Being accused of Sex Crimes in Maine can be a difficult, stressful and frightening situation for you and your family. When someone receives criminal charges, they need a good sex crime attorney in Maine who is able to represent them and fight their case. Maine law provides harsh penalties for any person convicted of a sexually motivated crime. The most devastating penalty can be that the individual becomes required to register as a sex offender on the State’s sex offender registry, in Maine known as SORNA.
Maine authorities take a very severe stance against individuals suspected of sexual misconduct, especially when the victim is a minor. The term “sex crime” covers a broad range of offenses. Any unlawful sexual acts ranging from sexual assault to possessing child pornography are forms of sex crimes in Maine. Often these cases are based upon accounts and accusations provided by victims. Unfortunately, exaggerated or false accusations can occur. Obtaining a Maine criminal defense attorney immediately after finding out that you are a suspect of sex crimes can be the best defense.
In order for the prosecution to obtain a conviction of sex crimes in Maine, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the act. A Maine criminal defense attorney will review all the evidence, as well as the investigation conducted by law enforcement as a part of your legal defense advocacy. A Maine criminal defense attorney will assure your rights are preserved.
Sex Crimes in Maine
Common sex crimes charges include:
- Gross Sexual Assault / Rape – Gross sexual assault is a sex act in which the victim is compelled to submit, or is made to submit by taking away the victim’s ability to refuse consent, such as by drugs or the use of a weapon. Gross sexual assault can range from a class C to a class A felony. Some aggravating factors of gross sexual assault include the mental compulsion of the accused and the age of the victim.
- Unlawful Sexual Contact – Unlawful sexual contact is described as subjecting another person to a sex act, and the other person has not accepted the advances. Typically, unlawful sexual contact is a class D misdemeanor. However, aggravating factors, such as if there is penetration and the age of the victim, can lead to a felony crime.
- Unlawful Sexual Touching – Unlawful sexual touching is described as subjecting another person to touching in a sexual way, and the other person has not accepted the advances. Unlawful sexual touching is a class D misdemeanor.
Potential Penalties for Sex Crimes in Maine
If convicted of any of these charges, the penalties resulting from a conviction of sex crimes in Maine are severe. Depending on the circumstance, jail time may be anticipated as well as mandatory registration in a sex offender registry. Sex crimes in Maine have two types of serious penalties.
- Criminal Penalties can include the following direct consequences:
- Imprisonment in a Maine State Jail or Prison
- Probation or Community Control Conditions;
- Sex Offender Counseling;
- Fines, Court Costs, Fees, Costs of Supervision
- Sex Offender Registration
- Social Stigma can including the following indirect consequences after being accused or convicted of sex crimes in Maine.
- Damage to Reputation
- Estrangement from family
- Loss of career opportunities
Penalties for misdemeanor sex crimes can result in jail time of less than a year and/or probation, fines, and possible community service. For felony sex crimes, the penalties are more severe such as long prison terms and even a lifetime of being registered as a sex offender. A Class A Gross Sexual Assault conviction is punishable by up to 30 years jail time and fines up to $50,000.00.
Sex Offender Registry (SORNA)
The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 1999 (SORNA) imposes a duty on actors convicted of sex crimes to register with any law enforcement agency where the convicted person lives, works, or attends school. These agencies include municipal police departments, sheriffs departments, and campus police departments. If the convicted person changes residences, employment, or schooling, the convicted person needs to notify the agencies where that person is registered of the change. Depending on the circumstances of the crime, a person convicted of a sex offense or a sexually violent offense must be registered for a period of ten (10) years or for a lifetime registration.
Some Offences that Trigger the Duty to Register
Some of the offences that can trigger the duty to register under SORNA include Gross Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse of a Minor, Unlawful Sexual Contact, Solicitation of a Child by Computer, and Dissemination/Possession of Sexually Explicit Materials. This list is by no means exhaustive. For questions regarding if any sex crimes you are facing might result in mandatory SORNA registration for you, contact a criminal defense attorney.
Failure to Comply with Duty to Register under SORNA
If a person with a duty to register under SORNA fails to register with any required agency, it is considered a strict liability crime. The first offense for failing to register is a class D misdemeanor. Subsequent violations are charged as felonies. SORNA can be a complicated and confusing maze of requirements. An experienced Maine criminal defense lawyer can help protect your rights and guide you through the SORNA requirements.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Chris Nielsen
Chris Nielsen is a results-oriented Maine criminal defense attorney who has defended the rights of his clients in the Portland area for over ten years. A conviction for sex crimes in Maine can carry very long lasting and significant negative consequences. Please call the Nielsen Group for your free consultation today. We will answer your questions and put your mind at ease.
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