Virginia sex offenses are severe crimes that come with significant consequences upon conviction, including hefty fines, lengthy prison/jail sentences, and the requirement to register as a sex offender. Virginia aggressively tries these offenses, even when the criminal act was attempted and not completed.

Certain sex-related offenses don’t involve bodily contact, but they could still lead to severe consequences. Others, especially those involving minors, could lead to you being prohibited from being anywhere near children. Because of the severity of these crimes and the likelihood of your reputation being damaged due to facing sex offense-related charges, you want to seek help from a skilled sex crimes defense attorney.

At Virginia Criminal Attorney, we defend persons charged with any form of a sex crime in Fairfax, VA, and Northern Virginia. If you need advice about legal options to fight serious sex crime charges against you, contact us for a complimentary consultation right away.

Whether your case involves physical contact, a completed or attempted act; we can review it and help you develop the best defense strategy possible based on the circumstances and facts. The earlier we start working on your case, the more effective we will be and achieve the best possible outcome. So call us now, and we will be by your side every step of the way.

What Sex Crimes Result in Prohibition from Being in Close Proximity to Children?

Under Va. Code 18.2-370.2, if you are found guilty of certain sex offenses, you will be prohibited from being anywhere near children. These crimes include:

Kidnapping/Abduction of a Minor – Va. Code 18.2-47 (A) and Va. Code 18.2-48(ii)(iii)

Kidnapping involves using intimidation, deception, or force to seize, take, transport, detain, or secrete someone else intending to deprive them of their liberty, and with no legal excuse or justification of doing so. It also involves using force, deception, or intimidation to conceal or withhold someone else from another person, institution, or authority legally entitled to their charge.

Note that under Virginia statute, there’s no minimum period requirement necessary to be deemed a kidnapping. Once the victim’s movement is inhibited, the abduction act is already complete. Generally, this is a Class 5 felony punishable by ten years of a prison sentence and a maximum fine of $2,500. If a guardian or parent committed the crime, it becomes a Class 1 misdemeanor. And the offense carries harsher penalties if the minor is removed from the Commonwealth.

Forcible Sodomy with a Victim under Thirteen Years Old – Va. Code 18.2-67.1(A)(1)

Forcible sodomy involves engaging in any of these sexual acts with someone else or causing someone else to engage in the acts with another party:

  • Cunnilingus—stimulation of the female genitals with the lips or tongue

  • Fellatio— oral stimulation of a penis

  • Anal sexual intercourse

  • Anilingus—sexual stimulation of the anus with the lips or tongue

Therefore, under Va. Code 18.2-67.1(A)(1), it’s a criminal offense to engage in any of the acts mentioned above with a minor under 13 years old. However, you must’ve accomplished the sexual activity through force, threats of force, or intimidation of the victim for you to be convicted. In addition, the minor’s physical helplessness or mental incapacity also needs to have been exploited.

Incest with a Minor– Va. Code 18.2-366(B)

The general crime of incest is described under Va. Code 18.2-366. However, subsection (B) of this code specifically criminalizes engaging in sexual intercourse with your child or grandchild when the child is a minor. Therefore, this offense will subject you to Class 3 felony charges.

Rape When the Victim is a Minor under Thirteen Years – Va. Code 18.2-61(A)(iii)

Rape is described under Va. Code 18.2-61 as having sex with a person or causing a person to have sexual intercourse with someone else against their will, through intimidation, threat, or force, or by using the victim’s physical helplessness or mental incapacity. Subsection (A)(iii) particularly prohibits raping a child who is below thirteen years. The intimidation, threat, or force element is judged through the victim’s subjective viewpoint. This crime is a serious felony, and apart from being prohibited from being near a child, you could face between five years to life in prison.

Carnal Knowledge of a Minor between Thirteen and Fifteen Years Old – Va. Code 18.2-63

In Virginia, having sex with any minor younger than thirteen years is prosecuted as forcible sodomy, object sexual penetration, or rape, irrespective of whether the minor consented or force was involved or not. This is because children do not have the legal capacity to agree to sexual intercourse. Therefore, sex with a child is always described as rape when the child is below thirteen years.

