Claims of a sexual offense can be devastating to a person for the rest of their life, even if the accusation is false, exaggerated, or if the offense was mistakenly committed. It is imperative that you hire a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in defending serious sexual crime accusations, and will fight the allegations against you.
Queens Sex Crime Defense Lawyer
Contact the Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner if you have been charged with a sex crime in any area of New York, including Kings County, New York County, Bronx County or Queens County. Rochelle S. Berliner is experienced in defending sex crime accusations, and will fight for your rights through every step of the criminal process. Call the Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner at 718-261-5600 for a consultation about your alleged sex offense.
- New York Sex Crimes Offenses and Statutes
- Penalties for Sex Crimes in New York
- New York's Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA)
- Offenses Requiring Registration as a Sex Offender
- Defenses to Sex Crime Allegations in New York
- Sex Crimes Resources in New York
The New York Penal Law defines a variety of sexual offenses; a few of these are:
- Penal Law § 130.20 — Sexual Misconduct is engaging in sexual intercourse or oral or anal sexual conduct with another person without their consent, or sexual conduct with an animal or a dead human body. This offense is categorized as a class A Misdemeanor in New York.
- Penal Law §§ 130.25 through 130.35 — Rape is engaging in sexual intercourse with another person, and even if it appeared the person consented, can be in the first, second or third degree, depending on the age of the victim, age of the offender and the capacity of the victim to consent. Rape in the First Degree is a class B violent felony and carries a prison term of from 5 to 25 years for someone with no prior felony convictions; Rape in the Second Degree is a class D violent felony and carries a prison term of from 2 to 7 years for someone with no prior felony convictions; and Rape in the Third Degree is a class E non-violent felony and carries a prison term of from 1.5 to 4 years for someone with no prior felony convictions.
- Penal Law §§ 130.40 through 130.50 — Criminal Sexual Acts constitute engaging in oral or anal sexual conduct, and can be in the first, second or third degree. The degree of the offense depends on the age of the alleged offender, the age of the victim, whether the conduct was forcible, whether the victim consented, or whether the victim had the capability to consent. Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree is a class B violent felony; Criminal Sexual Act in the Second Degree is a class D violent felony; and Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree is a Class E non-violent felony. The sentencing structure is the same as it is for the Rape charges.
- Penal Law § 130.52 — Forcible Touching occurs when a person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of abusing or degrading the person or for the purpose of gratifying a sexual desire. Forcible Touching includes squeezing, grabbing or pinching. Forcible Touching is a class A misdemeanor.
- Penal Law §§ 130.55 through 130.65 — Sexual Abuse is sexual contact with another person without their consent, and can be in the first, second or third degree. The degree depends on the age of the victim, their capacity to consent, whether the victim consented, and whether the sexual abuse was forcible. Sexual Abuse in the First Degree is a class D violent felony; Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree is a class A misdemeanor; and Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree is a class B misdemeanor.
- Penal Law §§ 130.65-a through 130.70 — Aggravated Sexual Abuse can also be in the first, second, third or fourth degree, depending on whether the victim had the capacity to consent, the age of the victim, whether the act was done by force, the object used for the sexual abuse, and whether the act resulted in physical injury to the other person. This offense occurs when someone inserts a foreign object into the sexual organs of another. Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the First Degree is a class B violent felony; Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree is a class C violent felony; Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree is a class D violent felony; and Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Fourth Degree is a class E violent felony.
- Penal Law §§ 130.75 through 130.80 — Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child occurs when a person engages in sexual conduct with a child over a period of more than three months, and engages in two or more sexual acts with the child. This offense can be in the first or second degree, depending on the age of the child and the type of sexual act. Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree is a class B violent felony; Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the Second Degree is a class D violent felony.
- Penal Law § 130.95 — Predatory Sexual Assault. This is charged when a person commits the crime of Rape in the First Degree, Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the First Degree or Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree and when, in the course of committing any of those crimes, he or she causes serious physical injury to the victim or uses or threatens to immediately use a dangerous instrument against the victim. A person can also be charged with this crime if he or she engaged in any of the above-listed crimes against one or more persons or if he or she has previously been convicted of a sexual felony or of Incest or of Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance. Predatory Sexual Assault is a class A-II violent felony.
- Penal Law § 130.96 — Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child. This is charged when a person over the age of 18 commits the crime of Rape in the First Degree, Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the First Degree or Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree, and the victim is less than 13 years old. Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child is a class A-II violent felony.
- Penal Law § 235 — Obscenity is any material or performance that the average person would find predominantly appeals to an unwholesome interest in sex, depicts or describes sexual acts in an offensive manner, and lacks any real purpose or value. Obscenity in the First Degree is charged when a person, knowing its content and character, wholesale promotes, or possesses with the intent to wholesale promote, any obscene material. It is a class D felony. Obscenity in the Second Degree is charged when a person commits the crime of Obscenity in the Third Degree and has previously been convicted of Obscenity in the Third Degree. This is a class E felony. Obscenity in the Third Degree is charged when a person, knowing its content and character, promotes, or possesses with intent to promote, obscene material; or produces, presents or directs an obscene performance or participates in a portion thereof which is obscene or which contributes to its obscenity. This is a class A misdemeanor.
