Our Sex Crimes Defense FAQs

You may have many questions if you’ve been charged with a sex crime in Fairfax. Here, our experienced sex crimes lawyers provide answers to common questions that clients have when facing these charges.

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  • What penalties might a teen face for sexting?

    Young Teen Girl Sexting on Cell PhoneSexting is the sending of nude or sexually suggestive photographs to others through a text message. This is becoming an increasingly common practice among teens. However, sexting is a crime in Virginia. While some states have enacted laws making the penalties less harsh when the sexting is between teenagers, this is not the case in Virginia.

    What Is the Crime of Teen Sexting?

    There is no specific crime of teen sexting in Virginia. Instead, a teenager would be charged with a state or federal child pornography offense. Under Virginia Code § 18.2-374.1:1, it is a crime to be in the possession of or to distribute child pornography. This includes creating, possessing, sending, or resending sexually explicit pictures of minors under 18 years old through text messages. There is no distinction between adults and juveniles under this law.

    Because sexting is charged as a child pornography offense, it is a felony in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If convicted, a teen may face these penalties:

    • First offense. A first offense of possession of child pornography is a Class 6 felony. Upon conviction, a person may face up to five years in prison.
       
    • Second offense. A second or subsequent violation would be a Class 5 felony. The sentence may include a prison sentence of 1 to 10 years and a fine of up to $2,500.

    A teenager charged with sexting may be prosecuted in Virginia’s juvenile court system rather than the adult criminal court. In this situation, the judge would have more discretion in the punishment imposed if a teen is convicted.

    Contact Our Experienced Fairfax Criminal Defense Attorneys for Help

    Has your teenager been charged with a child pornography offense for sexting in Fairfax or Northern Virginia? We represent clients facing both state and federal charges. Our skilled criminal defense lawyers can put on a strong defense to the charges he faces so that they are dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. Call our Fairfax office or fill out our convenient online form to schedule a free consultation today to find out more about how we can assist you.

  • How does the Commonwealth of Virginia define date rape?

    A Couple on a Date Having Drinks at a BarDate rape is a serious offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia that can result in severe penalties and long-term consequences. It is also commonly known as “acquaintance rape.” If you have been charged with this crime, you need to retain an experienced sex crimes defense attorney in Fairfax as soon as possible to help you get the best possible result.

    What Is the Crime of Date Rape in Virginia?

    Date rape is a rape crime under Virginia Code § 18.2-61. This law defines rape as any act of sexual intercourse against the victim’s will through the use of force, threat, or intimidation or by use of the victim’s mental or physical incapacity. Some unique factors in date rape crimes include:

    • The alleged victim and perpetrator know each other. They can be new acquaintances who have just met, long-term romantic parties, friends, or spouses.
       
    • The date rape does not need to be performed with the use or threat of force or intimidation. The allegation may be that the victim was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was physically incapacitated or mentally incapacitated.
       
    • A major issue when someone is charged with date rape is whether the victim consented or was capable of consenting to sexual intercourse. In some cases, there may be an honest misunderstanding where the person charged with date rape believed that consent was given and did not have any understanding that he may have been committing a crime.

    Penalties You Face If Convicted of Date Rape

    Date rape is a felony offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the punishment upon conviction is the same as for other rape crimes. The possible sentence someone charged with date rap faces is a minimum mandatory prison sentence of five years to up to life in prison. If convicted, the offender would have a permanent criminal record and be required to register on Virginia’s Sex Offender Registry.

    If you are being investigated for date rape or have been charged with this crime in Fairfax or Northern Virginia, our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you take proactive measures for a strong defense so that the charges against you are dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. Call our office or start an online chat to schedule a free consultation today.