Sexual misconduct is classified as a misdemeanor, and not a felony, in the New York Penal Code. Nonetheless, despite being ranked as a misdemeanor, and not as serious as a felony, sexual misconduct is still a sex crime. In other words, although a lesser type of criminal offense, this misdemeanor charge does impact a person’s life if convicted in some of the same ways as more serious sex crimes.
Elements of Sexual Misconduct
Sexual misconduct can be charged in three general types of situations. First, a person can be charged with sexual misconduct if the perpetrator engages in sexual intercourse with someone else, without that other individual’s consent.
Sexual misconduct can be charges in a situation in which a perpetrator has oral or anal sex with someone else, without that individual’s consent. Finally, sexual misconduct can occur when a perpetrator has any type of sexual conduct with an animal.
Examples of Sexual Misconduct
One example of sexual misconduct in New York is a situation in which an adult engages in sexual conduct with a minor. Although the minor may verbally have consented, the young person lacks the legal authority to consent to engage in sexual activity.
If a person has some sort of mental limitation, he or she may be legally unable to consent to sexual activity. Sexual misconduct can be charged in a situation in which a person has sexual intercourse with a person with these type of mental limitations.
Defenses to Sexual Misconduct
There are a number of defenses available when a person is charged with sexual misconduct. Because the offense centers on a lack of consent, one defense that can be pursued by a defendant is demonstrating that the alleged victim actually consented to the sexual contact or conduct.
Along those same lines, NYC criminal lawyers oftentimes mount defenses in sexual misconduct cases that call into question the reliability and trustworthiness of the alleged victim.
The statute of limitations may provide a defense in a sexual misconduct case. The statute of limitations is a law in New York that establishes a deadline by which an alleged perpetrated must be charged with sexual misconduct. Because sexual misconduct is a misdemeanor, the statute of limitations requires charges to be brought within two years from the date the alleged crime was said to have occurred.
Sentence in a Sexual Misconduct Case
Because sexual misconduct is classified as a misdemeanor, a person convicted on such a charge can face up to a year in jail. Shorter periods of incarceration, and probation, are also sentencing alternatives in sexual misconduct cases.
Although a misdemeanor, a person convicted of sexual misconduct is required to register as a sex offender when a jail term ends. The New York Penal Code calls for a person to be on the sex offender registry for at least 20 years following the completion of a term of incarceration.
A person who is not a U.S. citizen who is convicted of this crime faces deportation when a jail sentence ends. A person can be prohibited from ever reentering the United States.
Retain an Attorney in a Sexual Misconduct Case
A NYC criminal attorney can provide representation in a case of sexual misconduct. The key to best protecting a person’s legal rights when charged with any type of sex crime is to be proactive in retaining legal representation.
A New York criminal defense lawyer will schedule an initial consultation to discuss a case, and analyze different defense strategies. Legal counsel will also answer any questions. As a general rule, a criminal defense attorney in New York does not charge an attorney fee for an initial consultation in a sexual misconduct case.
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