You may be falsely accused of a sex crime. If this happens, you have legal options. You can partner with a criminal defense lawyer in Newnan, GA. At this point, your attorney can help you figure out how to defend against a criminal charge. 

At J. Ryan Brown Law, we vow to treat you with loyalty. Our Newnan sex crimes lawyer will take the time to learn about you and your case. We may be able to help you build a compelling argument to dispute your sexual crime charge. To learn more, contact us today. 

Sex Crime Definition

According to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), sex-related offenses have a sexual component. A sex crime may result in physical, mental, or emotional harm. When the act is committed, a person may actually inflict harm or threaten to do so. 

There are many types of sexual violence, including:


A person may be convicted of rape if they engage in sexual activity with someone without their consent. With a rape conviction, an individual may face a minimum prison sentence of 25 years without the potential for parole. There is also the possibility that someone convicted of this crime may receive a lifetime prison sentence, with parole as an option after 30 years. A Newnan rape lawyer can explain the ramifications of a conviction in detail. 

Statutory Rape

If someone is accused of engaging in a sexual act with someone under the age of 16 without this individual’s consent, they may be charged with statutory rape. The penalties for a statutory rape conviction vary. A person convicted of this crime may receive up to 20 years in prison. If an individual is under 18 at the time of their conviction and the victim is 14 or 15, they may face a misdemeanor. A Newnan statutory rape lawyer may be able to help those dealing with this type of charge. 

Aggravated Sodomy

An individual may face an aggravated sodomy charge if they force someone to submit to a sexual act involving the anus or mouth. They may use physical force or threats to make someone perform or submit to this act. The penalty for aggravated sodomy may include 25 years to life in prison. In a case where a person is convicted of this charge and receives a life sentence, they may be eligible for parole after 30 years. A Newnan aggravated sodomy lawyer can discuss the penalties relating to an aggravated sodomy offense. They may be able to help an individual build a legal strategy to contest this charge. 

Child Molestation

A person may be charged with child molestation if they do an immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of a child or if they distribute images of someone promoting, encouraging, or engaging in sexual activities with intention of arousing their own sexual desires or the desires of the child. They may face a child molestation charge if they commit an immoral or indecent act in a minor’s presence. A first-time offender may receive a minimum of five years in prison for child molestation and up to twenty years. The penalties increase for each conviction preceding the first one. It may seem like it is impossible to defend against a molestation charge. A Newnan child molestation lawyer may be able to work with you to prepare a legal defense. 

Sex crimes lawyers understand the legal ramifications of these offenses and similar ones. These attorneys can teach you about sexual crimes and what may happen if you are convicted of one.  They can also answer your legal questions and help you make informed decisions as you deal with a charge. 

Standard of Proof for Conviction

Per Georgia Code § 16-1-5, there is a presumption of innocence relative to sexual crimes. To be convicted of a sexual offense, a prosecutor must prove Each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

For example, the burden of proof falls on the prosecution to show the defendant in a child molestation case committed an indecent or immoral act. A prosecutor may present a wide range of evidence to support their argument. Much in the same vein, the defendant may offer proof to raise doubts about the prosecutor’s claims. 

A prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed a sex crime. If a prosecutor is unable to do so, they may struggle to argue against a defendant.

What to Do If You Are Charged with a Sex Crime

You may feel frustrated and angry after you have been charged with a sexual crime. Yet, there are many things you can do to dispute the charge. These include:

Remain Silent

You have the right to say nothing relating to your charge, even if police officers question you about it. If you are unsure about what to say and concerned, you may state something that incriminates you, so err on the side of caution. Do not speak about your charge, and you can give the prosecution nothing on the record that they may be able to use against you at a later time. 

Consult with an Attorney

An attorney can answer questions relating to bond conditions in child molestation and other sex crime cases and similar legal topics. They can evaluate your case and help you assess the severity of your charge. Your lawyer can help you build an argument to contest your charge right away. 

Gather Evidence

Work with your lawyer to collect evidence to support your argument. Photos, videos, calendars, and other forms of proof may help you build a strong body of evidence. Preserve your proof, as this may be needed during a trial. 

Avoid Voluntary Searches or Testing

You do not have to submit to a search or test unless the court orders you to do so. If the police or anyone else requests a search or testing, notify your lawyer. Otherwise, a prosecutor may use a search or testing to collect evidence they can use against you. 

An attorney can provide tips and recommendations on how to respond to a sex crime allegation. They may also work with you to craft a compelling legal strategy. 

How to Defend Against a Sexual Crime 

Sex crime attorneys help clients craft custom legal defenses. They may consider many legal strategies, such as:

False Accusation

Someone may accuse you of a sexual crime you did not commit. If this occurs, give the charge against you the attention it deserves. You may hire a sex crime attorney to help you gather evidence to show you were falsely accused. This may help you avoid a conviction that leads to a prison sentence and other serious penalties. 

False Witness Testimony

A witness may say under oath you committed a sex crime. However, this individual may have been mistaken or lied. You may be able to show what a witness stated is false. An attorney may help you develop an argument that makes it clear a witness’ statements are untrue.

Mistaken Identity 

Someone may be the victim of a sexual crime and name you as the person who committed it by mistake. You may be able to show you had nothing to do with the criminal act. A lawyer may be able to prove you had an alibi and were nowhere near the scene of the crime. 


You may have participated in a sexual act with someone else who claims they did not consent to it. It may be possible to use evidence that demonstrates consent. Doing so may be difficult. Regardless, an attorney may help you collect proof that verifies the person who accused you of committing a sex act against them gave their consent. 

It may be best not to wait to pursue legal help with a sex crime charge. By partnering with a lawyer as soon as you are charged with a sexual crime, you may have ample time to build a legal strategy that disproves the claims against you. 

Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction

The penalties for sex crimes in Georgia range in terms of severity. Many sexual crimes are classified as felonies. A sexual criminal activity may be classified as a misdemeanor if it involves two minors within a few years of age. 

Prison time and fines are common penalties for sexual crimes. Following a conviction, an individual’s reputation may be damaged. A conviction may affect a person’s ability to buy a home or secure a job. It may also impact their relationships with family members and friends. 

There is a Sex Offender Registry in Georgia. You may be required to register as a sex offender based on a conviction. Some information in this registry is publicly accessible. If you are registered, someone may be able to find your name, address, and other information about you. 

If you are required to register as a sex offender and choose not to do so, you may be punished. For a first conviction, failure to register may result in a prison sentence lasting one to 30 years, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. If you are convicted a second time, deciding not to register may result in a prison sentence of five to 30 years. 

Statute of Limitations for Sexual Crime Charges

There are time limits for people to be charged with sex crimes. The statute of limitations depends on the criminal activity.

For many sex crimes, the criminal statute of limitations is seven years. Criminal activities that may fall within this period include:

  • Aggravated sexual battery 
  • Aggravated sodomy 

Some crimes may be punished within a four-year statute of limitations. Criminal activities that may fall into this category include incest and sexual assault. Rape, on the hand, has a fifteen year statute of limitations. 

There are also crimes that may be subject to a two-year statute of limitations. These may include sexual battery on someone over 16 and child molestation where the victim is between the ages of 14 and 16, and the offender is no more than four years older than the victim. 

Based on the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §17-3-1, there may be no statute of limitations in cases where DNA links an offender to a sex crime. As an example, DNA may be found that connects a person to a sexual crime committed 20 years ago. In this situation, an individual may be charged with the crime. A prosecutor may also use the DNA evidence against the offender.

Court Process for a Sexual Crime

You may be charged with a sex crime but need months or years to resolve your case. The court process for a sexual crime may be lengthy, but an attorney can guide you every step of the way. Here are the steps involved in this process:


A police officer may place you under arrest. They are legally required to read your Miranda rights at this time before they question you about the case. Your Miranda rights are important, and if an officer does not share them with you, this may be used to exclude your statements. 

After your arrest, you will be brought to a booking facility. Here,  you will be booked And held until your first appearance and perhaps longer. 


A bond helps preserve a person’s innocence. Without it, an individual may be arrested and be forced to stay in jail until their case goes to court. 

Someone can pay a bond on your behalf following your arrest. Doing so offers a financial guarantee you will continue to appear in court until your case’s conclusion. 

Aggravated sexual battery, child molestation, and other sex crimes may be eligible for bond if a judge authorizes one. A Newnan bond lawyer can teach you about hearings for bonds and what they entail. They can also explain your legal rights relating to bonds. 

Preliminary Hearing

At a preliminary hearing, a judge determines if there is enough evidence against you to move forward with a trial. If the judge finds there is probable cause to believe that you committed the offense, your case will be “bound over” for trial in superior court. 

You may have an attorney represent you during your preliminary hearing. This may help you show there is a lack of evidence against it. In a case where a judge believes there is not enough proof against a defendant, a case may be dismissed. 


An attorney may make a motion on behalf of their client in a sexual crime case. The motion may help you suppress evidence the prosecution intends to use against you. 

For instance, the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects people against illegal searches and seizures. If police officers obtained evidence that led to your sex crime arrest through an unlawful search and seizure, your attorney may file a motion to suppress it. If your lawyer succeeds, they may weaken the prosecution’s argument. 

Your lawyer may submit a motion for discovery to help strengthen your legal strategy. With discovery, your attorney can get evidence the prosecution may use against you. This may give you insights into how the prosecution plans to argue their case. Your attorney may utilize discovery to find ways to poke holes in the prosecution’s argument. 


You may bring your case to trial, where you and your attorney explain why you should not be convicted. There may be a bench or jury trial for your case.

A bench trial involves presenting your argument to a judge. Comparatively, a jury trial requires you to argue your case to six jurors for misdemeanors or 12 jurors for felony offenses. 

Your attorney may teach you about the pros and cons of bench and jury trials. They may advocate for either option based on the facts surrounding your case. 


Just because you are found guilty of a sexual crime does not mean your case is over. If you believe you were wrongfully convicted, you can appeal. 

Your attorney may be able to file a motion for a new trial or ask a judge to overturn a guilty verdict. They may also have the option to request a higher court review your case and determine if you warrant a reversal of the original decision against you. 

It may be challenging to navigate the court process on your own. When you have a sexual crimes attorney at your side, you may be able to avoid mistakes during this process. In addition, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea deal before your case goes to trial. 

Sex Crime Plea Agreement

A legal team may help you pursue a plea agreement in your sexual crime case. By accepting this agreement, you may plead guilty to a reduced charge in exchange for a lesser sentence than what was originally proposed. 

Your lawyer can explain plea agreement options and how they work. If you want to explore a plea deal, your attorney may help you craft an agreement that lines up with your best interests and those of the prosecution. 

Over the course of your litigation, your attorney and the prosecutor in your case may go back and forth. If you and the prosecution come to terms on an agreement, you approve the terms of the pact, and your case is closed. 

If no plea deal is reached, you may go to trial. Your attorney can represent you during your trial. They can advocate for you, protect your legal rights, and put you in the best position to get a favorable ruling.

Partner with a Newnan Sexual Crimes Lawyer

The legal team at J. Ryan Brown Law understands the seriousness of a sex crime allegation. We take pride in accepting cases other lawyers avoid. Our Newnan sexual crimes attorney can evaluate your case and provide insights into what you may want to do next. To schedule a free case consultation, contact us today. 

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC