Syracuse & Central New York Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

The state of New York imposes severe penalties on defendants convicted of sex crimes. While the penalties for rape, sexual abuse or another sex offense depend on several factors, a conviction could have lasting repercussions. If you have been charged with a sex crime, it is crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner. 

At CDH Law, we are keenly aware that New York prosecutors vigorously pursue sex crimes. Our highly experienced attorneys provide clients facing sex crime charges with aggressive representation. When you consult us, you can rest assured we will work to protect your freedom, your future and your reputation. 

Sex Crimes in New York

First-Degree Rape in New York

Rape is one of the most serious sex crimes. New York penal law recognizes three different degrees of rape. New York prosecutors often attempt to overcharge defendants with First-Degree rape, even if the facts do not support the charge.  A charge of first-degree rape is the most serious rape charge. First-degree rape convictions require judges to impose the most severe punishments. The New York penal code defines first-degree rape as sexual intercourse with another person:

  • By forcible compulsion, or
  • Who is less than eleven years old, or
  • Who is incapable of consent because of being physically helpless, or
  • Who is less than 13 years old when the accused is 18 years old or older

Second-Degree Rape in New York

New York penal law classifies second-degree rape as a Class D felony. Second-degree rape occurs when an adult aged 18 or older engages in sexual intercourse with a person who is 15 years old or younger. Second-degree rape can also occur when a person engages in sexual intercourse with a person who is incapable of giving consent due to mental incapacitation. 

Third-Degree Rape in New York

Third-degree rape in New York is a Class E felony. A person commits third-degree rape when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with someone who is not cable of consenting. The victim’s lack of ability to consent must stem from any reason other than being less than seventeen years old. 

Third-degree rape can also occur when someone aged 21 one or older has sexual intercourse with another person under the age of seventeen. Finally, third-degree rape can occur when a person engages in sexual intercourse with another person without that person’s consent and the lack of consent occurs as the result of a factor other than incapacity to consent.

Penalties for Rape in New York

Defendants convicted of first-degree rape face punishments of tens of thousands of dollars in fines, up to 25 years in prison, or both. New York law classifies second-degree rape and third-degree rape as Class D and Class E felonies, respectively. Courts can impose up to 7 years of imprisonment for defendants convicted of a Class D felony and up to 4 years of imprisonment for those convicted of a Class E felony.  This penalty landscape gets even more harsh if a defendant has prior felony convictions. 

Aggravated Sexual Abuse in New York

Aggravated sexual abuse is one of the most serious sexual criminal charges. Aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree occurs when someone inserts a foreign object into another person’s vagina, rectum, anus, penis, or urethra. The insertion must occur by force, and the other person must be physically helpless or less than 11 years old. 

New York penal law classifies aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree as a Class B felony charge. Those convicted face sentencing of up to twenty-five years in prison. In many cases, prosecutors will include additional criminal charges to the aggravated sexual abuse charge. A prosecutor may also charge you with sexual abuse in the first degree, rape in the first degree, or predatory sexual assault. 

Defendants may also face charges that are not sexually-based such as kidnapping, assault, battery, or theft. Hiring a skilled attorney is vital for those charged with aggravated sexual abuse. The attorneys at CDH Law PLLC analyze the facts in our client’s cases and determine the best criminal defense strategy available. In some cases, our defense attorneys may successfully argue that the other person consented to the sexual act.  In others, we may successfully argue that the events are fabricated, or that the victim is mistaken as to the identity of the perpetrator.

In some cases, prosecutors or police may have overcharged the defendant with aggravated sexual abuse instead of sexual abuse. In this circumstance, the prosecution will have a difficult time proving the necessary elements of an aggravated sexual abuse conviction.

New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act

Convicted sex offenders are required to register with the Sex Offender Registry. New York State’s Division of Criminal Justice Services operates the registry and classifies sex offenders into three categories. Low risk or Level 1 sex offenders must register as sex offenders. However, the public cannot access information about Level 1 offenders within the online directory. Level 2 offenders are believed to pose a moderate risk, and Level 3 offenders are believed to pose a high risk to the public. Information relating to Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders is readily available to the public online.

Defendants convicted of sex crimes must undergo a due process hearing to determine their risk level. Securing skilled legal representation is essential before, during, and after a criminal trial.  At CDH Law PLLC, we’ve assertively argued on behalf of our client’s interests at risk assessment hearings. We skillfully represent our client’s interests and provide evidence that they are not a risk to society and should be a Level 1 offender. 

After several years on the sex offender registry, you may have a good case for “modification” of your risk level.  Certain factors might persuade a court to change your risk level to a Level 1 such as the passage of time, a clean record since your conviction, contributions to society such as employment or volunteer work, maintaining healthy relationships or starting a family, and successful completion of treatment programs, to name a few.  CDH Law, PLLC has successfully litigated SORA modification petitions and you should contact us if you want to consider pursuing a similar route for your case.

Request a Confidential Consultation with Our Syracuse Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

Facing a criminal charge for a sex crime is daunting and a conviction can last a lifetime. At CDH Law PLLC, our attorneys have years of experience successfully defending clients charged with New York sex crimes. Contact our Syracuse law office to speak with a discreet and skilled criminal defense attorney today.