Sex crimes are aggressively prosecuted in St. Paul and throughout the state of Minnesota. In addition to extensive prison time, an individual can find themselves on the sex offender registry for a very long time if they are convicted of a sex crime.
The Minnesota criminal defense lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka have represented many clients who have been charged with sexual offenses and we have either had the charges reduced or completely dismissed.
If you have been accused of a Minnesota sex crime, it is imperative to seek the legal representation that you need in order to secure the best possible result in your case.
With the help of an experienced Minnesota criminal defense lawyer, you can receive the best possible representation so that you can secure the best outcome in your case.
EFFECTIVE ADVOCACY FROM START TO FINISH
When you have a Minnesota criminal defense attorney working for you, it is very important that your advocate is one that is highly effective with a thorough knowledge of the law.
From the moment you call your St. Paul criminal defense attorney at Arechigo & Stokka, you will have someone by your side giving you the advice that you need.
Our Minnesota criminal defense lawyer will present you with thoroughly explained options so that you can make the proper decisions in your case.
Despite how serious the charges are, there are defense strategies that can be used.
Despite the type of crime that you are accused of, you can fight the charges against you and have your rights protected.
Even if the Minnesota criminal sexual conduct charges are valid in some way, that does not mean that you should still have to pay the maximum penalties, if convicted.
Other times, convictions can be completely avoided because the circumstances in the case allow for the charges to be dropped or for the defendant to be acquitted.
What Is Criminal Sexual Conduct?
Criminal sexual conduct is commonly referred to as rape, molestation, sexual assault, and non-consensual or statutory rape.
Minnesota’s criminal sexual conduct laws encompass a vast array of crimes. Specifically, the legislature defines five criminal sexual conduct degrees.
1st degree is the most severe while 5th degree is the least.
Below is a glance at the five criminal sexual conduct degrees defined by Minnesota law.
1st-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
First-degree criminal sexual contact is the most severe offense.
It usually involves allegations of sexual penetration accomplished by threats of harm or specific sexual conduct with a victim under 13.
Minnesota law categorizes the following actions as 1st-degree criminal sexual contact:
- Sexual penetration of a victim under the age of 13 when the offender is at least 36 months older than the victim;
- Sexual penetration of a victim between 13 and 16 years old when the offender is at least 48 months older than the victim;
- Sexual penetration under circumstances that cause the victim to have a reasonable fear of imminent great bodily harm; and
- Sexual penetration that is accomplished by using a dangerous weapon to create fear in the victim.
A conviction is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
2nd-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
Almost as severe as a first-degree charge, a charge of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree applies to all circumstances listed under the first-degree offense—but without sexual penetration.
A conviction is punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
3rd-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
Criminal sexual conduct in the third degree involves sexual penetration under the following circumstances:
- The victim is under the age of 13, but the offender is not more than 36 months older;
- Sexual contact with a victim who is at least 13 but less than 16 and the offender is more than two years older;
- The offender used force, or the victim was mentally or physically incapacitated at the time;
- The alleged victim is at least 16 but under 18, and the offender is more than 48 months older than the victim and is in a position of authority over the victim (e.g., parent, guardian, teacher, coach);
- The alleged victim is a patient of a therapist; or
- The offender is a church leader, and the victim sought their advice.
A conviction for 3rd-degree criminal sexual conduct is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
4th-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
A fourth-degree charge typically involves a victim too young to consent or an otherwise vulnerable individual.
Generally, the alleged victim is not severely injured. Usually, statutory rape is classified as a fourth-degree offense.
A conviction is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
5th-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
The least severe of the five levels, criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree, includes lewd acts and sexual contact without penetration or severe injury to the victim.
A conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail or up to five if it is a second or subsequent offense.
Sexual assault crimes are heavily prosecuted and severely punished. In addition to statutory imprisonment and fines, you will likely face sex offender registration requirements under Minnesota’s Sex Offender Program (MSOP) if convicted.
The sex offender program includes lengthy registration periods, mandatory treatment programs, and specific conditions of release.