But when the child is between thirteen and fifteen years old, the crime becomes carnal knowledge of a minor. Va. Code 18.2-63 criminalizes carnally knowing a minor between thirteen and fifteen years old without using force. Also called the carnal knowledge statute, this law criminalizes all sexual activities between a child aged between 13 and fifteen years and a person of any age, including:

  • Sexual intercourse,

  • Cunnilingus,

  • Anilingus,

  • Fellatio,

  • Anal sex

  • Inanimate and animate sexual object penetration.

Violating this law is a Class 4 felony punishable by a maximum of $100,000 in fines and up to ten years of a prison sentence.

Taking Indecent Liberties with Children and Taking Indecent Liberties with Children by a Person in Supervisory or Custodial Position Va. Code 18.2-370 and Va. Code 18.2-371

It’s a felony to intentionally and knowingly commit any of these acts to a child below 15 years old with a lascivious intent when the two of you aren’t lawfully married:

  • Exposing your private parts or proposing that the minor does so

  • Proposing that the child touches your, their, or someone else’s genitals

  • Suggesting that you and the child engage in sexual intercourse, sexual oral acts, or anal sexual intercourse

  • Trying to have the child enter a dwelling or vehicle to commit the actions mentioned above

Other offenses include:

  • Carnal knowledge of certain minors

  • Production, publication, financing, sale, etc., of child pornography

  • Possession, solicitation, distribution, facilitation, and reproduction of child pornography

  • Aggravated sexual battery when the victim is below thirteen years or the defendant committed the act against the victim’s will, and the victim was between thirteen and fifteen years

  • Permitting or employing a child to help in obscene material

  • Object sexual penetration with a victim below thirteen years

  • Engaging in consensual sex with a minor fifteen to eighteen years if you are above eighteen years old

  • Providing false info or failing to provide registration information when the crime requiring registration is any of the above-mentioned

If you have been found guilty of any of the above-mentioned criminal offenses, you are prohibited from loitering in close proximity to minors. In addition, section 18.2-370.2(B) specifically provides that if you’re found guilty of one or more of the above crimes, and the offense took place after or on 1st July 2000, you will be forever forbidden from hanging out within a hundred feet of a high, secondary, or primary school. And if the crime occurred after or on 1st July 2006, you will forever be forbidden from loitering within a hundred feet of a child daycare program.

Per Va. Code 18.2-370.2(C), if convicted of a crime forbidding proximity to minors and the crime took place after or on 1st July 2008, you are forever barred from going within a hundred feet of an athletic facility or field, playground, or gymnasium for purposes contacting minors who aren’t in your custody.

Section 18.2-370.2(D) provides that if you are guilty of a crime under the laws of another state, or foreign country similar to any of the crimes mentioned above, you will forever be forbidden from loitering within a hundred feet of:

  • A high school,

  • Secondary school,

  • Primary school,

  • A child day program

Additionally, you will forever be forbidden from going within a hundred feet of the premises operated or owned by a locality that you know or reasonably believe is an athletic facility or field, gymnasium, or playground for purposes of having contact with minors who aren’t in your custody.

Consequences for Va. Code 18.2-370.2 Violation

Violating any subsection of Va. Code 18.2-370.2 is a Class 6 felony. Virginia Class 6 felonies are wobblers. A wobbler is a crime that the DA can choose to prosecute as a felony or misdemeanor based on the facts surrounding the case and the defendant’s criminal history. If convicted of a felony, your punishment will include between one and five years of a prison sentence. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by a year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.

Other Restrictions for Sex Offenders

Apart from loitering in proximity to minors, the law also restricts sex offenders under the state’s registry from performing other activities, including:

  • Entering any school property – Va. Code 18.2-370.5

  • Working on any school property –Va. Code 18.2-370.4

  • Living in proximity to children facilities – Va. Code 18.2-370.3

Entering a School or Other Property

If you are guilty of any Tier III crime, Va. Code 18.2-370.5(A) prohibits you from being present or entering:

  1. Any property you know or have reason to believe is a private or public, secondary or elementary school or child daycare property during school hours and school-sponsored or school-related activities.

