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How a Child Molestation Defense Attorney Can Help

Charges involving children are particularly devastating. If you face accusations, you need a skilled child molestation defense attorney on your side.

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Child Molestation Defense Lawyer

You likely never anticipated needing the assistance of a child molestation defense lawyer in Georgia. If you are charged in a child molestation case, even a false allegation can receive extensive and harsh penalties. It could change your life forever.

Child molestation cases are very sensitive and challenging to defend. The defense attorney is not only responsible for defending the client but also for defending the character of the client and the rights of children in general.

The defense attorney needs to be able to dedicate a lot of time and resources to these cases because they can be challenging to defend. The criminal defense lawyer must develop a strong attorney-client relationship built on trust and honesty. They need to find all possible ways to prove beyond a reasonable doubt their clients are innocent or at least not guilty.

Convictions of sex crimes can negatively impact every aspect of the accused party’s life, especially if the victim is a minor. A child molestation charge can result in harsh and life-altering consequences regardless of an individual’s criminal history.

Potential penalties in these criminal cases include fines and years of prison time. In addition, those convicted of this sex crime will, in most cases, have to register on the Georgia sex offender registry (S.O.R.). Failing to do so can bring additional charges and penalties.

The skilled attorneys at the Waltman Firm can provide information and advice to help your case. If you have already been convicted, they may also be able to handle an expungement record petition on your behalf. Expunging your record may be an option if you have no other convictions.

Read on for more information about how a child molestation defense attorney can help.

What is Child Molestation?

Although the phrases child sexual abuse and child molestation are often used interchangeably, the charges are not identical. The term child molestation is only used when the victim of the sex crime is a small child or an infant. It is usually a single event or isolated sexual act against the child.

A pattern of repeated and continuous sexual abuse over some time is referred to as child sexual abuse. It is typically used when describing sex crimes involving older kids and adolescents.

  • Child pornography
  • Fondling a child
  • Improper sexual conduct
  • Indecent exposure
  • Lewd acts
  • Masturbating before a child
  • Oral sex on or from a child
  • Penetration or attempted penetration
  • Rape or attempted rape
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Showing pornography to a child
  • Sodomizing a child
  • Statutory rape
  • Touching a child’s genitals

Aggravated child molestation charges consist of committing a sexual act that causes physical injury to the child. Anyone facing child molestation charges should retain the services of a criminal defense lawyer. The defendant’s attorney can begin working on a proper defense. Based on the details of your case, you may be able to take advantage of legal defenses that could lead to reduced or dismissed charges.

What are the Child Molestation Laws in Georgia? 

 

Georgia’s child molestation law, O.C.G.A. § 16-6-4(a), makes it illegal to perform indecent or immoral acts to arouse or satisfy sexual desires on or in front of someone under the age of 16. The illegal actions include using an electronic device or transmitting pornographic images to a child with a sexual intent.

Aggravated child molestation occurs when the person committing the act causes physical injury to the child. This includes sodomy.

You should develop an excellent attorney-client relationship with skilled criminal defense lawyers to avoid a child molestation conviction that will require you to register as a sex offender for life.

What are Child Molestation Charges?

In Georgia, child molestation charges are felony offenses. For a child molestation conviction, the person may receive the following penalties:

  • First Offense: Sentence of five to twenty years in prison and mandatory counseling from the Department of Corrections
  • Second and subsequent offenses: Prison sentence of ten to thirty years

A crime involving sexual contact is charged as a misdemeanor if the accused is 18 years old or younger and the victim is between 14 and 16 years old. Plus, the victim must be no more than four years younger than the accused. If the defendant is a minor, a juvenile defense attorney is necessary for your legal defense team.

What are Child Sexual Abuse Charges?

A child molestation conviction comes with life-long repercussions. Anyone convicted of a sexual offense will be required to register as a sex offender and have their name permanently added to the National Sex Offender Registry. Although this is intended as a regulatory mechanism rather than a penalty, it still restricts the convicted’s movement and places a stigma upon them.

Bear in mind that the ramifications of child molestation convictions run far outside of a courtroom. In addition to criminal penalties, one can face difficulties finding employment, their movements will be restricted, and they won’t be able to live wherever they want.

The child molestation charge alone will most likely ruin their life and reputations, even if the defendant is acquitted. This can be particularly devastating for those who are falsely accused of child molestation and convicted with shaky evidence.

Since the consequences are so severe, it is vital that you hire a Georgia child molestation defense attorney to protect your constitutional rights and assist with your case.

How False Child Molestation Charges Occur

Child sexual abuse is a crime that can happen to anyone at any time. It is an act of violence that can affect the victim for their entire life. It is essential to get help from the police or child protective services if you are a victim of sexual abuse or know someone who is.

Often, either by misinterpreting the accused’s actions or for vindictive reasons, false accusations are alleged by one person against another. These accusations can occur from one disgruntled parent to another or among retaliatory teenagers. When that happens, a person shouldn’t assume that their innocence will ensure their freedom; they should immediately seek a reputable and qualified attorney who practices child sexual abuse cases.

A qualified attorney will be able to answer your questions about being falsely charged and help you find the right course of action for your case. They will advocate for your rights and fight for you in court.

Defense Strategies Used by Child Molestation Lawyers

In Georgia, there are several defense strategies that a child molestation lawyer may use for their clients. These include:

False Accusations

There are instances when an accusation is entirely fabricated or the evidence against the accused is weak. In these cases, a child molestation lawyer will build a strong defense to prove their client’s innocence and cast doubt on the accuser’s credibility. They may also use evidence such as text messages, emails, or social media posts to show that the allegations are false.

Lack of Evidence

In some cases, there is little to no physical evidence to support the accusation. A skilled lawyer can challenge the prosecution’s case and demand proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Violation of Constitutional Rights

If law enforcement officers or prosecutors violate the accused’s constitutional rights while gathering evidence, a child molestation lawyer can work to have that evidence thrown out. This could include gaining access to information without a valid search warrant or coercing an individual into making self-incriminating statements. If this evidence is crucial to the prosecution’s case, it could result in a dismissal of charges.

A child Being Coached or Influenced

Children are impressionable and may be easily coerced or manipulated into making false accusations. A child molestation lawyer can investigate and gather evidence to prove that the child was coached or influenced by someone else to make false allegations.

Get Help from a Qualified Child Molestation Attorney

Suppose you are accused of child molestation or improper sexual contact with a minor. In that case, you want a legal advisor who is skilled at collecting evidence to help explain how you were incorrectly identified as the person who committed the sex offenses. An indecent act is often subject to interpretation, and such a charge may be reduced to a lesser one.

Attacking the allegations is among the most common defense strategies in child molestation cases. The defendant’s ignorance of the victim’s age or the victim’s consent is not a permittable defense for child molestation cases.

False allegations can harm many innocent people, including the family members of the accused. New clients should request all the legal information available to help plan their defense and work toward the best outcome for their case.

Child molestation accusations are inherently emotional and potentially life-altering for everyone involved. Your outcome is likely poor if you are proven guilty based on physical evidence. A dedicated Georgia child molestation defense lawyer from the Waltman Firm may be able to have the criminal charges reduced before it comes to that. In fact, having a skilled attorney from a reputable law firm could make all the difference in these criminal matters.