Delaware Sex Offense Lawyers
Being accused of a sex offense in Delaware is an extremely serious situation. It needs to be treated as such and you should not attempt to face this alone. Sex crime defense is very complicated and should be done with the aid of a skilled and experienced attorney. Sex crime defense often times includes substantiating evidence such as DNA and eyewitness reports. In addition to your rights your character and reputation also need to be protected. If you have been accused of a Delaware sex crime it is a wise decision to have a skilled Delaware Sex Offense Attorney on your side.
Having been a prosecutor before going into private practice I have the experience, knowledge and resources to effectively defend your Delaware sex crime case. Contact me, Delaware Sex Crime Lawyer Brian J. Chapman today regarding your case at 302-656-2528.
Delaware Sex Offenses
A sex crime charge can cover a number of offenses that are punishable based on the severity of the crime, the history of the offender, and the age of the individual against whom the crime was committed. This can create a number of permutations within the legal proceedings against an individual, which will affect resultant sentencing and rehabilitation requirements. Sex crimes against a minor carry a greater weight, as do offenses which result in death and bodily harm.
The laws in Delaware state that any of the following actions may be considered a sex crime:
- Sexual contact with a blood relation
- Sexual contact with an animal
- Exposing one’s self in a public place
- Sexual contact that does not have consent
- Sexual extortion
- The abuse of a child in which sexual contact is involved
- Soliciting a child for sexual gains
- Exploiting a child for sexual purposes
- Any dangerous crime against a child, including trafficking
- Owning or dealing in child pornography
- Mutilation of female sex organs
- Violating personal privacies such as observing, recording, or photographing an unclothed individual who is unaware of the fact that they are being viewed.
- Promoting the prostitution of an individual of any age
- Kidnapping, with or without the result of bodily harm
- Buying, selling, or trading human beings of any age
These offenses are all subject to different levels of severity, but the committal of any one of these crimes will result in a convicted offender becoming registered as a sex offender.
All sex crimes may be considered a felony, although the classification can vary based on the offense, and some cases can be demoted to a misdemeanor charge. As felonies, these carry a prison sentence which can range from not less than two years to as much as 25 years. Rehabilitation and fines are also imposed at the discretion of the court and sex offender will also need to register in the Sex Crimes Database which allows for their conviction to become public record. Following jail time, a probationary period is also imposed, and this is determined by the outcomes of an official assessment that places the convicted offender in a tier system. The tier system is based on the projected risk that the offender poses to society.
Assessments can be crucial as to how an offender is able to reintegrate into a community and progress with rebuilding normalcy. Both the risk assessment and the nature of the crime determine the tier that the sex offender is assigned to. Tier levels will also predicate the length of time that the offender stays active in the sex crimes registry.
Tier III offenders are anyone who has committed the following:
- Rape of the first or second degree
- Any sexual offense involving a minor, including any degree of rape
- Any unlawful contact of a sexual nature in the first and second degree
- Sexual extortion that involves violence
- The trafficking on minors
- Kidnapping in the first and second degree
The designation of a Tier II offender will occur due to the following offenses:
- Third and fourth degree rape
- Second degree sexual contact without consent
- Any offense involving child pornography
- First and second degree promotion of prostitution
Tier I is reserved for anyone who is convicted of a sex crime that does not come under the guidelines of Tier II and Tier III. This tier also applies to individuals whose offense has been downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor. Juvenile offenders are anyone who is fourteen or younger, and may be designated to Tier I based on their assessment after a sentence has been served.
Although all sex offenders are required to register in the National Database for Sex Crimes, the tier system determines the length of time that their names stay active. A Tier III offender is allowed to petition the court to be lowered to Tier II after twenty five years, but this is also dependent upon the absence of any further arrests or violations of any kind. The individual must also offer proof that they have successfully completed an approved rehabilitation program. For Tier II offenders, the length of time before being allowed to request a designation change is ten years. The further requirements are the same as for a Tier III offender. Tier I individuals must submit to these expectations as well, but can be completely removed from the sex offender list after ten years, and at the discretion of the court.
Regardless of the tier level, offenders must also serve a probationary period which includes registering any address and employment changes over the duration of the parole period, and attending meetings with a parole officer. For people who are homeless, meetings with their appointed government custodian will be increased. During the probation time, offenders will also be subject to unannounced inspections of their premises and places of work.
Court proceedings and sentencing for people who are suspected of sex crimes can be both evidence and testimony based. Attorneys can frequently use this presentation of information as a means to amend the classification of the crime to a lesser degree, or in some cases, reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor. These negotiations can also be crucial during sentencing and during the determination of probationary requirements. Proper representation can often afford the accused individual a greater chance at rehabilitation and counseling services that are not only integral to future legal concerns but also future well being. For juveniles who have been accused of a sex crime, this is often a chance at reasonable punishment and a hearing in family court, versus the potential to be charged as an adult.
Delaware Sex Crime Defense
An alleged sex offender my have a difficult time getting a the fair trial that they deserve and that our justice system requires. False accusations and emotional reactions can result in false allegations and convictions. Penalties for a sex crime conviction can include mandatory jail sentencing and sex offender registration. And, many convictions ultimately result in lifetime Megan’s Law registration with the police. Retaining an aggressive Delaware Sex Offense Lawyer is crucial to obtaining the most favorable outcome possible.
Contact a Delaware Sex Crime Defense Lawyer
I pride myself on the amount of time I spend with my clients to learn all sides of the story and prepare to mount an aggressive defense. Extensive preparation is critical to be able to effectively question the credibility of the accuser, witnesses and reveal extenuating circumstances which may explain why the charges were brought in the first place. If you have been accused of a sex crime anywhere in Delaware please contact me, Delaware Sex Crime Defense Lawyer Brian J. Chapman. With me in your corner you will know that you are being defended properly, aggressively and that your rights and reputation are fully protected. Contact my office today at 302-656-2528. Or, email Delaware Sex Crime Defense Attorney by clicking here. I am located in Wilmington, Delaware and offer free consultations for those charged with sex crimes in Delaware.