Minneapolis Criminal Sexual Conduct Defense Attorney
Were you arrested and accused of criminal sexual conduct? If so, Minneapolis criminal defense attorney Barry Hogen is ready to stand up for you. For nearly three decades, he has helped people like you in Minneapolis and across Minnesota defend against these harmful and terrifying allegations.
You don’t need to be told how scary it can be to face these charges. A conviction could result in incarceration and fines, and you could be forced to register as a sex offender for life. What you need is to hear that someone will fight to defend your interests and your future. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can have a solid and strategic case that can end with the dismissal of the charges, acquittal, or reduced charges. The goal is to achieve the best possible outcome so that the maximum penalties do not have to be paid.
At the Barry Hogen Law, we firmly believe that you are innocent until proven guilty. We will fight to defend your rights and share your side of the story. With so much at stake, you need a legal team like us that will zealously advocate for your rights, your freedom, and your future. To learn more about how we can help you defend against a criminal sexual conduct charge, contact our office today by calling (612) 338-5545.
What are the laws?
Criminal sexual conduct (often abbreviated simply as CSC) crimes vary depending on whether the alleged offenses involved sexual penetration or sexual contact without penetration. Criminal sexual conduct crimes in Minnesota are categorized into five degrees. Neither mistake as to the alleged victim’s age nor consent to the act by the alleged victim is a defense to these charges:
Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fifth Degree
A person commits criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree if they engage in nonconsensual sexual contact, masturbate, or display their genitals in the presence of a minor under the age of 16. Criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree is a gross misdemeanor, but the crime can become a felony if the person commits a violation within seven years of a previous sex crime conviction.
Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree
A person who engages in sexual contact with another person commits criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree if any of several enumerated circumstances exist. For example, the statute establishes offenses involving alleged victims under 13 years of age and alleged offenders no more than 36 months older than the alleged victims, alleged victims at least 13 but less than 16 years of age and alleged offenders more than 48 months older than the alleged victims, and alleged victims at least 16 but less than 18 years of age and alleged offenders more than 48 months older than the alleged victims.
Criminal conduct in the fourth degree offenses listed here also involve crimes in which the alleged offender is or purports to be a psychotherapist, a member of the clergy, an employee, independent contractor, or volunteer of a state, county, city, or privately operated adult or juvenile correctional system or secure treatment facility or treatment facility, an agent of an entity that provides special transportation service, or performs massage or other bodywork for hire.
Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree
A person commits criminal sexual conduct in the third degree in many of the same circumstances applicable to fourth-degree crimes, but third-degree offenses involve sexual penetration rather than sexual contact.
Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree
A person commits criminal sexual conduct in the second degree if they engage in sexual contact with another person and any of the following circumstances exists:
- the alleged victim is under 13 years of age and the alleged offender is more than 36 months older than the alleged victim;
- the alleged victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years of age and the alleged offender is more than 48 months older than the alleged victim and in a position of authority over the alleged victim;
- the alleged victim feared bodily harm to themselves or another at the time of the sexual contact;
- the alleged offender used a dangerous weapon or threatened to use a dangerous weapon to force the victim to submit
- the alleged offender injures the alleged victim, whom they know to be mentally impaired or physically helpless
- the alleged offender is helped by one or more accomplices who use force or a weapon to cause the alleged victim to submit
- the alleged offender has a significant relationship to the alleged victim who is under 16 years of age
- the alleged offender has a significant relationship to the alleged victim who is under 16 years of age, used force to commit the contact, caused injury to the alleged victim, or committed multiple acts.
Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree
A person commits criminal sexual conduct in the first degree in many of the same circumstances applicable to second-degree offenses, but first-degree crimes involve sexual penetration rather than sexual contact.
What are the penalties?
The consequences of any criminal sexual conduct crime depend on how an offense is classified. Maximum sentences allowed for convictions in these cases are as follows:
- Gross Misdemeanor Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fifth Degree — Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $3,000.
- Felony Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fifth Degree — Up to seven years in prison and/or a fine of up to $14,000.
- Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree — Up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
- Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree — Up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $30,000.
- Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree — Up to 25 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $35,000.
- Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree — Up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $40,000.
Defending against charges
Because such cases are so highly emotional, people facing sex crimes can have their reputations ruined even before a verdict is passed down in the case. Furthermore, false allegations are not out of the question. Unfortunately, there are many times in which the accusation is completely false, or it is exaggerated to the point it enhances the charges.
If an accusation is false, then that fact will be revealed to the court so that you can obtain the right result in your case. If the accusation is not false, the facts will be used to show why the maximum penalties may not be warranted in the case.
Fortunately, there are a few common defenses that may be used in your case. These include:
- Innocence: Of course, the best defense against sexual assault is innocence. This defense can work if you have an alibi or if the victim has misidentified you. Because you are innocent until proven guilty, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. Furthermore, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. That means that if you and your lawyer can raise any doubt at all as to your guilt, you should not be convicted.
- Consent: If you admit to the sexual act in question, you may be able to argue that the alleged victim consented to the act. This defense can be difficult to prove, because there is rarely tangible evidence of consent or lack thereof. Furthermore, there are certain situations where you may still be convicted even if the alleged victim did give consent, including if the victim was a minor, in a subordinate position to you, or there is a significant relationship between the alleged offender and alleged victim. However, if you have been falsely accused by a person you did engage in sexual activity with, this may be the best defense available to you.
- Insanity or Mental Incapacity: In some cases, an alleged offender is mentally incapacitated in such a way that they are unaware of the criminal nature of their actions, or unaware of what consent is. This may not clear you of all charges, but it may make your penalties less severe.
Because of the nature of sex crimes, a tactical defense is very important. Your Golden Valley criminal defense attorney will look at all of the evidence and will build a strong case for you using that evidence. Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, we will determine the best possible defense for you and work hard to achieve the best possible outcome.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
Criminal sexual conduct is a very serious offense. It encompasses a number of sexually-related crimes and a conviction can result in years in prison and high fines. If you have been accused of criminal sexual conduct, you need someone on your side who will aggressively defend you against these charges. Barry Hogen is a highly experienced criminal defense attorney who is committed to helping clients who have been accused of crimes, including sex crimes. To learn more about your rights and options, contact the Barry Hogen Law at (612) 338-5545 to schedule an initial consultation.