are you will be placed on probation or parole once you’re released from prison. You could end up spending many years under supervision, where you have to check in with a probation or parole officer often and follow specific guidelines to ensure that you aren’t violating your parole or probation. This can be a significant hurdle to overcome when you’re trying to find a job because of the time you have to spend going to see your parole or probation officer, and also due to the stigma attached to these types of crimes.
One of the most devastating effects of a sex crime conviction is being placed on the sex offender registry. This has a profound impact on people’s lives. Being on the registry can affect where you’re allowed to live, and it will have unequivocally profound implications when you try to get a job. There are also certain recreational activities that you may not be allowed to participate in if you are on the registry.
In some cases, you will be required to be on the registry for your entire life, and in other circumstances, it might only be for ten years. Once you’re on the registry, it’s public information that anyone can look up and see. In some cases, being convicted of even a misdemeanor sex crime could result in a sentence requiring you to register as a sex offender.
The police department is also permitted to publicly share information about a convicted sex offender’s residence, business, or other personal information. They’re also allowed to share information about the crime that was committed and led to the offense that required someone to be placed on the registry.
Difficulty Finding A Job & Housing
Having a sex crime conviction, even a misdemeanor, will significantly hinder your ability to obtain housing and employment. Most companies and landlords will run a background check before they agree to hire you or provide you with housing. While it may not be fair, given that the person applying is simply trying to get their life back on track once they are released from jail, they will often be turned down for a job or housing because of this conviction. If you’ve been convicted of a sex crime and you do find a place to live, your neighbors might be notified that you are on the sex offender registry, and they can share that information with anyone they’d like.
Sex Charges Can Be Life-Changing
While all crimes are serious, it’s important to realize how life-changing a sex crime conviction can be. The collateral consequences are severe. If you find yourself facing these charges, contact an experienced lawyer.