A conviction for a sex offense in Louisiana is likely to result in a lengthy prison sentence without the possibility of probation or parole. Offenders additionally face a lifetime as a registered sex offender. Even without being subjected to the harshest consequences of a sex crime conviction, a criminal record of sex crimes is likely to negatively impact the individual at home, work and every area of their personal and professional life.
Baton Rouge criminal defense attorney Samuel “Chuck” Ward defends people charged with sexual battery, rape and other Louisiana sex crimes. Call Ward Law for immediate help if you have been arrested for a sexual offense in Louisiana.
Louisiana Sexual Battery and Rape Defense
The penalty for first-degree rape, also known as aggravated rape, is life imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. If the victim is under 13, this crime is a capital offense, meaning the state can seek the death penalty. First-degree rape can be charged when the victim is over 65 or under 13, when force or threats or a dangerous weapon were used, if multiple offenders participated, or if the victim was mentally or physically disabled.
Second-degree rape, which includes date rape drugs, is punishable by five to 40 years in prison. Second-degree rape was formerly called forcible rape in Louisiana. Third-degree rape, previously known as simple rape, is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Probation, parole or suspended sentences are not allowed for conviction of rape in Louisiana.
Sexual Battery is defined to include the intentional touching without consent of another’s anus or genitals when the victim was under 15 years old and three years younger than the offender, 17 or older and disabled, or 65 or older. Sexual battery can be punished by up to ten years in prison. Depending on the circumstances, a convicted offender could be sentenced from 25 to 99 years, with no parole allowed for the first 25 years. This extended sentence is possible if the victim was under 13 years old and the offender was 17 or older.
Sexual battery can be charged in the second degree if a serious bodily injury occurred. Penalties can include 15 years in prison. Sexual battery comes with lifetime electronic monitoring after release from prison, with the offender paying the costs.
Misdemeanor sexual battery includes intentional touching without consent of another’s breast or buttocks. It is punished with up to $1,000 in fines or six months in jail. Registration on the sex offender registry is not required, but the offender cannot get the conviction set aside or prosecution dismissed, as is sometimes available in other areas of criminal law.
Sex Offender Registration
Conviction of certain sex offenses can land a person on the State Sex Offender & Child Predator Registry for 15 years, 25 years or a lifetime. Convicted offenders are required to register with the parish sheriff or chief of police wherever they live, work or go to school. Registration requires providing the authorities with your name, address, phone number, photo, fingerprints, DNA sample, vehicle registration information, Social Security number, date of birth, physical description, email addresses and online screen names.
Offenders have three days to register or update their information or face additional penalties. Failure to register or comply can result in fines up to $1,000 and between two and ten years in prison with hard labor. The offender is also required to pay an annual registration fee, and failure to pay the fee can result in an additional fine and up to six months in jail.
Registration requires offenders to notify all the residences and businesses within a one-mile radius, as well as the offender’s landlord and the superintendent of parks or schools in the area. This notification must be done every five years.
Persons on the registry can’t live or be physically present within 1,000 feet of a school, park, library, playground, public pool, or video arcade. They can’t give out candy on Halloween, and many won’t be allowed to be on social media.
Sex Crime Charges Can Be Fought
Getting charged with a sex offense can be frightening, embarrassing or extremely stressful, but pleading guilty to a charge to try and resolve it as quickly as possible might not be in your best interests. Persons arrested with sex crimes, from solicitation of prostitution to rape, might have several defenses available (consent, mistaken identity, entrapment, etc.), and the prosecution’s case might be weak on the evidence. Prosecutors might charge a more serious offense than they can prove, hoping to get the accused to plead guilty to a lesser offense to avoid a trial. A move like this might be in your best interest, but it’s vital to be advised and represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney who can let you know your options and advocate on your behalf. Whether you are best served by accepting a plea or going to trial, Ward Law will provide you with an aggressive defense while protecting your rights and ensuring you are treated fairly.