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Columbia Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorneys

columbia criminal sexual conduct attorneyThere is no doubt about the fact that sexual assault is a serious problem. This is the reason these kinds of offenses have become more and more prevalent in the media. However, when someone is wrongfully charged with criminal sexual conduct (CSC), their lives can be turned upside-down.

Criminal sexual conduct is the most serious sex crime in the state of South Carolina. Also known as rape, the crime of CSC in the first degree can subject convicted individuals to up to 30 years in prison. Convictions on CSC charges also require the guilty party to register as a sex offender for life and may also require the lifelong wearing of an ankle monitor.

If you are facing a charge as potentially life-changing as CSC, it is essential that you have excellent legal representation. The experienced Columbia criminal defense lawyers of Truslow & Truslow have the knowledge and skill necessary to fight for your interests and liberties. Call us today at (803) 256-6276 or contact us online now for a confidential consultation to find out more about your legal options.

Criminal Sexual Conduct Defined

Criminal sexual conduct is the legal term for sexual battery, or rape. This charge involves the penetration of the victim’s body. It has three levels, all of which are felonies. There are also various levels of the separate felony charge of CSC with a minor that depend on the victim’s age at the time of the offense.

Understanding what each of these levels involved will give you a sense of what types of penalties you face if convicted.

First-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

CSC in the first degree is defined as the offense that occurs when one person subjects another person to sexual battery. This means that the sexual assault involved one or more of the following factors:

  • The perpetrator employed aggravated force or coercion
  • The victim was subjected to burglary, robbery, kidnapping, or forced confinement
  • The victim was physically or mentally incapacitated by a controlled substance

A conviction of this felony offense can carry a penalty of 10 to 30 years in prison without the opportunity of suspension of sentence or probation.

Second-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

CSC in the second degree is when an individual subjects another person to sexual battery via aggravated coercion. This means that the perpetrator uses physical force or threatens injury with a dangerous weapon. A conviction of this felony crime carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison without the opportunity of suspension of sentence or probation.

Third-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

CSC in the third degree is a similar charge to CSC in the second degree. However, CSC in the third degree does not need to have committed the assault via the use of a weapon or similar aggravating factor. The perpetrator must simply be suspected of using coercion or force or had some reason to know that the victim was physically or mentally incapacitated. This felony crime carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison without the opportunity of suspension of sentence or probation.

Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor

Criminal sexual conduct with a minor is a separate charge, and punishment for its three degrees has varying levels of severity depending on the age of the minor.

First-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor

lawyer explaining criminal sexual conductThis charge can be brought in either of the following circumstances:

  • A person is accused of subjecting a minor younger than 11 years old to sexual battery. This felony carries a penalty of 25 years to life in prison.
  • A person is accused of subjecting a minor younger than 16 years old to sexual battery when the offender has a previous conviction for a sex offense. The penalty for this felony can be ten to 30 years in prison.

Second-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor

This charge can be brought in either of the following circumstances:

  • A person is accused of subjecting a minor between the ages of 11 and 14 to sexual battery
  • A person is accused of subjecting a minor between the ages of 14 and 15 to sexual battery, and the offender is in a position of some authority (family, official, or custodial) over the minor, or is older than the minor.

The penalty for conviction of this felony is up to 20 years in prison.

Third-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor

This charge can be brought when a person who is over 14 is accused of intentionally and lewdly committing or attempting to commit a lewd act upon a child under the age of 16 with the purpose of gratifying their own or the child’s sexual desires. A conviction of this felony is up to 15 years in prison.

Criminal Solicitation of a Minor

This charge can be brought when a person is accused of knowingly contacting or communicating (or attempting to contact or communicate with) a minor or a person they believe to be a minor for the purpose of engaging them in a sexual activity or crime. A conviction of this crime can mean up to ten years in prison.

Other Consequences for Criminal Sexual Conduct Convictions

A conviction on CSC charges carries dire consequences that go beyond prison time and fines. Because your name will be available to law enforcement and the public on the sex offender register, you may find it challenging to find a job or even a home. You may also lose your right to have or buy a firearm, along with many other liberties you currently enjoy.

Contact an Experienced Columbia Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney

If you are facing CSC charges, you need a legal representative who has extensive experience handling cases like yours. The attorneys at Truslow & Truslow are committed to investigating each case thoroughly and ensuring that your due process rights weren’t violated to reach the charges against you. We will also study all the evidence carefully so that we can build the most aggressive defense possible on your behalf.

Contact us online or call us at (803) 256-6276 today for a confidential consultation to find out more about how we can defend your rights and liberties.

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