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Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor

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Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor

Sex crime cases involving minors can be uncomfortable matters for all parties implicated. Since crimes against minors are highly scrutinized and controversial, the state of Ohio aggressively investigates and prosecutes Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor cases. In order to protect your livelihood and freedom, a strong defense is necessary in fighting an accusation of this weight.

Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor Attorney in Willoughby

If you are facing Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor in Ohio, it is highly recommended to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience in defending sex offenses. The consequences of a sex crime conviction can be severe and long-lasting, including imprisonment, hefty fines, registration as a sex offender, and damage to your personal and professional reputation.

A criminal defense attorney from Fortress Law Group can help you understand the charges against you, explain the legal process, and advise you on the best course of action. Sex crime cases are complex, and the laws surrounding them can be intricate. Fortress Law Group is here to help you navigate the legal system while providing the utmost support and compassion.

How is Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor Defined in Ohio?

In the state of Ohio, Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor is committed when a person over the age of 18 knowingly or recklessly engages in sexual conduct with another person who is between 13 to 16 years old. Sexual conduct means that vaginal, anal, or oral penetration took place.

This offense is similar to Rape, in that sexual conduct, or penetration, illegally takes place. However, the circumstance that differentiates Rape and Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor have to do with the age of the victim. If this act was committed against a victim under the age of 13, the offender would be charged with Rape, but if the victim is over 13 and less than 16, the offender would be charged with Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor.

Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor Penalties in Ohio

Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor is charged as a 4th degree felony in Ohio, which carries a prison term of 6 to 18 months and up to $5,000 in fines. Additionally, those convicted of Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor in Ohio are consequently required to register as a sex offender. Felony 4 violators are required to register as Tier II sex offenders and must register every 180 days for 25 years.

There are a few circumstances that could change the way a defendant is charged with Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor:

  • If the offender is less than 4 years older than the victim, the charge is a 1st degree misdemeanor. M1 violators face up to 6 months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and must register as a Tier I sex offender once a year for 15 years.
  • If the offender is more than 10 years older than the victim, the charge escalates to a 3rd degree felony. F3 violators face a prison term of 9 months to 3 years, fines up to $10,000, and the requirement to register as a Tier III sex offender every 90 days for the rest of their life.

If the offender has been previously convicted of or pleaded guilty to Rape, Sexual Battery, or Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor, the charge is a 2nd degree felony. F2 offenders face a prison term of 2 to 8 years, up to $15,000 in fines, and Tier III sex offender registration.

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Extensive Experience – Established in 2009, our firm has represented thousands of clients in various kinds of criminal cases. Our criminal defense attorneys make sure each client is diligently represented and protected throughout the trial.

 

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Flexible Consultation Times – Facing a criminal charge is a serious matter. You must communicate with a lawyer as soon as possible. That’s why our communication lines – online and via phone – are available for clients to reach out to us at any time.

Defense Strategies for Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor in Ohio

A strong defense requires a strong attorney. The legal team at Fortress Law Group have pursued multiple defense strategies for clients facing Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor matters. The implicated defense strategy will vary from case to case, depending on the specific circumstances at hand. Here are a few defense strategies that could be applied in fighting an Unlawful Sexual Conduct With Minor charge:

  • Lack of Evidence: One common defense strategy is to challenge the prosecution's evidence, citing a lack of evidence or arguing that the evidence was obtained in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights.
  • Alibi: The alibi defense may also be used, asserting that the defendant was not present at the scene of the alleged misconduct and thus could not have committed the offense, given that a credible alibi can be provided.
  • False Allegation: Another defense strategy is to challenge the credibility of the accuser. The defense may argue that the accuser has a motive to lie, such as seeking revenge or financial gain, and may present evidence of the accuser's past behavior, such as a history of making false allegations or engaging in deceptive conduct. The defense may also point out inconsistencies or contradictions in the accuser's testimony or present evidence that contradicts the accuser's account of the events in question.

Mistake of age is generally not a plausible defense strategy for Unwanted Sexual Conduct With Minor cases because the law holds that it is the responsibility of the perpetrator to obtain affirmative consent before engaging in sexual activity. In cases involving sexual activity with a minor, the law provides that a minor is not able to give consent, even if they appear to be willing participants. This means that even if the perpetrator believed the minor was of legal age, they can still be charged with a crime if the minor was not legally able to consent to the activity.

Hiring An Attorney to Defend You

If you are facing an Unwanted Sexual Conduct With Minor accusation, you don’t want to fight it alone. A skilled and experienced defense attorney from Fortress Law Group can provide you with a strong defense in an Unwanted Sexual Conduct With Minor case, working to protect your rights and ensure that you receive a fair trial. Fortress Law Group has handled hundreds of sex crime cases and has a track record of success in defending clients in these situations.

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Sex Offenses

What defense options do I have if accused of a sex offense in Ohio?

A sex crimes attorney with our firm, Fortress Law Group, can review your case and its evidence to determine if you had an alibi when the offense occurred and if the DNA evidence demonstrates that you weren’t present. If the case alleges the involvement of other potential suspects, we can review the likelihood that a known cohort of the other suspects might have been involved.

What are common sex crimes and penalties if convicted in Ohio?

Sex crimes fall under three tiers in Ohio. Tier I is primarily for minor sex crimes, while Tiers II and III are for more serious offenses. Whichever tier a conviction falls under dictates when and how often a sex crimes convict will have to update their sex offender registration.

Common misdemeanor sex crimes include:

  • Sexual imposition
  • Voyeurism (fifth-degree felony if the victim is a minor)
  • Public indecency (can be a felony, depending on circumstances)
  • Procuring prostitution (a felony if the prostitute is underage)
  • Solicitation for prostitution
  • Displaying or disseminating matter harmful to juveniles (a felony in some cases)

Common felony sex crimes include:

  • Rape (first-degree felony)
  • Sexual battery (third-degree felony)
  • Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor (fourth, third, or second-degree felony)
  • Gross sexual imposition (third- or fourth-degree felony)
  • Importuning (fifth, fourth, third, or second-degree felony)
  • Child pornography (fourth, third, or second-degree felony)
  • Compelling or promoting prostitution (fourth, third, second, or first-degree felony)

Can I appeal a sex crime conviction?

You may have your Ohio criminal defense attorney file an appeal after a conviction for a sex offense. If you feel that your defense attorney failed to represent you well in your case, contact us to have experienced sex crimes attorney Matthew C. Bangerter manage your appeal.

Be aware that you only have 30 days to file an appeal or an extension for an appeal to the court.

How do I find an experienced sex crime lawyer to defend me?

If you need a sex offenses attorney to represent you in Northeast Ohio, turn to our experienced team at Fortress Law Group, led by Attorney Matthew C. Bangerter. Since 2009, we’ve represented many people accused of sex offenses. Our strategy is to assess forensic evidence, look for witnesses, and secure an alibi to disprove the prosecution’s accusations. Call our offices in Cleveland Metro at (440) 340-1740 to schedule a case review.

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Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

As a former Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County Ohio, Cleveland criminal defense attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. has experience with the strategies used by prosecutors to pursue their cases. As a member of the Ohio Bar Association, Lake County Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Board of Directors of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, he takes his profession as a Cleveland criminal defense attorney seriously and ensures that he is up to date with the latest case law and trial strategies.

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Whether you’re charged with a DUI, misdemeanor, or felony, the prospect of facing trial is stressful. Worse, there’s also the possibility of jail time if things don’t go well for you in court. To help you face these legal adversities, you need an attorney who can work on an effective defense strategy and make sure your civil rights are upheld throughout the process. A Willoughby criminal appeals attorney at Fortress Law Group, LLC provides clients with comprehensive legal representation from trial to appeal, if needed.
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