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Salt Lake City Criminal Defense LawyerBeing a sex offender can have a permanent impact on your life. Depending on which particular sex crime you are convicted of, you may have to register for a few years or for life. Sex offenders must often live with a number of rules and restrictions that other convicts do not. Not all sex offenders have to follow all possible restrictions that can be imposed - but you will be subject to some of them. As a sex offender, you will also be subject to closer court supervision if you are not sent to prison, or after you are released from incarceration. This can make reintegrating into society very difficult. The challenges sex offenders face are unenviable. If you have been charged with a sex crime, it is very important to work with an attorney who has sex crime experience in order to mitigate the impact your charge may have on the rest of your life. 

Rules That Sex Offenders May Have to Follow

One of the biggest concerns that sex offenders have is how public the list is. Anyone can look up who is on the registry at any point. It is easy to search based on location. It will turn up on every background check. In addition, you may also have to live with restrictions like:

  • Living away from children - Utah establishes “protected zones” surrounding places where children may congregate, such as schools, parks, public pools, and daycares. Sex offenders may not reside in these protected zones. This can make it even more difficult to find a place to live. 

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Salt Lake City Criminal Defense AttorneyStatutory rape laws can be confusing. They can vary wildly from state to state. In Utah, statutory rape means having consensual sexual contact with a minor who was too young to consent to sexual contact with the defendant, if the defendant knew or reasonably should have known of the age difference. The exact sex offense charged will depend largely on the ages of the alleged victim and the accused offender. Unlawful Sexual Activity With a Minor, Sexual Abuse of a Minor, and Unlawful Sexual Contact With a 16 or 17-Year-Old are three different charges that can all fall under the umbrella of “statutory rape.” Even if the sexual contact was consensual, minors may not be able to provide meaningful legal consent due to their age. If convicted, you could face years in prison and a lifetime as a sex offender. You will need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight your statutory rape charges. 

Strategies for Defending a Statutory Rape Case

In some states, there are very few possible defenses to statutory rape. In Utah, there are more defenses available. If you are facing statutory rape charges, your lawyer may be able to protect you using defenses like:

  • Close in age - Utah has “Romeo and Juliet laws” that protect young couples who are close in age. It is common for a relationship that began when both parties were in high school to continue after one part has turned 18 years old. If you were within a few years of the alleged victim’s age, you may not have done anything illegal. 

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salt lake city criminal defense lawyerThere are multiple situations where a person may face criminal charges. All charges should be taken seriously, since a conviction can result in penalties such as fines, time in prison, periods of probation or home confinement, and other consequences. However, some offenses, such as sex crimes, are more serious than others, and they can not only lead to criminal consequences, but multiple other areas of a person’s life may be affected, including their personal reputation and their ability to obtain a job or find a place to live. Sexual assault or rape is one of the most commonly prosecuted sexual offenses, and those who have been accused of these crimes will need to understand the nature of the alleged offense and their options for defending against these charges.

Charges and Penalties for Rape in Utah

The Utah Criminal Code defines rape as engaging in sexual intercourse with a person without receiving consent. This offense may involve any acts of sexual penetration. Rape is a first-degree felony, and at the lowest level, it carries a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of life in prison. If a person allegedly caused a serious bodily injury to the victim, or if they were under 18 years old at the time of the offense and had previously been convicted of sexual assault or sexual abuse, the minimum sentence is 15 years. If a person over the age of 18 had previously been convicted of a “grievous” sexual offense, they may face a sentence of life in prison without parole.

When defending against accusations of sexual assault, the issue of consent is one of the most important concerns to address. The Utah Criminal Code details multiple circumstances in which an act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact may be without consent, including:

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