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Sex Crimes With Minors

Fairfax Attorneys Representing People Accused of Sex Crimes Involving Minors

Children are among society’s most vulnerable individuals, and as such, there are numerous laws designed to prevent them from suffering harm. For example, a party that engages in sex acts with a person under the age of eighteen may face criminal charges, regardless of whether the minor willingly participated. Sex crimes with minors carry substantial penalties, and a conviction for such an offense can have lifelong consequences. If you are charged with a sex offense involving a minor, it is critical to speak to a Fairfax Sex Crimes Lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options. The dedicated Fairfax criminal defense lawyers of Crowley Peritz Law can advise you of your potential defenses and aid you in seeking the best legal outcome possible under the facts of your case. Our office is located in Fairfax, and we regularly defend people charged with sex crimes with minors in cities throughout Northern Virginia.

Virginia Law Regarding Sex Crimes With Minors

Under Virginia law, multiple acts are legal if performed between two consenting adults but unlawful if one or both parties are minors. For example, a person who engages in any act of sexual intercourse, including penetration with an object, with a child who is at least thirteen but under fifteen years old, can be charged with carnal knowledge of a child between thirteen and fifteen. Notably, force is not an element of this offense. In other words, the sexual act in question is unlawful due to the victim’s age, regardless of whether they consent.

The severity of the offense and the potential penalty a person charged with carnal knowledge faces depend on the respective parties' ages. If the accused is an adult, they will be charged with a Class 4 felony, and if they are found guilty may face up to twenty years in prison. If both parties are minors and there are less than three years difference between the ages of the perpetrator and the victim, carnal knowledge of a child between thirteen and fifteen is a Class 4 misdemeanor punishable by a $250 fine. If there is greater than a three year age difference between the parties, carnal knowledge of a child between thirteen and fifteen is a Class 6 penalty, which can result in a prison sentence of up to five years.

Other sex crimes with minors include sexual abuse of a child under thirteen years of age, which is when an adult commits an act of sexual abuse with a child between the ages of thirteen and fifteen, aggravated sexual battery, and taking indecent liberties with a child.

Burdens of Proof for Sex Crimes With Minors

In Virginia, the prosecution bears the burden of proof in criminal matters. In other words, the government must establish each element of the charged offense, beyond a reasonable doubt, in order to prove the defendant’s guilt. Beyond a reasonable doubt, generally, means that the evidence weighs so strongly in favor of the defendant’s guilt that a reasonable person could not harbor any rational belief that the defendant did not commit the charged offense. The law limits the evidence the prosecution is permitted to use against defendants as well. For example, the state is frequently barred from introducing evidence obtained without a warrant, confessions that were obtained in violation of the defendant’s Fifth Amendment rights, or evidence of other wrongful acts. In contrast to the prosecution, criminal defendants do not have to offer any evidence or demonstrate their innocence. Depending on the facts of their case, however, it may be beneficial for them to do so.

Speak to a Knowledgeable Fairfax Attorney

People accused of sex crimes with minors often worry that the odds are stacked against them, but merely because a person is charged with a criminal offense does not mean they will be convicted. If you are faced with charges that you committed a sex offense involving a minor, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney regarding your rights. The knowledgeable Fairfax Sex Crimes Lawyers of Crowley Peritz Law have ample experience advocating for people facing criminal charges, and if we represent you, we will work tirelessly to help you seek a favorable outcome. You can reach us to set up a confidential meeting by calling us at (703) 337-3773 or using our online form.

Client Reviews
"My interaction with Crowley Peritz Law was as frictionless as possible. Seth Peritz is a fast communicator and gets the job done right. If you are looking for the best defense possible, I would recommend giving them a call!” George Espinoza
"After consulting several law firms I chose the one I felt most comfortable with and was very pleased with the results. Mr. Crowley was excellent in listening to my needs and achieving the results. I would certainly recommend him to anyone.” Josh Perkins
"I was very pleased with my experience at this law firm and with hiring Matthew Crowley. I appreciated his professionalism and quickness in responses via email or text or phone call. He was extremely sympathetic, comforting, and reassuring throughout the whole process. He is definitely an experienced attorney and it showed. I'll note that I contacted his firm on the weekend and he was the first person to contact me back within the hour. I would recommend him a hundred times over.” Kimberly Kheang
"Mr. Crowley is a very experienced attorney. He is also very thorough with his work and is excellent. I highly recommend his legal counsel.” Marwan
"I don't even know where to start. Mr. Crowley is by far the most professional lawyer I've worked with. He kept in touch with me every step of the way and thanks to his due diligence and perseverance he was able to get all my charges dropped! I am beyond happy and satisfied with his services and I will recommend him to any and everyone in need of a lawyer. Thank you again Mr. Crowley!” Gobenade