The consequences for sex crimes are severe, and may include a lengthy prison sentence and mandated sex offender registration. Your personal reputation and employment status may suffer significantly from criminal charges of this nature. If you are facing sexual offense allegations, you could benefit from the legal assistance of a Hennepin County sex crimes lawyer.

Building a strong and thorough defense could help you fight back against your charges. An experienced criminal lawyer on your side could investigate your situation and determine successful strategies. Together, you could minimize or avoid the consequences associated with these offenses.

Criminal Sexual Conduct Under State Law

While there are various sex-related crimes under state law, criminal sexual conduct offenses range in severity from first-degree criminal sexual conduct to fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, which is a gross misdemeanor. Enlisting the assistance of a lawyer in the area may be crucial for individuals facing any criminal sexual conduct charges.

First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Under Minnesota Statutes § 609.342, criminal sexual conduct of the first degree encompasses situations involving sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16, any nonconsensual sex that results in injury, or the use or threat of great bodily harm to commit sexual penetration. A conviction for this offense could result in 30 years or more in prison.

Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Minn. Stat. § 609.343 defines criminal sexual conduct of the second degree as the same offenses that qualify as first-degree criminal sexual conduct, but without penetration. The maximum sentence for this offense is 25 years in prison.

Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Third-degree criminal sexual conduct under Minn. Stat. § 609.344 can involve various circumstances but commonly occurs when an individual has sex with a person who was impaired, unconscious, or otherwise unable to give consent. This level of offense also covers some sexual relationships between individuals and others in a position of authority. The potential penalties for a conviction include up to 15 years in prison.

Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

This offense involves the same conduct covered in third-degree criminal conduct, but without penetration. Minn. Stat. § 609.345 provides for a potential penalty of up to ten years in prison.

Fifth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Minn. Stat. § 609.3451 involves nonconsensual sexual conduct, masturbation, or lewd exhibition of genitals in the presence of individuals who are under the age of 16. This offense is a gross misdemeanor that can result in up to one year of incarceration and a $3,000 fine.

Sex Offender Registration

Individuals convicted of felony sex crimes and certain other crimes must be placed on the state sex offender registry. The minimum term of registration is ten years. The availability of registry information to the public depends on which of the three levels assigned:

  • Level I offenders have a low risk of reoffending. Their information is available only to law enforcement agencies, witnesses and victims of the crime, and adult immediate family members of the victims.
  • Level II offenders have a moderate risk of reoffending, and their information is available to educational institutions, daycare facilities, and similar organizations.
  • Level III offenders have a high risk of reoffending, and their information is available to the general public.

Following a conviction for many sex crimes, individuals must register their identifying information according to the severity of their crimes. Registration can be mandatory for a term of years or for life. As a local attorney may advise, the stigma of appearing on a sex offender registry can have a significant effect on future professional and personal opportunities.

Call a Hennepin County Sex Crimes Attorney for Advice

A conviction for a sex crime can be life-altering. It could bar you from many career and educational opportunities and negatively affect your personal life due to the lasting stigma of sex offender registration. Contacting a Hennepin County sex crimes lawyer could be vital to achieving your desired outcome in your case. Get valuable legal advice from the beginning of your case, and you may be able to defend yourself more effectively. Call today to learn more about your options.