SEXUAL ASSAULT DEFENSE ATTORNEY/

If you’re being investigated for or have been charged with sexual battery or criminal sexual conduct, you are at a critical point in your life when you should seek the help of a sexual assault defense lawyer.

What you do and how you handle the situation could mean the difference between putting this behind you or spending potentially many years in prison, with your life’s goals fading beyond your reach. These are serious crimes that you need to address with the assistance of the Leventis Law Firm.

Called sexual assault in other jurisdictions, South Carolina address sex crimes as sexual battery or criminal sexual conduct through a number of statutes. No matter the name or the statute cited by the prosecution, you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of your peers. Our criminal justice system puts the burden on law enforcement and the prosecution to prove the case. The burden is not on you to prove your innocence.

How a Columbia, SC, Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer Can Help/

If you find yourself in this situation, you need to slow things down, think things through and do not panic. You need to get the help of a sexual abuse defense lawyer, because there’s too much at stake for you to take this on by yourself. The prosecution’s case may be barely holding together; the evidence against you may be strong and compelling; or you may be somewhere in between. A Columbia, SC, sexual assault defense lawyer can find out the facts and evidence of your case, advise you of possible legal defenses and advise you on what your next step should be.

Depending on the applicable facts and laws, your sexual abuse defense attorney may be able to …

  • Convince the prosecution that their case has so many problems that the charges should be dismissed, because going forward would be unfair to you and a waste of the prosecution’s limited resources.
  • Negotiate a favorable plea bargain. Most prosecutions aren’t decided by a verdict after a trial. Because they’re costly in resources, time, money and emotions, most of the time neither the prosecution nor the defendant wants to risk an “all or nothing” outcome decided by a judge or jury, total strangers who may or may not be sympathetic to their side of the story. Many times, the best outcome is an agreement to plead guilty to lesser charges or to the charges that were filed, with an agreed-upon sentence.
  • Go to trial and achieve a positive outcome. The prosecution may not be able to prove its case; witnesses and evidence may not be able to stand up to scrutiny; and the facts and law could result in an acquittal, a conviction on lesser charges or a mistrial (which would force the prosecution to decide whether it wants to try the case again). Even if there is a finding of guilt, there may be valid reasons to file an appeal and attempt to have it overturned.

South Carolina Sexual Battery and Criminal Sexual Conduct Laws/

Under South Carolina law, there are several sex-related crimes. Sexual battery is defined as sexual intercourse (including oral and anal intercourse), or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body, except when such intrusion is accomplished for medically recognized treatment or diagnostic purposes. Often these sex charges are coupled with other crimes such as assault, battery and kidnapping.

  • Criminal sexual conduct in the first degree (§ 16-3-652): It’s a felony punishable by up to thirty years if the alleged actor engages in sexual battery using aggravated force; the victim submits when he or she is forcibly confined, kidnapped or being trafficked; or the victim becomes mentally incapacitated or physically helpless due to a controlled or intoxicating substance.
  • Criminal sexual conduct in the second degree (§ 16-3-653): A person is guilty of this crime if the actor uses force or violence to engage in a sexual battery. Such a perpetrator could face up to twenty years in prison.
  • Criminal sexual conduct in the third degree (§ 16-3-654): The actor engages in sexual battery using force or coercion but not with aggravating circumstances. The actor knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless. This crime is punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years.
  • Spousal sexual battery (§ 16-3-615): Sexual battery accomplished through use of or the threat of use of a weapon or of physical force or violence by one spouse against the other, if they are living together, is a felony that could result in a sentence of not more than ten years.

If You’re Facing These Charges, Going it Alone Would Be a Mistake/

Don’t let a sex crime charge ruin the rest of your life. Reach out to The Leventis Law Firm to speak with a sexual assault defense attorney about your case and take the steps needed to protect your rights and best interests throughout the legal process. Call us today at 803-256-0113 or fill out our online contact form.

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