When charged with a Minnesota sex crime, it’s time for help from an experienced sex crime lawyer. Thomas Gallagher has been representing clients accused of criminal sexual conduct, sexual assault, rape, underage and other sex crimes since 1988. These are serious cases, with serious consequences. They call for some serious legal resources. Call Gallagher now to begin solving the problem.
This page will cover some basic issues related to these cases. First is the problem of the innocent person falsely accused of a crime they did not commit. Next is the problem of those who are guilty and what the best solution is for them. After that, it’s helpful to understand categories of these crimes and types of criminal charges within these categories. In addition, we’ll look at some defense issues and potential consequences of conviction.
The Wrongfully Accused
False allegations of sex crimes against people who did nothing wrong has been a serious problem for many years, and remains a problem to this day. There can be many reasons a person is wrongly charged. If you’re innocent, you know it. You may not understand why someone is accusing you of something you did not do. Sex crime lawyers experienced in these cases can help analyze the facts to understand the why, and to find the tells that will show the lie.
Sex crimes run the continuum from the most culpable to the least. But if someone is adjudicated guilty of one of these crimes, the court will need to determine a fair and just sentence, both for the offender, any identifiable victims, and for the community. For cases where the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines call for a presumptive sentence of prison commitment, it is important to understand the lower recidivism rates for people who enter and successfully complete tough sex offender treatment programs, compared to those who simply do the time in prison and then get out. Being accepted by a Minnesota sex offender treatment program can be the key to convincing the court that probation is a better alternative.
Categories of Sex Crimes
There are three types of Minnesota sex crimes, with examples:
- Penetration. Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First and Third Degrees.
- Touch. Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second and Fourth Degrees.
- Non-touch. Indecent Exposure, Child Porn.
Given the high frequency of wrongfully accused people, it’s valuable to retain a sex crime defense attorney to help during the police investigation, before any charges are filed. Pre-charge counsel can help prevent charges from ever being filed in court, or mitigate the damage should they be. Police will generally want to talk to the target of the accusation. You should not talk to police at all, without first consulting a lawyer experienced in sex crimes defense. There are many things to avoid doing, and some things that can be done to help the situation. These should be thoroughly reviewed with legal counsel. Though it’s better to get a lawyer involved early, if not already done a defense attorney should retained immediately after charges are filed.
Consequences of Conviction
Most, though not all Minnesota sex crimes are felonies. The consequences of felonies, gross misdemeanors and misdemeanors are discussed on other pages of this website, as are several so-called collateral consequences. There is one collateral consequence of many sex crime charges that does not follow charges of most other crimes: predatory offender registration (sometimes also referred to as sex offender registration).
Predatory Offender Registration
If a person is charged with a crime listed in the statute requiring predatory offender registration, and is not convicted of that charge, but is later convicted of “another offense arising out of the same set of circumstances,” then they are required to register as a predatory offender under the statute. Minnesota Statutes Section 243.166, subd. 1b. For example, you are falsely accused of a sex crime requiring registration if convicted, but that charge is dropped or the jury acquits you; but convicts of you of another offense that would not trigger registration, like misdemeanor assault — cause fear. You frightened someone, but did nothing sexual, nothing predatory. Clearly, this law is unjust and unfair. So fair the courts have upheld it as constitutional. In order to avoid registration, you’ll want the best sexual assault defense lawyer you can find.
Question? You can call Minneapolis Sex Crimes Attorney Thomas Gallagher at (612) 333-1500.