Georgia Sex Crime Laws

Georgia Sex Crime Laws

From the definition of rape to the ability to consent, the laws about sex crimes vary across the nation. There are countless nuances to the rules that can make it difficult to distinguish one offense from the other. That is why Kimberly Berry prides herself on keeping up to date on updates in the law and new cases. Kimberly understands the stigma that can arise from being charged with a sex crime. She has successfully defended hundreds of cases where the suspect was wrongfully accused. Whether it was a misunderstanding or the alleged victim consented, Kimberly knows how to fight for you.

Georgia sex crime laws are vast and can be very confusing. Some of the crimes appear to overlap, while other crimes seem too broad. The criminal justice system was not designed to navigate on your own. It is in your best interest to hire a Sex Crimes Attorney  that works with the sex crimes laws in Georgia every day.

We have addressed some of the sex crime laws in Georgia in this post,  but please contact us if you have additional questions or need clarification. We offer free case evaluations and are waiting to take your call.

Sex Crimes in Georgia

There are many different types of sex crimes in Georgia. While some of them are considered misdemeanors, others require the offender to spend long sentences in prison and then remain on the sex offender registry for life. If you are arrested for a sex crime, it is critical to understand the charges but also how the criminal process will work in your case. Knowing the sex crime laws in Georgia is can make the difference between being acquitted of the charges or being found guilty. Information on each individual crime can be found here:

Statute of Limitations

Georgia has time limits for when criminal charges can be filed against a person in order to ensure the integrity of evidence and to prevent people from threatening lawsuits indefinitely. These time limits are called “statutes of limitations” and differ depending on the crime.

Seven Year Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for most sexually-based offenses in Georgia is seven years after the commission of the crime. They include:

  • Enticing a child for indecent purposes
  • Aggravated sexual battery
  • Sexual battery if the victim is under 16 at the time the offense was committed,
  • Incest if the victim is under 18
  • Child molestation
  • Statutory rape
  • Aggravated sodomy or sodomy with a person under 10 years of age
  • Sodomy where victim is under 18
  • Rape if not forcible
  • Sexual assault if the victim was under 18 at the time offense was committed.
  • Trafficking a person for labor or sexual servitude if the victim is under 18 or has a development disability

Four Year Statute of Limitations

However, there are many other situations where the prosecution must commence within 4 years after the offense. These include:

  • Sexual assault
  • Any other sodomy that does fall under the 7 year statute of limitations
  • Incest
  • Sexual battery on persons over 16 years of age if the offender has a prior conviction for sexual battery
  • Trafficking a person for labor or sexual servitude

Two Year Statute of Limitations

Some offenses require the suit to be brought within two years of the alleged criminal act. These include:

  • Sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority if the victim is between 14 and 16 years old and the offender is 18 or younger and no more than four years than the victim.
  • Statutory rape where the victim is between 14 and 16 years old, and the offender is 18 or younger and no more than four years than the victim.
  • Child molestation if the victim is between 14 and 16 years old and the offender is 18 or younger and no more than four years than the victim.
  • Sexual battery on people over 16
  • Enticing a child for indecent purposes if the victim is between 14 and 16 years old and the offender is 18 or younger and no more than four years than the victim.

Georgia Sex Crimes Exempted from Statute of Limitations Laws

There is an exception to the statute of limitations laws. According to O.C.G.A. §17-3-1, there is no statute of limitations when DNA evidence is used to establish the identity of the accused, provided that a sufficient portion of the physical evidence tested for DNA is preserved and available for testing by the accused:

  • Rape (O.C.G.A. $16-6-1)
  • Aggravated sodomy (O.C.G.A. §16-6-2)
  • Aggravated child molestation (O.C.G.A. §16-6-4)
  • Aggravated sexual battery (O.C.G.A. §16-6-22.2)

Court Process for Sex Crimes in Georgia

It takes a long time to resolve a case in Georgia courts. From multiple hearings to calendar calls to the appeal process, it can take months or years to settle a case. Kimberly Berry has over 10 years of experience and can walk you through every step of the process. There is no need to stress because she knows exactly how the case will proceed.

