Columbus Sex Crimes Attorneys
If you have been accused of sexual misconduct or are already facing charges for an Ohio sex offense, do not waste any more time. Call an experienced and proven sex crime lawyer from Luftman, Heck & Associates immediately. Criminal proceedings for sex crimes are often nuanced and emotionally charged. Dealing with these allegations and mounting a strong defense is psychologically taxing, which is why you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney near you to do the heavy lifting.
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To learn more about how one of our nearby sex crime attorneys can help you, call us at (614) 500-3836 to schedule an initial consultation.
Ohio Sex Crimes
Some of the most common sex offenses brought in Ohio include:
- Rape §2907.02 – It is illegal for you to engage in sexual conduct with another person through force or the threat of force. It is also illegal to engage in sexual conduct with another when you have substantially impaired the victim’s judgement or control through drugs or alcohol by force, threats or deception; the victim is younger than 13 years; or the victim’s ability to resist or consent is impaired due to a physical or mental condition. Rape is a first-degree felony, the punishment for which varies depending on the circumstances. If you have been accused of rape, contact a sex crime attorney immediately.
- Sexual Battery §2907.03 – It is unlawful for you to engage in sexual conduct with another person through coercion that would prevent resistance by an average person; when you know the victim is substantially impaired; when you know the other person is unaware of what is going on; or you are in a position of authority over the victim. Sexual battery is a third-degree felony, unless the victim is a minor, and then it is a second-degree felony.
- Gross Sexual Imposition §2907.05 – Ohio law prohibits you from having sexual contact with other people through force or the threat of force; by intentionally substantially impairing the victim’s resistance, judgement, or control through drugs or alcohol; when you know the victim’s judgement or control is substantially impaired due to drugs or an intoxicant administered because of medical care; when the victim is younger than 13; or when the victim is unable to resist or consent due to a mental or physical condition. Gross sexual imposition is a fourth- or third-degree felony. While a sexual battery, sexual imposition, or gross sexual imposition charge is less serious than rape, you will need a sex crime lawyer to aggressively defend you.
- Online Solicitation of a Minor (Importuning) §2907.07 – it is unlawful for you to solicit a minor younger than 13 years old to engage in sexual activity, whether or not you know the minor’s real age. It is illegal for you, when you are over 18 years old, to solicit a person who is younger than 16 years, and more than four years younger than you, to engage in sexual activity, whether or not you know the other person’s exact age. It is also illegal to conduct these solicitations through the use of any telecommunications device, such as a phone or computer. Online solicitation of minors is a felony, the exactly level of which depends on the circumstances. If you have been charged with any online sex offense, contact a sex crime lawyer to discuss your options and the potential consequences of a conviction.
- Voyeurism §2907.08 – It is illegal to trespass, invade another person’s privacy, spy, or eavesdrop for the purpose of sexual arousal or self-gratification; film, photograph, or otherwise record another person who is nude for sexual arousal or self-gratification; or film, photograph, or otherwise record a person under their clothing to view their undergarments. Depending on the situation, voyeurism may be a third-, second-, or first-degree misdemeanor. However, if the victim is a minor, it may be a fifth-degree felony.
- Public Indecency §2907.09 – Ohio law prohibits you from recklessly and publically exposing your private parts, engaging in sexual conduct or masturbation, or engaging in conduct that would appear to an ordinary person as sexual. It is also illegal to knowingly expose your private parts for the purpose of arousal, gratification, or to lure minors, to engage in masturbation or sexual conduct, or to engage in conduct that appears to be sexual in public. In most situations, public indecency is charged as a fourth-degree misdemeanor. However, if you have a previous conviction or minors were involved, it will be a higher misdemeanor charge. When facing a misdemeanor sex offense in Ohio, your best course of action is to hire a sex crime attorney to defend you and prevent harsh repercussions.
- Solicitation §2907.24 – You are prohibited from soliciting another person to engage in sexual activity for hire. The charge you face for soliciting prostitution depends on the circumstances. It is at least a third-degree misdemeanor. If the individual solicited is a minor has a developmental disability, then it is a felony.
