Sex crimes are very serious in West Virginia. When you are facing charges like sexual assault or rape, you are facing the possibility of time in prison. This can impact your life, but having to be branded a felon and a sex offender can also have a considerable impact on your life.
What are the penalties for sex-related crimes in West Virginia?
The penalties you face depend on the circumstances of the alleged act and the crime you are charged with. Third degree sexual abuse is a misdemeanor that is associated with 90 days in jail, but first degree sexual assault can land you in prison for up to 35 years or up to 100 years if the victim was under 12 years old. As you can see, the range is very wide. You also face considerable fines for these charges.
Are there defense options for sex-related charges?
All defendants have the right to a defense. When it comes to sex-related charges, the circumstances surrounding the incident are usually a good place to start trying to find defense options. These vary based on the case, but your goal is to poke holes in the prosecution's case where you can.
When you are facing sex-related charges, don't hide and think they will go away. There is very little chance of that happening. Instead, you need to take all the time you can to work on your defense. This enables you to consider all options and determine how they will impact your life right now and in 10 or 20 years.
Source: FindLaw, "West Virginia Rape and Sexual Assault Laws," accessed March 31, 2017