Articles 70 and 80 of New York's Penal Law list the maximum prison sentences and fines for each degree of felony and misdemeanor. Additionally, sentences can vary depending on the severity of the offense, the number of prior offenses, and the type of offender, for example, a juvenile offender, persistent offender, or violent offender.
- Class A felony convictions can incur imprisonment for life;
- Class B felony convictions can incur imprisonment up to 25 years;
- Class C felony convictions can result in a maximum of 15 years imprisonment;
- Class D felony convictions can result in imprisonment up to seven years;
- Class E felony convictions can lead to up to four years imprisonment;
- Class A misdemeanor convictions can incur up to one year in jail; and
- Class B misdemeanor convictions cannot exceed three months in jail.
According to New York's Sex Offender Registration Act (codified in the Consolidated Laws of New York, Correction Law § 168), a sex offender is required to register with the Division of Criminal Justice Services upon release from jail or prison for a registerable offense.
The offender is required to have a hearing upon release, where the sentencing court will determine the risk level and designation of the offender. This is done in order to establish the level of community notification and length of the offender's registration based on certain factors, including, but not limited to:
- Weapons used;
- Use of alcohol or drugs;
- Use of force;
- Victim's age;
- Number of victims;
- Injury to the victim; and/or
- Relationship to the victim.
The court will assign a risk level and designation to the offender after the hearing. Risk Level 1 means there is a low likelihood of the offender repeating the same or similar offense, Risk Level 2 means there is a moderate likelihood of becoming a repeat offender, and Risk Level 3 means there is a high risk the offender will repeat the same or similar offense. The court also will determine if the offender requires a designation, such as a “sexual predator,” “sexually violent offender” or “predicate sex offender.”
An offender who has no designation, and is classified as a Risk Level 1, is required to register for 20 years. All other risk level and designation combinations are required to register as a sex offender for life. However, certain offenders may qualify to file a Petition for Relief from Registration or Petition to Modify Risk Level.
A few of the offenses requiring registration as a sex offender in New York, include, but are not limited to:
- Luring a Child;
- Sexual Misconduct;
- Rape, all degrees;
- Incest, all degrees;
- Criminal Sexual Act, all degrees;
- Sodomy, all degrees;
- Forcible Touching;
- Sexual Abuse, all degrees;
- Aggravated Sexual Abuse, all degrees;
- Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child;
- Predatory Sexual Assault;
- Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child;
- Persistent Sexual Abuse;
- Patronizing a Prostitute;
- Promoting Prostitution;
- Unlawful Imprisonment (depending on the age of the victim);
- Kidnapping (depending on the age of the victim);
- Sex Trafficking;
- Unlawful Surveillance; and
- Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child.
There are a number of defenses, exceptions or mitigating circumstances your New York sex crimes attorney can use to defend the charges brought against you. The following are a few commonly used defenses in New York:
- Lack of Knowledge of Incapacity to Consent — If the victim is incapable of consenting due to a mental disability or incapacitated, or physically incapacitated, and the alleged offender did not know of the victim's inability to consent, this is an affirmative defense to the alleged sex crime committed.
- Conduct Performed for Mental or Medical Health Care — If the alleged offender was committing some kind of conduct for a legitimate mental or health care purpose, and the alleged victim was incapable of consenting, the act is not a criminal offense.
- Marriage — If an alleged victim did not have the capacity to consent to the conduct of the alleged offender, strictly because the victim was under 17 years old, mentally incompetent, or the client of a health care provider, it is an affirmative defense that the alleged victim was married to the alleged offender.
Sex Offender Management – New York State Division of Criminal Justice Service provides information about sex offenders living in communities throughout New York.
International Association for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders – This non-profit organization promotes the research and treatment for sex offenders throughout the world.
New York State Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers – NYSATSA seeks to reduce sexual victimization, promote the quality and uniformity of assessment and treatment of sex offenders, and promote community safety through confinement of certain sex offenders.
New York State Office of Victim Services – This governmental department provides for the compensation of victims of violent crimes and is dedicated to helping the rights and benefits of violent crime victims. The Brooklyn office location is at:Brooklyn Office of Victim Services
55 Hanson Place
Brooklyn, New York
Phone: (718) 923-4325
Attorney for Sex Crimes in Queens New York
If you have been charged with a sex crime in any of the five boroughs of New York and Long Island, call the Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner. Queens criminal defense attorney Rochelle S. Berliner is knowledgeable in all areas of New York's laws pertaining to sex violations, and is dedicated to helping you find the best possible outcome of your situation.
Contact the Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner for a consultation about your sex crime accusation by calling 718-261-5600 or submitting an online form today.
Rochelle Berliner grew up in Queens, NY. She started New York Law School in January 1989 and graduated in June 1991. Immediately after law school, she started working at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where she stayed for approximately 14 years...
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