- Prostitution §2907.25 – It is illegal to engage in sexual activity for hire. You will be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor for prostitution. If you are accused of engaging in prostitution in any way, particularly if you are HIV positive, call a sex crime lawyer from Luftman, Heck & Associates immediately.
Ohio Sexting Laws
A minor who is caught creating, possessing, or sending videos or pictures that involve one or more minors who are nude or engaging in sexual activity may be guilty of a child pornography crime. Ohio’s child pornography law, §2907.321 (pandering obscenity involving a minor), states you are prohibited from creating, reproducing, or publishing any obscene materials that has one or more minors portrayed as participants or observers. You cannot promote, sell, deliver, disseminate, or display obscene materials that include minors. You also cannot buy, obtain, possess, or control any child pornography. This is a felony conviction that can require sex offender registration.
It does not matter if the minor who made the photo or video, possessed it, or sent it is the one depicted. It does not matter if the photo was created, received, or sent with consent. It also does not matter if the creator and recipient were both minors. Unfortunately, this means consensual sexual activity between teenagers can lead to felony child pornography charges.
If you or your adolescent are facing serious child pornography charges because of sexting, call our sex crime attorneys right away. Teenagers who are exploring their sexuality will make mistakes. You or your child do not deserve a felony conviction and sex offender registration for a nude photo.
Statutory Penalties for Sex Offenses
If you are convicted of a sex offense, the potential penalties depend on the level of the charge.
- Fourth-degree misdemeanor: Up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $250
- Third-degree misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail and a fine up to $500
- Second-degree misdemeanor: Up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $750
- First-degree misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $1,000
- Fifth-degree felony: Up to 12 months in prison and a fine up to $2,500
- Fourth-degree felony: Up to 18 months in prison and a fine up to $5,000
- Third-degree felony: Up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
- Second-degree felony: Up to 8 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000
- First-degree felony: Up to 11 years in prison, unless a longer imprisonment is allowed by a specific statute, and a fine up to $20,000
Whether you have been charged with a low-level misdemeanor or a serious felony for a sex offense, you need to aggressively defend yourself in court. The best way to avoid a harsh punishment and secondary consequences is to avoid a conviction. Call our sex crime lawyers for help today.
Sex Offender Registration
If you are convicted of a felony sex offense and some misdemeanor sex crimes, you may be required to register as a sex offender. Ohio uses a tiered system, which means your registration requirements depend on where your offense falls within the levels.
- Tier I: You must register every year for 15 years, or 10 years, if you were a minor when convicted. Community notification is not required.
- Tier II: You must register every 180 days for 25 years, or 20 years, if you were a minor when convicted. Community notification is not required.
- Tier III: You must register every 90 days for life and community notification is required.
If you fail to register as a sex offender when you are required to do so, then you can be charged with an additional crime. Whether you fail to initially register after you are released from imprisonment, you fail to verify your registration when you are required to, or if you fail to keep your information up to date, then you may be charged with a new felony and punished with years in prison. The level of the charge for failing to register depends on your underlying conviction. The more serious the original offense, the greater the punishment for failing to register.
If you have any questions regarding sex offender registration or wish to discuss the best way to avoid being labeled a sex offender, contact a sex crime attorney at Luftman, Heck & Associates today.
Contact a Columbus Sex Crime Lawyer for Help
A sex offense, even if it is a misdemeanor, is too serious to try and handle yourself or trust to an over-worked and stressed public defender. You need a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney by your side, tenaciously protecting your rights and advocating for your best interests.
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we will thoroughly investigate the accusations against you and gather evidence that supports your defense. We have represented many individuals charged with sex offenses and have achieved successful outcomes. Whether you wish to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution or seek to win an acquittal at trial, we are here for you.
For over a decade, the Columbus criminal defense lawyers at LHA have successfully represented clients on criminal offenses ranging from minor misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.