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Perhaps more so than any other offense, sex crimes have direct and indirect consequences. A St. Paul sex crime lawyer can address both the direct and indirect consequences. As outlined below, the approach varies in different situations.
Sex offenses usually involve brief prison stays and extended court supervision periods. Typically, a conviction means a few weeks in jail and a few years of probation. The financial costs are not excessive, but they add up over time. The constant scrutiny could be more of a problem. Any subsequent offense, such as a drug possession case, could be very problematic. A subsequent sex offense, even if it is in a different category, could be very, very problematic.
Formal court proceedings or semi-formal plea negotiations usually dictate the outcome in terms of fines, jail time, and court supervision. An informal evaluation determines the outcome in terms of sex offender registration. Contrary to popular myth, the nature of the offense is largely irrelevant at this point. Risk of re-offense is basically the only issue.
This first informal category is also the smallest one. There are not very many repeat violent offenders. In terms of indirect consequences, these individuals are almost always Level Three risk level. This label means registration information is publically available. Additionally, when a Level Three offender moves into a new area, law enforcement may directly notify local at-risk groups, like daycares and schools. Additionally, law enforcement may also notify all residents who live within a three-block radius.
So, attacking the underlying offense is the best strategy in these situations. A St. Paul sex crime lawyer should be very aggressive. Some potential defenses include:
A St. Paul sex crime lawyer need not “prove” the defendant is innocent. The defendant only has to create reasonable doubt.
Many St. Paul sex crime lawyers take the opposite approach if the defendant is a first-time offender. Going all-out to defeat the charges in court could be a good idea, depending on the evidence. But such an approach could also be counterproductive, because it creates an antagonistic atmosphere during the second stage.
This second stage is the Minnesota Department of Corrections proceeding which assigns a risk level. If the defendant is a first-time violent offender, all three risk levels are in play.
Some evidence to consider during the risk assessment process includes the results of medical or psychological evaluations, the presence (or absence) of a substance abuse problem, the defendant’s support network in the community, and the defendant’s intent to leave the area and get a fresh start.
“Nonviolent” sex crimes are almost always indecent exposure cases. The facts in these cases vary widely. Sometimes, the person is a “flasher” who stalks people in public places. Other times, the defendant was simply doing the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Exposure offenses are obviously not as serious as assaultive offenses, but as mentioned, the nature of the offense is largely irrelevant in the risk assessment profile. Therefore, many St. Paul sex crime lawyers are very aggressive during court proceedings.
There is an old saying that time heals all wounds. That’s not true in all cases, and it certainly is not true in this case. However, after several months pass, many exposure victims are ready to move on, and they have little interest in the prosecution. So, delaying court proceedings may be enough to get indecent exposure charges reduced to something like reckless conduct.
The type of sex offense significantly affects legal strategy. For a free consultation with an experienced St. Paul sex crime lawyer, contact Capitol City Law Group, LLC. Go online now, call us at (651) 998-7634, or stop by 287 6th St E, Suite 20, St Paul, MN 55101.