Fourth Degree Sexual Offense
The problem with this charge is that many times police will rush to make an arrest without sufficient evidence supporting that the incident actually happened. This is especially true in cases involving school officials because the public pressure and scrutiny of not filing a charge is something that no police department wants to deal with. This is certainly not justice, but it is the reality of all sex crime investigations. Police departments make arrests, and state’s attorneys file charges to protect themselves, and there is no reason why you should not have an experienced defense lawyer to protect you.
The elements of a basic fourth degree sexual offense include an intentional touching of another person in an intimate way without their consent. This offense does not include common friendly affection, and it does not include any type of penetration, as that would fall under a more serious crime. A fourth degree offense may also arise if a person 19 years of age has consensual intercourse or oral sex with a 14 or 15 year old. Finally it includes sexual contact by a school employee over the age of 21 upon a minor who is a student at the employee’s school. Consent is irrelevant in this particular crime, and in many cases the sexual contact was consensual. Simply put, a teacher or principal is prohibited from having any sort of sexual contact with a student. It does not matter if the student initiated or even encouraged the sexual contact. The penalty for this violation is one year in jail, and although it is a misdemeanor, a conviction will often have more devastating effects than being convicted of a felony. If you have been charged with a fourth degree sexual offense The Herbst Firm will fight relentlessly to have the charges dismissed. Not only do we care about keeping our clients out of jail, but we also care about protecting our client’s futures by fighting to keep convictions off their records. Contact us for a free consultation about your case.