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If you are accused of a sex crime, your life is on the line. You face the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence. Family and friends can turn away. Even if you receive a deferred judgment, you must register as a sex offender. Without experienced and dedicated defense representation, your life will never be the same. I am J.B. Katz, a Breckenridge criminal defense lawyer with more than 20 years of experience defending people accused of sex offenses and other serious felony crimes. I am aggressive at all stages of the legal process, tenaciously defending my clients’ rights and working hard to obtain the best possible outcome. I will fight for your rights and freedom.
What is Sexual Assault?
In Colorado, sexual assault (rape) is defined as any forced or non-consensual act of penetration. If one party is intoxicated or unconscious, the sex is automatically considered non-consensual. To be convicted of this crime, penetration or intrusion must have occurred. Non-consensual touching is not considered rape or sexual assault, rather it is considered unlawful sexual contact.
Sexual Assault Penalties
If you are convicted of sexual assault in Colorado, it is almost always a felony. Depending on the circumstances, the penalties could include up to 24 years in prison, a fine between $5,000 and $1 million, and lifetime registry as a sex offender.
Sexual Assault Defenses
Being charged with any type of sexual assault is incredibly serious and can have consequences that follow you around for the rest of your life. It can have a significant impact on where you’re allowed to work or where you can live. Anytime someone runs a background check, they will be able to see that you are a registered sex offender. If you’ve been charged with this serious crime, it’s important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. They will determine the best course of action to defend you. Some of the most common defenses to sexual assault include the following:
In the state of Colorado, consent is defined as cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will and with knowledge of the nature of the act. If the victim did not agree to the act or have the capacity to agree to the act, there is no consent and you can be charged with sexual assault. While it may be uncomfortable for some people, the best way to ensure that the other party consents is to get verbal confirmation before and during the act.
- Mistake of Fact
Mistake of fact is a difficult defense to use successfully, but it can be an option sometimes. This legal defense is used to try to establish that the accused mistakenly believed that the alleged victim had consented to the activity.
- Mistake of Age
In some circumstances, mistake of age can be raised as an affirmative defense in Colorado. If the accused can present evidence that they believed the child was 18 years or older, and the child was at least 15 and the accused is not in a position of trust, they could avoid a conviction.
- False Accusation
False accusations can occur, most commonly in children. It’s possible that an adult influenced their recollection or convinced them to say something that wasn’t true. These types of situations occur most commonly when a couple is going through a divorce.
- No Penetration or Intrusion
The act of groping someone in a sexual manner without their consent is not considered rape. If the accused can show that there was no penetration, they could avoid a conviction on sexual assault/rape. It’s likely that they would still be convicted of unwanted sexual contact, but the penalties for that crime are less severe.
A Proactive Defense Effort
When I represent you, I will undertake an immediate and proactive defense effort. I will thoroughly investigate all aspects of the events leading to your arrest. This effort may involve research by a private investigator and a psychosexual evaluation by a psychiatrist or psychologist. In a case involving very serious charges, my firm may engage one or more additional attorneys to support the defense effort. I will work tirelessly to build a strong and effective defense for you. My firm defends people accused of all types of sex offenses, including:
- Sexual assault
- Statutory rape
- Indecent exposure
- Sexual assault on a child
- Other sex offenses
Because of the political sensitivity of sexual offense cases, it can be sometimes difficult to obtain an acceptable plea agreement. But going to trial carries considerable risks. I will explain your legal options, helping you make the right decisions about your case. In my career extending for more than 20 years, I have taken many cases to trial. If you choose that route, I have the trial advocacy skills needed to defend you.
An Attorney Who Looks Out For Your Rights At All Times
I will fight for your rights and freedom, every step of the way. To schedule a free consultation, please call my Breckenridge office (970) 453-5533, or send me an email. You need to have an attorney before meeting with law enforcement to discuss these charges.