Marietta Child Molestation Defense
A sexual act with a child is one of the worst crimes someone can be accused of.
Even the accusation alone can lead to serious consequences in your personal and professional life, as well as bias on the part of your judge or jury. Read on to learn more about child molestation laws in Georgia and how hiring an attorney with experience defending these types of cases will help you if you’ve been accused.
What is child molestation?
According to Georgia law, child molestation occurs when someone attempts to sexually satisfy themself or a child under the age of 16 by committing an “indecent or immoral act”:
- to the child
- with the child
- Or in the presence of the child.
This includes transmitting images or videos of sexual acts in the attempt to sexually satisfy the child or offender, as well.
It’s important to note that child molestation charges do not allege that the perpetrator actually engaged in sexual intercourse with the child. On the contrary, any sexual act even in the presence of the child is grounds for child molestation charges.
Aggravated child molestation differs from regular child molestation in that the act leads to physical injury of the child or an act of sodomy (oral or anal intercourse).
What are the penalties for child molestation and aggravated child molestation?
Child molestation is a felony offense. Anyone convicted of child molestation receives a sentence of prison time between 5 and 20 years for a first offense. For a second conviction, the mandatory minimum of prison time served is 10 to 30 years. While in prison, the offender will be required to engage in counseling.
When the offender engages in aggravated child molestation, he or she will face a conviction that carries a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison, but may in fact face life in prison.
Both child molestation and aggravated child molestation convictions require the convicted offender to register on the sex offender registry. Additionally, convicted child molesters can lose their professional licenses and custody of their children.
What should I do if I’ve been accused of child molestation?
Being accused of child molestation is incredibly difficult. An accusation can also cause family and friends to turn against you. You may face obstacles at work or even lose your job before any evidence is presented. That’s why it’s so important to hire an attorney the second you even hear mention of an accusation against you.
1. Collect evidence
Do your best to collect any evidence you can think of, including any of the following:
- Physical evidence related to your relationship with the child
- Documents and records of your correspondence with the child (emails, texts, phone records, etc.)
- Make a list of potential witnesses to your relationship with the child and their contact info
Give these materials to your lawyer as soon as you collect them.
2. The investigation
Your attorney should investigate the evidence you’ve collected, look into medical evidence of the case, and conduct interviews with the victim and witnesses to understand the full story. Sometimes, there was a mere misunderstanding between the victim and the accused, and sometimes the child has been talked into making a false accusation by a third party.
Other situations that can sometimes lead to false accusations:
- Custody dispute
- Contentious divorce
- Teacher/ student relationship
- Stepchild syndrome
3. DO NOT talk to law enforcement without your attorney
Even if you are trying to defend yourself or deny the charges, your words can and will be used against you. That’s why it’s so important to consult with an attorney before speaking to law enforcement, and demand that your attorney attend any of these conversations.
You should also refrain from contacting the victim or the victim’s family.
4. Hire an attorney
You need to be sure to hire an attorney who has worked these types of cases before and will not judge you because of the accusation. Remember that once you hire your attorney you will have attorney-client privileges, which means they will keep what you tell them confidential.
Have you been accused of child molestation? The Frye Law Group can help you. Every lawyer at our office understands that clients often need more than a verdict of not guilty. When appropriate, we will try to negotiate with the District Attorney’s office to reach a fair conclusion to your case with as little publicity as possible. Give us a call today to get started on your defense.
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