Fulton County Sex Crimes Lawyer
A conviction for a sex crime can have harsh repercussions. Not only could you lose many rights, such as the right to vote and own a firearm, your name will also appear on a sex offense registry.
Given how much is at stake, you should contact a Fulton County sex crimes lawyer who believes you are entitled to a vigorous defense. Our skilled attorneys at Hawkins Spizman will take the time to learn more about the details of your case and help you strategize a solid defense.
What are Sex Crimes in Georgia?
Sex crimes are divided into misdemeanors and felonies in the State of Georgia. However, misdemeanors can turn into felonies id there are multiple convictions. For instance, sexual battery is a misdemeanor, but upon a second conviction, it becomes a felony.
Misdemeanors Sex Crimes
Misdemeanors carry a penalty of incarceration for up to twelve months and a $1,000 fine. A judge has the discretion of sentencing someone to a diversion program in lieu of jail. A judge can also suspend the sentence or order probation, depending on the circumstances of the situation.
Georgia also recognizes misdemeanors of a high and aggravated nature. These infractions carry the same jail time as a misdemeanor, but the fine can be as high as $5,000. Some examples of misdemeanor sex crimes are:
- Public indecency for the first two convictions
- Sexual battery upon first offense
- Prostitution, although a fine of $2,500 can be levied if the act is committed near a school, playground, or church
- Statutory rape if the child is aged 14 to 16 and the accused is under 18
It is essential to contact a defense attorney in your local area who understands sex crimes and can fight for the best outcome in your case.
Felony Sex Crimes
Felonies are considered more serious crimes, and punishment can range from at least one year of incarceration in prison to the death penalty. Felonies have their own sentencing range.
Some examples of sex crimes that are felonies in Georgia are:
- Rape, punishable by death, or life without parole, or at least 25 years in prison followed by probation for life. In Georgia, a husband can be found guilty of raping his wife,
- Statutory rape of a child under the age of 16 unless the child is the wife of the accused. The penalty is one to twenty years in prison, but if the accused is over 21 years old, ten to twenty years,
- Child molestation, which on first offense carries a penalty of five to twenty years and mandatory counseling,
- Sexual battery upon second conviction or if the accuser is under age 16 and;
- Public indecency upon the third conviction with a sentence of between one and five years in jail.
Sex Offender Registry
Anyone convicted of a dangerous sexual offense or deemed by the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board as someone who might commit a dangerous sexual offense in the future must provide information to be provided in the Sex Offender Registry. The Department of Corrections and State Board of Pardons and Paroles are responsible for gathering the information about Georgia residents who are convicted of a sex offense in Georgia. If someone deemed a sexual predator in another state relocates to Georgia, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) enters the records obtained from the state in which the conviction occurs.
The GBI also maintains the registry, which is available for perusal online. The registry is updated daily from information provided by county sheriffs. Persons required to register must provide information before leaving prison, and then must do so in person to the sheriff of the county in which they reside within 72 hours of release from prison or entry into Georgia. Juveniles are exempt from the registry unless they are tried as adults. The information remains on the registry for life unless a person petitions for removal under limited circumstances. A sexual offense attorney can help file a petition if a person meets the guidelines for removal from the registry.
What a Fulton County Sex Crimes Attorney Can Do
Your arrest for a sex crime can be devastating. Your family will suffer, you may lose your job, and you may be restricted in choosing a place to live or work. A Fulton County sex crimes lawyer understands your plight and is committed to offering the best defense for your situation.
To begin discussing the details of your case, be sure to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys at Hawkins Spizman.