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Providing Defense for Sex Crime-Related Charges in Missouri
If you have been accused of a sex crime in Missouri, or if you have been identified as a person of interest, you need a criminal defense attorney to advise you and protect your rights. The St. Louis sex crime lawyers at Miller & Hine work tirelessly to provide clients with legal options and representation when they’re faced with criminal charges involving:
We Defend Your Reputation and Future
Being accused of a sex crime can be very detrimental to a person. You can be viewed negatively by the public, it can affect your ability to obtain employment, and require you to register as a sex offender if you plead guilty to certain crimes. You need a St. Louis sex crime attorney that is focused on saving your reputation and proving your innocence. The attorneys at Miller & Hine fight to achieve these results.
You need to hire a sex crime lawyer in St. Louis that has experience handling sexual offense charges. These cases often deal with DNA evidence and medical examinations. We have experience with these types of tests and know how to use it to your advantage. We will take a deposition of the “victim” and have their story sworn under oath. Then any mistakes or other versions will be used against them to help you receive the best result. The attorneys at Miller & Hine have had great success in handling these types of cases.
Common Sex Crime Charges in St. Louis
There is a long list of sex crimes outlined in the Missouri Revised Statutes. Perhaps the most commonly charged sex crime in Missouri is sexual misconduct. Other common sex crime charges include:
- Statutory rape
- Sexual assault
- Date rape or marital rape
- Child molestation
In Missouri, a sex crime can essentially be characterized as any non-consensual sexual acts, such as intercourse, sexual penetration, and physical contact with another person’s private parts. It can also include crimes like child pornography and prostitution.
How Consent Factors in a St. Louis Sex Crime Case
Consent (or lack thereof) is usually a huge factor in sex crime cases. In Missouri, lack of consent is indicated by the use of force or coercion or an incapacity to consent. Force and coercion can be indicated by the use of physical force (even if minimal), violence, a threat of violence, or any other action that compels a person to engage in conduct to which they otherwise would not consent.
Moreover, a person does not have the capacity to consent if they are less than 17 years old or unable to make reasonable judgments about the nature or harmfulness of the sexual conduct. Persons who are disabled, mentally incapacitated, under intoxication of drugs, alcohol, or other substances, unconscious, or otherwise unable to communicate would not have the capacity to consent.
Evidence in a Missouri Sex Crime Case
The most important evidence in an alleged sex crime investigation or prosecution are the statements of the alleged victim or witnesses. In addition to these statements, prosecutors typically use several other kinds of evidence during an investigation or a trial to corroborate the allegations of an alleged victim or witness.
- DNA evidence
- Surveillance video
- Cellular phone location data
- Statements from the alleged victim to doctors or emergency personnel
In addition, prosecutors may use things the victim said to family, friends, and others soon after the alleged crime took place. These may include statements made orally, through text messages, emails, social media, in-person, over the phone, etc.
The Missouri Sex Offender Registry
In Missouri, people convicted of certain sex offenses are required to register as sex offenders. You must register as a sex offender if you are convicted of the following crimes:
- Sexual misconduct
- Sexual contact with a resident of a nursing home
- Sexual abuse of a child
- Child molestation
- Sexual abuse of a child
- Sexual exploitation of a minor
- Possession of child pornography
Tier III offenders must register for life and report to the local chief law enforcement official in person every 90-days. Tier II offenders must register for 25 years and report in person every six months. Tier I offenders must register for 15 years and report in person once every year.
Failing to register as a sex offender is a felony offense in Missouri, and carries increasingly severe penalties with each succeeding offense.
In addition, the mandatory conditions of a sex offender’s probation or parole can be stricter, including restrictions on where they can live, use of the internet, and with whom they can communicate.
Defending Sex Crime Charges in St. Louis
A sex crime conviction in Missouri carries serious penalties, including a possible mandatory prison sentence, demanding conditions for post-release supervision, and lifelong registration in the state’s sex offender registry.
Many people arrested for sex crimes have never been arrested for anything. They have never had any problems with the law. They are good, hardworking people who all of a sudden feel like their world is coming to an end.
Sex crime charges are rarely as simple as they seem. Sexual assault charges are often filed after an argument or misunderstanding in a relationship.
Sex crime charges are frequently based on false allegations, often coming from aggrieved family members. Charges of a sex crime involving children may have an element of manipulation or coercion from another adult.
At Miller & Hine, we thoroughly and carefully investigate every sex crime charge we handle. We do not believe in blaming the victim, but if we find the situation is more complex than it appears, we let the judge and the jury know.
The best opportunity for an attorney to defend your sex crime charge is when you get them involved immediately after you become aware an allegation has been made against you, before the police are involved, and before search warrants are issued.
You need to hire an aggressive attorney as early as possible. An attorney who is experienced in sex crime cases in Missouri knows the techniques the police and the state use to prosecute persons accused of sex crimes, and who can possibly prevent charges from ever being filed.
How an Experienced St. Louis Sex Crime Attorney from Miller & Hine Can Help
Being accused of a sex crime is one of the most humiliating and despicable accusations that can be made against you. Others are wary of supporting you, your closest friends may drop you, and your employer may fire you.
What’s more, when you walk into a courtroom and the jury hears what the charge is, whether it is sexual assault, possession of child pornography, molestation of a child, or sexual misconduct, the presumption of innocence is gone, and you will need someone on your side to remind the jury what their duties and obligations are regarding your constitutional rights.
Nevertheless, being arrested and prosecuted for an alleged sex crime does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. A skilled sex crime attorney from Miller & Hine can help in the following ways:
- Persuade the prosecutor to dismiss the charges against you prior to trial
- Convince the prosecutor that you are innocent and the case can not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial
- Negotiate a favorable plea bargain with the prosecutor, whereby you plead guilty to a lesser offense, face a lighter sentence, and avoid the need to register as a sex offender
Call us today to learn more about how we can help.
Contact Us to Talk
You want to consult with a sex crime attorney in St. Louis as soon as possible if you were recently charged with this offense. The attorneys at Miller & Hine are dedicated to provide the best possible defense to our clients, no matter what the charges against them may be. Your freedom and future are at stake. Call us today for a free consultation.