We have included some information on how a sex crime in Georgia may proceed but contact Kimberly for specific questions about your case.

The Arrest

Not every encounter with a police officer and a person involves an arrest. The courts in Georgia have indicated that there are multiple types of police encounters: brief stops, verbal confrontations, and arrests.

You are under arrest when a law enforcement officer advises you that “you are under arrest” and should comply with all orders. A failure to comply with the orders at the time of arrest is considered resisting arrest. The officer will begin to read your Miranda rights. This must be read at the time you are taken into custody or before a police interview (interrogation). If you were arrested and not read your Miranda rights, contact us immediately!

After the arrest, you will be taken to the appropriate booking facility. You may be booked immediately or placed in a holding cell to wait your turn.

Bond

Bond and bail are terms that are usually used interchangeably. They do share some similarities, but they are two different ways to get out of jail. A criminal bond is a financial guarantee that you will appear for all court appearances until your case is concluded or dismissed. In severe cases, the prosecutor will advocate for high bond amounts to keep the alleged offender in jail.

There are three different types of bond in Georgia: cash bonds, surety bonds, and property bonds. Cash bonds are the fastest way to get someone out of jail, but the money is not returned after the case is resolved. A property bond is where a person encumbers their property in exchange for their release. A surety bond is a common bond and requires an agreement between 3 parties. The bonding company is the surety, and they ensure that the offender will appear for court or else they have to pay the full amount to the court.

The sex crimes laws in Georgia outline multiple crimes where only a Superior Court judge can set the bond. These are laid out in O.C.G.A. § 17-6-1 and include:

  • Treason
  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Aggravated sodomy
  • Armed robbery
  • Hijacking
  • Aggravated child molestation
  • Aggravated sexual battery
  • Aggravated stalking
  • Certain drug-related offenses
  • Other enumerated offenses such as kidnapping, arson, aggravated assault or burglary.

In these cases, your Georgia Sex Crime Attorney must file a motion for bond in Superior Court. This process takes several weeks or more.

Committal Hearing/Preliminary Hearing

A committal hearing is just one of the many court appearances required during a criminal case. They are also known as preliminary hearings. A committal hearing determines whether there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. The judge will evaluate whether there is probable cases to believe the accused is guilty of the charged crimes. If there is a lack of evidence, then the charges may be dropped, or the case dismissed.

Because of the importance of the preliminary hearing, it is critical to hire an attorney that is knowledgable in Georgia Sex Crimes Laws. Kimberly Berry knows how to create gaps in the prosecutor's case and demonstrate that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with the charges.

Motions

Motions are a critical part of a criminal case. From discovery to dismissal to motion for a new trial, motions play an important function in your case. Our attorneys are experienced in Georgia Sex Crime Laws and understand that the best chance of winning your case starts with understanding how filing and arguing motions can convince the court to make favorable rulings for our clients. A favorable decision on a motion can be the difference between being convicted or acquitted at trial.

Motions are a legal means where the defense attempts to use the court system to level the playing field. The State has unlimited resources when prosecuting you, and the prosecutor has the absolute authority to chose who and what a person is charged with. Our attorneys know precisely how and when to use motions to protect your rights and shift the leverage away from the State.

One motion that an attorney could make on your behalf is a motion to suppress. This motion argues that the evidence was obtained illegally and therefore, should be excluded. Illegal search and seizures are one of the circumstances where a motion to suppress would be appropriate. The 4th Amendment to the Constitution states that all people have a right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Therefore, if you, your home, car, or property was searched unlawfully, the evidence obtained from the search may not be presented in court if a motion to suppress is filed and argued successfully.

Another significant motion in a sex crimes case is discovery. A motion for discovery is the process of receiving information about the evidence for or against you. When requesting discovery in a criminal case, you must explain why the evidence is relevant. Discovery requests can include blood alcohol test results, recordings of interviews by the police, medical records, and videotapes of the arrest.

