Birmingham Sexual Abuse Lawyer

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Sexual Abuse in Alabama

At Alabama Criminal Lawyers, our sex crime attorneys are committed to defending people throughout the state of Alabama who’ve been arrested on sexual abuse charges. Sexual abuse charges are broken into two separate classifications: sexual abuse in the first degree and sexual abuse in the second degree.

Contact Alabama Criminal Lawyers today at (205) 994-0616 for a free consultation.

First-Degree Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse in the state of Alabama is one of the most serious crimes with which an individual can be charged. While sexual abuse includes a variety of sexual offenses that involve a lack of consent. Individuals facing sexual abuse charges must understand the applicable acts and penalties that can result from such sexual abuse in the first degree.

First-degree sexual abuse charges will be brought against anyone who forces sexual contact against the victim’s will. This includes fondling, suggestive rubbing, oral sex, rape, etc. Sexual abuse in the first degree is a felony offense, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. The charges that constitute first-degree sexual abuse include:

  • Situations where one person forces another person into some type of sexual contact.
  • Situations where a victim is not able to content because the victim is mentally incapacitated.
  • Situations where the victim is unable to consent because the victim is physically incapacitated.

There are some specific legal phrases uses within the definitions of these crimes, which individuals must understand.

In this context, “sexual abuse” is not specifically defined and includes a variety of acts. Any situation that included touching of intimate parts for sexual gratification will likely be found to constitute sexual abuse. “Consent” means that an individual voluntarily agreed to an act. It is particularly difficult to prove that a lack of consent existed. Some of the ways that consent is proven in a court of law include recorded footage, eyewitness testimony, or physical specimens that are obtained through the use of a rape kit.

Penalties

First-degree sexual abuse in the state of Alabama is classified as a Class C felony. An individual who faces first-degree sexual abuse charges can face up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to fifteen thousand dollars. In many cases, an individual might also have to register as a sex offender, the act of which would subject an individual to various requirements. Individuals who are charged with sexual abuse in the first degree face a minimum sentence of ten years.

Defending Against Such A Charge

There are several ways that individuals are able to defend against first-degree sexual abuse. One of the most common tactics is for individuals to argue that law enforcement has failed to prove that there was a lack of consent. Law enforcement also demonstrates that the act in question was done for the purposes of sexual gratification, which almost always includes any act involving intimate parts.

Another potential defense is born from the statute of limitations, which state if an individual is not prosecuted within a certain period of time after an incident was reported to have occurred an individual cannot be prosecuted.

Second-Degree Sexual Abuse

Second-degree sexual abuse charges will be filed against a person (19 years or older) who subjects a victim between the ages of 12 and 16 to sexual contact. Sexual abuse in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to $6,000 in fines and no more than one year in jail.

Alabama law uses several words that have a legal definition. Consent implies to situations when an individual voluntary agree to an act. Although law enforcement must prove that consent exists in these types of cases, when the victim in question is below the age of sixteen law enforcement will not have to prove that individuals knew about the child’s age. Sexual contact can include a variety of sexual often including acts that involve one, or both individual’s private parts.

Penalties

Sexual abuse in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor in the state of Alabama. As a Class A misdemeanor, individuals can expect to face up to one year in prison and a fine of up to six thousand dollars.

In situations where a person commits a second or subsequent offense of sexual abuse in the second degree within one year of another sexual offense, this offense will be considered a Class C felony. Class C felonies result in up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to fifteen thousand dollars.

Defending Against Such A Charge

There are several available defenses that individuals can use in response to a second-degree sexual abuse charge. Individuals are often able to successfully prove that law enforcement has failed to demonstrate a lack of consent to the act in question. Other times, individuals are able to defend against these charges by demonstrating the act in question did not occur.

Individuals must remember that if a sexual abuse in the second-degree charge is based upon sexual contact with a child under the of sixteen, the availability of consent from the child would not constitute a valid defense because the child does not have the legal capacity to consent to sexual acts.

Sexual abuse against a person who is incapable of giving consent because of physical or mental disability could result in first or second-degree charges.

Contact A Birmingham Sex Crimes Attorney

Because sexual abuse charges can create significant obstacles, individuals who face these charges frequently require the knowledge of a talented criminal defense attorney. If you face any type of first-degree or second-degree sexual abuse charge, consider retaining the services of an experienced Birmingham attorney at Alabama Criminal Lawyers.

Contact us today at (205) 994-0616 for a free consultation.