The People’s Lawyer

Proposed new law could worsen penalties for sex offenders

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Being accused of sex-related crimes in West Virginia can not only lead to criminal penalties but also personal challenges. There is a stigma associated with these allegations. Along with losing their freedom, it will cast them in a negative light personally and professionally. People need to fight hard to address them from the outset.

Lawmakers are constantly striving to strengthen the penalties and tailor the law to specific sex offenses. With that, people who are accused should be cognizant of the current and potential future laws that can impact them. As with any criminal case, it is essential to be protected. This is especially true when changes to the law are being discussed.

State senators push to change West Virginia sex crimes law

A bill that would strengthen the laws for sex-based violations involving children is being debated in West Virginia. If it passes, adults who expose themselves to children to achieve sexual gratification will be charged with a felony.

As it stands now, the law does not differentiate between children and adults in these cases. Two incidents result in misdemeanor charges. The third is a felony. Under the proposal, a crime committed involving children 15 and younger would be a felony for the first offense. Along with the felony charge, there would be a financial penalty of $3,000.

In addition, there is debate about the placement of those who are convicted on a sex offender registry. The primary goal is to implement greater protections for younger people. The age of consent in the state is 16.

Contacting caring professionals can help with seeking solutions to sex offenses

Regardless of the alleged crimes, current laws and possible new laws that are being discussed, having experienced help in forging a defense is imperative. Because sex offenses—particularly those involving children—are viewed so negatively, it is essential to combat them head-on.

There may be ways to reduce the charges; the incident itself might have been misconstrued or it might not even be true. Dealing with the legal system can be complex and worrisome in any case, but it is harder with sex crimes. Calling caring and experienced professionals who will do what they can to reach a positive result is key.