Kimberly Berry is intimately familiar with Georgia Sex Crimes Laws and knows how to make them work in your favor. Call now and schedule a free case evaluation.

Trials

In a court case, the trial is the final hearing or last court appearance in a case. Hearings are another type of court appearance, but these occur before the trial. There are two types of trials: bench trials and jury trials. A bench trial is one where the judge decides whether the accused is innocent or guilty. A jury trial is where six or twelve jurors decide whether the accused is innocent or guilty.

There are pros and cons to each type of trial that must be weighed before proceeding. As your Atlanta Sex Crimes Lawyer, Kimberly will assist you in evaluating your options. She will advise you which option lets Georgia's sex crime laws work in your favor. An advantage of a bench trial is that it results in a faster resolution of your case which ends up saving you money as well. However, since it is just the judge deciding your case, the prosecutor only has to convince them of your guilt. At a jury trial, they have to persuade multiple people. A benefit of a jury trial is that juries tend to be easier audiences than judges. Jurors are more likely to vote with their emotions that judges. A negative to jury trials is that they take longer than bench trials. It can take days or weeks to resolve a case which will result in more billable hours for your attorney.

Choosing a bench trial or a jury trial is a critical decision in your case. Kimberly Berry has experience with both situations but also has significant experience negotiating a deal before a trial is needed. She is willing to do whatever is required to get the best outcome for your case. However, the greatest advantage Kimberly has is an extensive knowledge of Georgia's Sex Crime Laws and her years of experience. Call now and discover how she will make all the difference in your case.

Appeal

If found guilty on some or all of the charges, it does not necessarily mean the case is over. Defendants who think they were wrongfully convicted have several options. They can file a motion for a new trial to set aside the jury's verdict. They can file a motion asking the trial judge to overturn the jury's guilty verdict. They can also appeal the decision which means the case goes to a higher court to see if it warrants reversing a conviction.

There are many ways to challenge your conviction of a sex crime in Georgia. Kimberly Berry is ready to help get your conviction reversed. Appeals can be based on events that may have occurred before, during, or after your trial. They may be based on a violation of your constitutional rights, admission of illegal evidence or mistakes made during the trial.

Penalty for Sex Crimes in Georgia

Georgia's sex crime laws outline severe punishments for those convicted. Georgia requires a person to register as a sexual offender if convicted of a felony sexual offense. The social stigma that comes with being on the registry is a concern for many of our clients. The sex offender laws can make it difficult to obtain housing or employment.

Along with registered as a sex offender, many crimes come with lengthy prison terms and large fines. Kimberly Berry understands the punishments you may face and will work to reduce their impact. She is very familiar with the sex registration laws and with other sex crime laws in Georgia.

Conclusion

The most important part of your case is hiring a Georgia Sex Crime Lawyer who understands the charges and penalties you are facing and knows how to fight against them. There is no one better than Kimberly Berry! She has the experience you need and the resources to investigate all the evidence surrounding the evidence. She carefully studies Georgia's Sex Crime Laws to look for any loopholes that will work in your favor.

If you have been arrested, charged, or convicted, we can help you. No matter what stage you are at in the criminal process, there are ways to build a defense! Kimberly's decade and more of experience will make all the difference in your case. Our office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week because we believe in being accessible to our clients. You should not have to wait until Monday morning or business hours to get an answer to your important questions. Call now for a free case evaluation.

Contact Us Today for Immediate Help

The time is now to start preparing your defense! Many times people lose the opportunity to put on their best defense because they wait. The importance of hiring a lawyer from the very beginning cannot be overstated! Waiting allows for witnesses to leave the area, evidence to be lost, and memories to fade. All of these have a direct effect on the successful on your case. The time to begin your case and start prepping your defense is now! Contact us today to put on your best Georgia criminal defense!

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