Criminal Sexual Act
Criminal sexual acts are chargeable in three degrees, with the lowest being a class E felony. This means that regardless of the degree of criminal sexual act you were charged with, if you are convicted there will be significant repercussions that limit your rights as a citizen. As with any sex crime, New York State will prosecute the offender to the fullest extent available and the court may even issue additional sentencing requirements. To make sure that your case is handled by a team you can trust, call now for a free consultation with our experienced New York criminal attorneys.
Criminal sexual act in the third degree is charged when a person partakes in oral or anal sexual conduct with a person who is unable to consent due to reasons other than age, if they partake in such conduct while over 21 years of age and the other person is under 17 years of age or if there is a lack of consent not due to an incapacity to consent. An incapacity to consent is a person who is less than 17, mentally disabled or incapacitated, physically helpless or under the custody and care of the State Department of Corrections or hospital. This means that in a situation where two people over the age of 18 are involved, but one party is only doing so to avoid being physically or mentally harmed.
This charge becomes a class D felony when it is charged in the second degree and applies when a person who is over 18 partakes in oral or anal sexual conduct with a person less than 15, or a person who is mentally disabled or incapacitated. In this section of the law though, there is a slight caveat that is commonly referred to as the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ law. If the defendant was less than four years older than the victim and commonly applies when the parties are in a consensual relationship but the parents or state are attempting to bring charges against the defendant on the basis that one party is considered too young to consent.
Criminal sexual act in the first degree is the highest form of this offense and is charges as a class B felony, meaning you could be facing up to 25 years in prison if the court decides to sentence the maximum. For this section of the offense to apply, a person would have engaged in oral or anal sexual conduct with another person by way of forcible compulsion, if the person is younger than 11 years old or less than 13 and the offender is over 18, or a person who is unable to consent due to being physically helpless.
As with any sex offense, it is incredibly important that you have an attorney who can help you understand the court proceedings as well as what the possible outcomes can be related to the offense. Sex crimes require that the defendant register under the SORA act and be evaluated for a risk level and limitations can be placed on where you may work or even live. Call now to speak with one of our experienced New York criminal attorneys to discuss your case.