Sex with a minor is considered statutory rape, which is a sex crime that carries serious penalties in the state of Nevada. A minor is someone under the age of 16 for charges in this state. If you have been accused of sex with a minor, retaining a defense attorney right away is important to protect your rights and freedom. At Okabe & Haushalter, our attorneys have years of experience defending those charged with sex crimes and can present a strong defense on your behalf. Most sex crime charges create notoriety in local media and the community. When they involve a minor, it can be even more so. That is why it is important to have a skilled lawyer to provide you with the type of defense that can help avoid the serious penalties that a conviction can bring.
According to Nevada Revised Statutes § 200.368, statutory rape can be defined as “statutory sexual seduction.” If the perpetrator is over the age of 21, then they will be guilty of a category C felony. If the person who has sex with a minor is under the age of 21, then they shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. For a category C felony, a person can face up to 5 years in state prison and even up to $10,000 in fines. The penalties for gross misdemeanors of this nature in the state of Nevada can be a maximum 1 year in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines.
The state of Nevada also makes a distinction for when statutory rape involves a school employee and a pupil. These laws can be found in the NRS 201.540 or 201.550. Anyone who works for or with an educational institution and participates in any type of sexual conduct with a student, the school employee could face a category C felony. Typically, the school employee will be over the age of 21 and the student will be 16 to 17 years old. In this case, it will be a category C felony, but when the employee is over 21 and the student is 14 to 15 years old, this could be classified as a category B felony punishable by up to 6 years in state prison and even $5,000 in fines.
With the seriousness of the charges, formulating a strong defense is a must. As former prosecutors, our legal team is familiar with methods used by the prosecution to convict those charged with sex crimes. With this information, we can use our knowledge in the area to pick their case apart and challenge any evidence that may have been obtained illegally. There are other defenses that can be used as well, especially if you were unaware the person was a minor and believed you were having consensual sex with an adult.
It is vital to avoid a conviction whenever possible, as the penalties can be devastating to your future. Besides prison time and other penalties, most sex crimes require mandatory registration as a sex offender. This can follow you for the rest of your life, affecting your job opportunities and housing prospects. Don’t let this happen to you. Choose the firm that has a track record of success and can provide you with knowledgeable and aggressive legal representation. Contact a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer for legal assistance when facing sex with a minor charges.