If you are charged and convicted of a sex crime, you will be labeled as a sex offender in the Commonwealth of Virginia. You will be required to register as a sex offender with the Virginia Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. If you have been charged with any type of sexual offense, the Roanoke sex offender attorneys with Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico may help you secure the best possible outcome for your case.
Sex Offenses in Virginia
- Sexual Assault & Battery – VA Code § 18.2-67.4 – If you have been charged with sexual battery, then the Commonwealth is alleging that you have sexually abused another individual. Sexual abuse is generally defined as an act that is intended to sexually molest, arouse, or gratify another person. This offense is considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor; however, your specific charge could be more severe if you were knowingly infected with a sexually transmitted disease at the time of the battery or if the abuse was inflicted on an individual less than 15 years of age (see sex crimes involving minors).
- Rape – VA Code § 18.2-61 – A charge of rape means that you are alleged to have engaged in sexual intercourse with another against their will. It is also important to note that if the alleged victim is unable to say no to your sexual advances due to drugs, alcohol, or mental disability, then you can still be charged and convicted of rape. A rape conviction in Virginia can result in life in prison.
- Failure to Register as a Sex Offender – VA Code § 18.2-472.1 – Virginia requires that individuals who have been convicted of certain violent or sexual offenses register with the Virginia Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. If you are guilty of one of these offenses and knowingly fail to register or knowingly provide false information to the registry, then you will be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor.
- Sex Crimes Involving Minors – Sexual offenses involving minors usually involve the same acts as sexual offenses against adults, but the punishments are often much more severe. For example, a rape conviction where the victim is an adult carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, but if the victim is a child under age 13 then a conviction will carry a mandatory minimum of life in prison.
- Possession or Distribution of Child Pornography – VA Code § 18.2-374.1 – You will be charged with a child pornography offense if you knowingly possess, create, distribute, solicit, or facilitate child pornography. If you have been charged with possession or distribution of child pornography, then you will be subject to lawful seizure and forfeiture of any equipment or property that is alleged to have been used in conjunction with your offense.
- Solicitation – VA Code § 18.2-374.3 – Virginia law states that if you are over the age of 18 and have knowingly and intentionally used a communication system to solicit, with sexual intent, a child known, or believed to be, less than 15 years of age, then you will be charged with a Class 5 Felony. For example, if you have used the Internet as a means to expose yourself to a child, then you will be charged under this statute.
- Stalking – VA Code § 18.2-60.3 – If you have been charged with stalking in Virginia, then you are alleged to have, on more than one occasion, engaged in conduct with the intent to place reasonable fear in the mind of another person. In most situations, the alleged victim is fearful that you will commit sexual assault or other bodily harm upon him or her. This offense is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.
- Indecent Exposure – VA Code § 18.2-387 – Exposing yourself, or making an obscene display in public, is grounds for an indecent exposure charge in Virginia. An example of an obscene display that does not involve any actual nudity would be any acts related to simulated masturbation.
- Prostitution – VA Code § 18.2-346 – A charge of prostitution means that you are alleged to have committed adultery, fornicated, or performed other sexual acts in exchange for money or its equivalent. If you are facing prostitution charges then you could be facing penalties associated with a Class 1 Misdemeanor. However, if the charge also involves drugs, sexually transmitted diseases, or sexually activity with a minor, then the potential penalties could be much more severe.
How our Sex Offender Attorneys in Roanoke Can Help You Today
If you’ve been charged with a sex crime in Virginia, the experienced Roanoke sex crimes defense attorneys at Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico can help evaluate the details of your case and your options. For an appointment at our Roanoke office, call us at .