Have you recently been arrested for engaging in unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Columbus, OH?
It’s critical for you to take immediate steps to make it difficult for the prosecution to turn your charge into a conviction. You may begin by contacting and hiring an experienced Columbus child molestation defense lawyer from James D. Owen, LLC.
- 1 Why You Should Hire James D. Owen, LLC, Defense Attorney
- 2 Understanding Ohio’s Child Molestation Laws
- 3 Consequences of Child Molestation Convictions in Ohio
- 4 Child Molestation Convictions and Mandatory Sex Offender Registration
- 5 Defenses Against Ohio Child Molestation Charges
- 6 Your Trusted Child Molestation Defense Lawyer in Columbus, OH
Why You Should Hire James D. Owen, LLC, Defense Attorney
Over the years, the legal team at James D. Owen, LLC, has helped an array of Columbus residents fight back against accusations of sexual assault, rape, and possession of child pornography. Through our work on these cases, we have secured countless favorable verdicts on behalf of our clients.
When you ask our Franklin County lawyers to rise up and defend you against your child molestation charges, we will:
- Fight to bail you out of jail until your trial
- Conduct an investigation into the allegations of the state
- Provide you with an overview of your legal options
- Offer you astute legal advice and guidance during your case
- Help you make tough decisions as-needed
- Create an effective defense strategy for your case
- Protect your rights as a resident or citizen of the United States
- Answer your questions about the Ohio legal system
- Search for relevant and exculpatory evidence
- Work out a plea bargain with the prosecution
- Argue on your behalf in criminal court, if necessary
Are you ready to have one of our seasoned Columbus criminal defense lawyers help you fight back against the allegations of the state? If so, please reach out to us today to arrange a free consultation at our law office in Columbus, Ohio. We have handled many cases like yours in the past – and we are ready to use our knowledge to go to battle for you.
Understanding Ohio’s Child Molestation Laws
When law enforcement officers in Central Ohio suspect someone of engaging in sexual activity with a minor, they typically charge them with one of the following criminal offenses:
Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor
Section 2907.04 of the Ohio Revised Code explains that it is unlawful for a person who is at least 18 years old to engage in sexual conduct with an individual they know to be between the ages of 13 and 16.
When the police catch someone violating this statute, they may take them in and charge them with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding this offense, the state of Ohio can classify it as a:
- Misdemeanor of the first degree
- Felony of the fourth degree
- Felony of the third degree, or
- Felony of the second degree
The age-gap between the offender and the victim is the main factor that determines the severity of this sex crime.
Gross Sexual Imposition
Section 2907.05 of the Ohio Revised Code explains that it is unlawful for a person to engage in sexual contact with an individual who is 13 years old or younger – regardless of whether or not they know about that fact.
This law also states that it is illegal for a person to touch the genitals of a person who is younger than 12 years of age for the purposes of abusing, humiliating, harassing, degrading, or arousing any party to the incident.
Individuals who violate this Ohio statute are guilty of gross sexual imposition.
The Buckeye State typically classifies this crime as a felony of the fourth degree. However, courts may opt to upgrade it to a felony of the third degree under certain circumstances.
Section 2907.06 of the Ohio Revised Code explains that it is unlawful for a person to have sexual contact with another when:
- The other individual is between 13 and 16 years of age, and
- The offender is at least 18 and is more than four years older than the other individual
When law enforcement officers catch someone violating this statute, they may arrest them and charge them with sexual imposition.
In the state of Ohio, sexual imposition is usually a misdemeanor of the third degree. However, a prosecutor may opt to bump it up to a misdemeanor of the first degree in some situations.
Section 2907.07 of the Ohio Revised Code explains that it is unlawful for a person to solicit an individual who is younger than 13 years old to engage in sexual activity – even if they do not know their age.
This statute also states that it is illegal for a person who is at least 18 and is more than four years older than their victim to:
- Solicit an individual who is between the ages of 13 and 17 to engage in sexual conduct, or
- Use a telecommunications device to solicit an individual who is younger than 16 to engage in sexual activity
People who violate this Ohio law are guilty of importuning.
In the Buckeye State, courts may classify importuning as a:
- Felony of the fifth degree
- Felony of the fourth degree
- Felony of the third degree, or
- Felony of the second degree
Is a Franklin County prosecutor accusing you of committing one of these sex offenses? Then please do not hesitate to reach out to an attorney from James D. Owen, LLC. We have years of experience in the legal field and are ready to help you fight to clear your name.
Consequences of Child Molestation Convictions in Ohio
When courts in Ohio convict a person of a child molestation offense, they penalize them using the following sentencing guidelines:
- Felonies of the Second Degree: Up to 8 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000
- Felonies of the Third Degree: Up to 60 months in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
- Felonies of the Fourth Degree: Up to 18 months in state prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000
- Felonies of the Fifth Degree: Up to 12 months in state prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500
- Misdemeanors of the First Degree: Up to 180 days in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
- Misdemeanors of the Second Degree: Up to 90 days in county jail and/or a fine of up to $750
- Misdemeanors of the Third Degree: Up to 60 days in county jail and/or a fine of up to $500
Of course, when courts find Columbus residents guilty of crimes like child molestation, they also force them to register as a sex offender.
Child Molestation Convictions and Mandatory Sex Offender Registration
The length of time they must stay on the register and the frequency with which they must update their record depends on the tier level in which the court opts to place them:
- Tier III: Register every 90 days for the remainder of their life
- Tier II: Register every 180 days for 25 years
- Tier I: Register once a year for 15 years
While they remain on the register, convicts must adhere to rules and restrictions like:
- Housing Restrictions: In the state of Ohio, sex offenders may not live near schools.
- Weapons Restrictions: Ohio law forbids registered sexual offenders from buying, owning, and using guns.
- Computer Monitoring Requirements: Police officers have the right to monitor the computer use of sex offenders in Ohio.
- Alcohol Restrictions: Ohio courts often ban registered sex offenders from drinking alcohol.
- Employment Restrictions: Registered sex offenders are often banned from working with children.
Do you need a skilled child molestation and sexual abuse attorney to aid your fight to avoid being convicted of your criminal charge? If so, please get in touch with James D. Owen, LLC, today. Our team is ready, willing, and able to go to battle on your behalf.
Defenses Against Ohio Child Molestation Charges
Columbus residents can often prevent their child molestation charge from becoming a conviction by utilizing one of the following defense strategies:
- Lack of Evidence: Attorneys who argue that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove their case often secure not guilty verdicts for their clients.
- Innocence: If a defense team can prove that their client was falsely accused, they should have little trouble getting their case dropped.
- Entrapment: If a lawyer can show that their client only broke the law because a police officer forced them to do so, they might be able to get their charges dismissed.
Would you like to have a lawyer from James D. Owen, LLC, help you devise an effective defense strategy for your case? Then please do not hesitate to pick up the phone, give us a call, and schedule a free consultation at our law office in Columbus. Our legal team has been defending clients against allegations of this nature for years and will be more than happy to do the same for you.
Your Trusted Child Molestation Defense Lawyer in Columbus, OH
When you need a lawyer to defend you against allegations of child molestation in Columbus, OH, there is only one law firm you should turn to – James D. Owen, LLC. We have the experience, knowledge, and skills necessary to handle your case – no matter how complex it may be. Reach out to us today to set up a free consultation with a member of our team and learn more about our legal services.