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Charges of sex crimes against a minor, like annoying or molesting a child under 18, attract a lot of judgment and stigmatization on the accused person. While a significant number of the suspected persons in the case are often innocent, the evidence in court may be enough to warrant arrest. With a constant rise in reported cases of annoying or molesting a child, the authorities take allegations very seriously. So you need to find an expert criminal lawyer like our Criminal Lawyer who will give you the best approach to handle the allegations you are facing.
Annoying or bothering a child is illegal if motivated by an “abnormal or unnatural sexual interest” in the child, defined as someone under 18 years old. The conduct must be odd, i.e. that a normal reasonable person would feel bothered, uncomfortable, offended, injured or irritated by the conduct. Lastly, the conduct must be sexually motivated and directed at the child, however, it is not necessary that the child be annoyed or bothered only that a reasonable person would feel uncomfortable, offended, etc.
According to this law, molesting and annoying will mean the same thing, which is a conduct that is sexually motivated and intended to irritate or disturb another person. If this conduct is directed towards a minor of below 18 years, the offender can face serious charges and probably many years behind bars.
To prove that a defendant is guilty of annoying or molesting a child, a prosecutor must be able to prove the following elements:
The molesting can be in the form of pornography, masturbation, sexual intercourse, fondling, and many other ways. Molesters manipulate the children to make them feel that they are responsible for the abuse. The children do not open up. The subtlety is well crafted to ensure that the child does not expose the molester.
There are a number of defenses that a criminal defense lawyer can raise on your behalf. Your attorney can argue:
Age: You held a good faith belief that the victim was 18 years of age or older. Example You met the alleged victim at a music festival where the minimum age to enter was 18. Furthermore, the victim represented herself as a legal adult. Your reasonable belief that the alleged victim was 18 years of age or older at the time of the conduct may be a defense to a charge.
The Witness Lacks Credibility: Witnesses might be lacking credibility if they have a preexisting bias towards the defendant or are lying. Your attorney could subpoena account information of the witness on social networking sites, counseling records, medical records, and email messages.
Conduct was not sexually motivated: The other defense is that the conduct was simply not sexually related. Similarly, the conduct would not have disturbed, annoyed, bothered or injured the person, but it was reported (often by an adult who overreacts or whose protective instincts are in overdrive).
False Accusations: This is also an offense that may be subject to false accusations, especially if the child is mistaken or the child’s parent coaches the child to make the allegations in order to cause trouble for the defendant.
Charges of abuse or molestation may end in conviction. If the legal defense team fails to convince a jury or judge of the validity of their argument, conviction as guilty of these crimes is usually the result. These crimes must have a jury that has been deemed appropriate with the open-minded view of being able to sentence the entirety of penalties based on the crime and other factors included. With guilt established through conviction, the offender faces severe penalties based on the state the offenses were committed.
It is important to know from the very start what kind of sexual assault you are charged with. The type of sexual assault you are charged with will change the minimum possible sentence. Some crimes are considered sexual, but they are not technically sexual assault.
According to the criminal code of Canada, annoying or molesting a child is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail and a maximum $5,000 fine. However, this offense can also be charged as a felony, and you could face from 16 months to 3 years in prison in addition to a maximum $5,000 fine.
If the offense occurred in an inhabited dwelling, annoying or molesting a child is a “wobbler” offense that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If charged as a felony, the defendant can be sentenced to up to three years in prison.
If you are facing charges for annoying or molesting a minor, you are probably worried. The criminal court may be unforgiving if you are found guilty, and this means you could be spending several months behind bars. There is hope and this could be through the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Even if you consider yourself innocent of the charge, you still need representation. Seek a lawyer in your province who has successfully defended those accused of child molestation.
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