Sex-Related Crimes Defense Attorney in Thayer, Missouri
According to statistics from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, there were about 747 reported incidents of sexual assault or rape in Missouri in 2019. In the state of Missouri, sex-related offenses include sexual assault, forcible rape, statutory rape, and sexual misconduct. A defendant convicted of any of these sexual offenses may be facing massive fines, incarceration, registration as a sex offender, and other significant consequences. If you are facing sexual assault charges, retaining a skilled Missouri criminal defense attorney immediately is crucial to help build your defense.
At The Law Office of Fred O'Neill, I am committed to providing comprehensive legal guidance and aggressive representation to individuals in sex crimes-related matters, including sexual assault, sodomy, rape, and sexual misconduct. As your legal counsel, I will investigate the charges against you and determine your best defense strategy. I will also fight aggressively to defend your legal rights and make sure you get fair treatment in every phase of the legal proceedings.
My firm – The Law Office of Fred O'Neill – proudly serves clients throughout Thayer, Missouri, and the surrounding areas of West Plains, The Ozarks, and North Central Arkansas.
Types of Sex-Related Crimes
Sex crimes is a term used for all forms of non-consensual sexual acts, including sexual assault, sexual misconduct, forcible rape, statutory rape, or other sexual behaviors exhibited to another person without the victim's consent. Some of the most common sex-related offenses in Missouri include:
Under Revised Statutes of Missouri Section 566.040, a person commits the crime of sexual assault if he has sexual intercourse with another person knowing that he does so without that person's consent.
Penalties: Sexual assault is a class C felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
According to Revised Statutes of Missouri Section 566.030, a person commits the crime of forcible rape if he has sexual intercourse with another person by the use of forcible compulsion.
Penalties: Forcible rape or an attempt to commit forcible rape is a felony offense punishable by five years in prison to life imprisonment.
First Degree Statutory Rape
Pursuant to Revised Statutes of Missouri Section 566.032, a person commits the crime of statutory rape in the first degree if he has sexual intercourse with another person who is less than fourteen years old, regardless of consent.
Penalties: Statutory rape in the first degree is a felony punishable by five years in prison to life imprisonment. There is an increased minimum sentence of 10 years if:
The victim sustained serious physical injury.
A weapon was used.
There is more than one offender.
The victim is below 12 years old.
Second Degree Statutory Rape
Under Revised Statutes of Missouri Section 566.034, a person commits the crime of statutory rape in the second degree if, being twenty-one years of age or older, he has sexual intercourse with another person who is less than seventeen years of age.
Penalties: Statutory rape in the second degree is a class C felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
First Degree Sexual Misconduct
Pursuant to Revised Statutes of Missouri Section 566.093, a person commits the offense of sexual misconduct in the first degree if such person:
Exposes his or her genitals under circumstances in which he or she knows that his or her conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm
Has sexual contact in the presence of a third person or persons under circumstances in which he or she knows that such conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm
Has sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse in a public place in the presence of a third person
Penalties: Sexual misconduct in the first degree is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. The punishment may be upgraded to a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail if the defendant has been found guilty of a similar offense.
Defining Consent Under Missouri Law
Consent plays a major role in determining whether a sexual act is legally considered an offense. Consent can be described as an agreement between two people to engage in sexual activity. Under Missouri law, the age of consent is 17 years old. This is the age at which a person is legally considered old enough to consent to sexual activity. Any individual under 16 years in the state of Missouri is unable to consent to sexual activity.
Steps to Take After Being Accused of a Sex Crime
Being accused of a sex crime could mean significant damage to your reputation, professional career, and personal life. However, what you do or fail to do during such allegations could mean a big difference between being convicted and the charges against you getting dropped completely. If you've been accused of a sex crime, here are the steps to take:
Seek legal representation immediately.
Do not give any statement to the police. Anything you say could be misinterpreted and can hurt your case inadvertently.
Gather required evidence and documentation.
Create a list of witnesses.
Do not confront your accuser.
A skilled criminal defense attorney can evaluate your unique situation and determine the best defenses to fight your allegations.
How a Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
Facing accusations of sex crimes is often a devastating experience. Such allegations can put your liberty, reputation, quality of life, and future opportunities at risk. If convicted, you could face lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, sex offender registration, and other life-changing ramifications. Therefore, if you're facing sex-related crime charges, you need to retain a highly skilled and aggressive criminal defense attorney immediately to craft your defense strategy.
For more than 30 years, I have devoted my career to handling criminal cases and defending individuals who have been wrongfully arrested and charged with sex crimes. As your attorney, I will review and investigate all of the facts of your unique situation and strategize an effective defense to pursue the best possible outcome for your case. Using my extensive legal understanding, I will help you navigate the Missouri criminal justice system and dispute the allegations against you with substantial evidence. I will do everything within my capabilities to ensure that those allegations don't ruin your life.
Sex-Related Crimes Defense Attorney Serving Thayer, Missouri
If you're facing sex crimes charges, don't face them alone. Contact my firm – The Law Office of Fred O'Neill – today to schedule a simple case evaluation. I can offer you the experienced legal guidance, strong advocacy, and aggressive representation you need in your case. My firm proudly serves clients throughout Thayer, Missouri, and the surrounding areas of West Plains, The Ozarks, and North Central Arkansas.