Columbus Sex Crime Lawyer
Aggressive Defense Against Sex Crime Charges in Franklin County
Today's society is more aware than ever of acts of sexual misconduct due to increased publicity of some high-profile sex crimes. Every day, there seems to be another story of a boss, teacher, coach, or relative accused of having inappropriate sexual relations or engaging with sexual materials. But not every accusation is true.
If you've been accused of or arrested for a sex offense in Ohio, the cards are truly stacked against you. You may already be perceived as guilty by friends, family, and the court of public opinion. Thankfully, the American justice system presumes all defendants are innocent until proven guilty, and the Columbus sex crime lawyers at Koffel Bringer Nesbitt will fight aggressively to protect that right! Read more in Attorney Brad Koffel's recent presentation.
What is the Legal Definition of a Sex Crime in Ohio?
Ohio Revised Code section 2907 defines sex crimes as offenses that involve sexual conduct or contact without the consent of the other person or involving a minor. Some examples of sex crimes in Ohio include:
- Rape: engaging in sexual conduct with another person by force, the threat of force, or when the other person is incapable of consenting due to being impaired, unconscious, or under 13.
- Sexual battery: engaging in sexual conduct with another person when that person's ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired.
- Gross sexual imposition: engaging in sexual contact with another person who is not the spouse of the offender and who is either under the age of 13 or who is between the ages of 13 and 16, and the offender is a parent, teacher, or coach of the victim.
- Importuning: soliciting or engaging in sexual activity with a minor or someone believed to be a minor over the internet or by other electronic means.
What are the Penalties for Sex Crimes in Ohio?
The penalties for sex crimes in Ohio depend on the specific offense and the case circumstances. However, sex crimes are considered very serious offenses in Ohio and carry significant legal consequences. Here are some examples of penalties for sex crimes in Ohio:
- Imprisonment: Many sex crimes in Ohio carry mandatory minimum prison sentences, ranging from a few years to life in prison. The sentence's length depends on the offense's nature and severity. For example, a conviction for rape can result in a sentence of three, five, or ten years to life in prison, depending on the circumstances of the case.
- Fines: A conviction for a sex crime in Ohio can also result in substantial fines. The fine depends on the offense, but fines can range from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
- Probation: In some cases, a judge may sentence a convicted sex offender to probation instead of or in addition to prison time. Probation typically includes strict conditions, such as regular check-ins with a probation officer, mandatory sex offender treatment, and a ban on contact with minors.
- Sex offender registration: A conviction for a sex crime in Ohio requires mandatory registration on the state's sex offender registry. This registration is for life and includes public notification of the offender's status.
- Other restrictions: A sex crime conviction can also result in restrictions, such as a ban on contact with minors, limitations on where the offender can live or work, and mandatory sex offender treatment.
In addition to the criminal penalties of a sex crime conviction, you may face other collateral consequences related to your employment and social life. Registering as a sex offender will limit where you can live and work and may prevent you from continuing in your current job. On top of that, you will likely face social stigma for your conviction, especially if the offense involves a minor.
Overall, the penalties for sex crimes in Ohio can be severe and life-altering. If you are facing sex crime charges, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your options and build a strong defense is essential.
Sex Offender Registration Requirements
In Ohio, sex offender registration is mandatory for anyone convicted of a sex crime, regardless of whether the offense was committed in Ohio or another state. Here are some key requirements for sex offender registration in Ohio:
- Registration: A convicted sex offender must register with the local sheriff's office within three business days of release from prison or, if not sentenced to prison, within three days of sentencing. The offender must provide personal information, including their name, address, photograph, and fingerprints.
- Notification: Ohio law requires law enforcement agencies to notify the public of a convicted sex offender's presence in the community. This information is available on the Ohio Attorney General's website and through other means, such as local newspapers or community notifications.
- Updates: Convicted sex offenders must keep their registration information up to date. This includes notifying the sheriff's office within three business days of any change in address, employment, or school attendance.
- Verification: The sheriff's office may conduct periodic in-person verifications of a sex offender's registration information. This typically involves visiting the offender's residence or place of employment to confirm that the information provided is accurate.
- Consequences of non-compliance: Failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements in Ohio can result in criminal charges, including a new felony offense. Non-compliance can also result in probation or parole revocation and may affect an offender's eligibility for early release or other benefits.
There are three tiers of sex offender registration:
- Tier I (15 years with in-person verification annually)
- Tier II (25 years with in-person verification every 180 days)
- Tier III (lifetime registration with in-person verification every 90 days).
Overall, sex offender registration requirements in Ohio are extensive and can have significant consequences for those required to register. If you have questions or concerns about sex offender registration in Ohio, it's important to consult with an experienced Columbus sex crime attorney.
Defenses to Sex Crimes in Ohio
If you are facing charges for a sex crime in Ohio, it's crucial to work with an experienced sex crime attorney in Columbus who can help you build a strong defense. Here are some common defenses to sex crimes in Ohio:
- Lack of consent: Many sex crimes involve allegations of non-consensual sexual activity. If the prosecution cannot prove that the alleged victim did not consent to the sexual activity, the defendant may be acquitted of the charges.
- Mistaken identity: In some cases, a defendant may be falsely accused of a sex crime due to mistaken identity. The defense may argue that the alleged victim is mistaken or that the defendant was misidentified.
- Insufficient evidence: The prosecution is burdened to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If insufficient evidence supports the charges, the defendant may be acquitted.
- Alibi: If the defendant has a credible alibi that places them elsewhere at the time of the alleged crime, this can be used as a defense.
- Entrapment: In some cases, law enforcement officers may engage in entrapment, which occurs when they induce or encourage someone to commit a crime they would not have otherwise. If entrapment can be proven, it may be a defense to the charges.
It's important to note that each case is unique, and the best defense strategy will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the case.
Why Hire KBN Law Firm
Best Lawyers of America, Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys have nationally recognized Koffel Brininger Nesbitt and its defense attorneys. Still, more importantly, our firm has achieved incredible results for clients arrested for sex offenses.
Child Molestation: Not Guilty Verdict
Our client was the subject of a 3-year investigation involving the alleged molestation of a young girl in the early 2000s. The case proceeded to a jury trial. We retained one of the world’s leading experts in false memory. The prosecution called an expert psychologist on grooming and delayed disclosures. The defendant did not testify. On all counts, the jury returned a Not Guilty verdict in less than one hour. (State of Ohio vs. G.A., 2020)
Possession of Child Pornography: Case Dismissed
Mr. Koffel’s client was investigated on suspicion of possession of child pornography and voyeurism. He was terminated immediately by his department before the investigation could be concluded. After a six-month investigation, it was determined that the images possessed by the client were not illegal nor was there corroborating evidence that he’d committed the crime of voyeurism. Case closed with no criminal charges.
Title IX Accusation: Acquitted
A football player at Ohio University was recently charged with sexual assault and acquitted of all charges after a lengthy Title IX hearing.
Contact Our Columbus Sex Crime Attorney Today
Sex crimes are serious offenses in Ohio and carry significant legal consequences that can impact your life. Our Columbus sex crime lawyer can help you understand your rights, explore your defense options, and advocate on your behalf. We can also help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and work to mitigate the consequences of a conviction. Whether you are facing charges of rape, sexual assault, or any other sex crime in Ohio, taking action as soon as possible is essential to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome.
Contact Koffel Brininger Nesbitt today to start your defense with our sex crime lawyer in Columbus!