  2. Any school bus

  3. Any property (private or public) at a time when the property is being used by a private/public, secondary/elementary school for a school-sponsored or school-related activity

However, (i) and (iii) won’t apply to you if:

  • You are a qualified and lawfully registered voter and are entering the property only to cast your vote.

  • You are a student enrolled at the school.

  • You have obtained a court order allowing you to enter the property or have the school board or owner’s permission.

Violating this law is also a Class 6 felony, which is prosecuted as a wobbler. Felony punishments upon conviction include up to five years in prison, while misdemeanor consequences include up to $2,500 in fines and a year in jail.

Working on Any School Property

Per Va. Code 18.2-370.4, specific sex offenders are forbidden from volunteering or working in child day centers or high, middle, and elementary schools. These offenders include individuals found guilty of:

  • Raping a child younger than thirteen years old

  • Object sexual penetration with a child below thirteen years old

  • Forcible sodomy with a child below thirteen years old

Violating this law is a Class 6 felony, punishable similarly as Va. Code 18.2.370.5 violation. Note that the defendant’s employer, someone who procured volunteer activity by the accused, and the institution where the offense took place aren’t criminally or civilly liable except if they knew that the defendant had been found guilty of the criminal offenses mentioned above.

Living in Proximity to Children Facilities

Va. Code 18.2-370.3(A) forever prohibits given sex offenders from living within five hundred feet of the premises they know or reasonably believe is a primary, secondary, or primary or, or a child daycare center. The said sex offenders include people convicted of:

  • Raping a victim under 13 years

  • Forcible sodomy with a victim less than 13 years old

  • Object sexual penetration to a child less than 13 years old

For this law to apply, however, the accused must be three years older than the victim at the time of the offense. This law became effective on 1st July 2006. Violating it is also a Class 6 felony.

Va. Code 18.2-370.3(C) forever prohibits sex offenders convicted of the crimes mentioned above from living within five hundred feet of the boundary line of a park when the park:

  • Is operated and owned by a town, city, or county

  • Shares a boundary line with a high, secondary, or primary school

  • Is regularly used for school-related activities

This law came into effect on 1st July 2008, and violating is a Class 6 felony. However, for it to apply, you must have been older than the victim by more than three years during the crime commission.

Both Va. Code 18.2-370.3(A) and Va.18.2-370(C) do not apply to offenders who had already established a legal residence before they were convicted. They only apply to the offenders interested in establishing a lawful residence after conviction.

General Defenses to Virginia Sex Offenses

To avoid prohibition from being in close proximity to children, you have to fight to avoid a conviction of the sex crime charges you face. To do this, you have to develop a defense strategy with the help of your lawyer. Several legal defenses apply to sex offense cases. First, your attorney can go over the specific facts of your case then determine what defenses to present. Possible ones may include:

  • Age— if you were unaware of the alleged victim’s age or had reason to believe the victim was of consenting age, your lawyer may argue this defense. For instance, if you met the supposed victim in a place most likely to be visited by adults, such as a bar, you can argue that you reasonably believed they were above the legal consenting age.

  • Mistaken identity— sometimes, sex crime accusations are because of the victim misidentifying the perpetrator. The sex offense may have indeed occurred, but the supposed victim may mistake someone else for the real culprit. This could be because the actual culprit and the accused sound or look alike. Also, if the victim was intoxicated at the time of the crime, they may not remember what happened. If you have been misidentified as someone else and accused of a sex crime that you didn’t commit, arguing this defense may help you be acquitted.

  • False accusations— sometimes, victims merely make up stories about a sexual offense that didn’t take place. An alleged victim can lie for different reasons, like seeking revenge after a breakup or having consensual sexual intercourse at a tender age against their parents’ values.

  • False memory— in given sex offense allegations, a victim might have a false memory about a sexual encounter. Through therapy, the victim might remember a sexual encounter or assault differently from how it occurred in the real sense.

Other Legal Strategies We Use to Defend Against Sex Offenses

Some defense attorneys wait until the DA files formal charges in sex crime cases, but we don’t. We believe any accusation of sexual misconduct demands early intervention. This proactive and aggressive approach has made us have a proven track record in defending clients. Apart from legal defenses, other strategies we apply when helping our clients fight sex crime charges include:

Negotiating with the Police

Virginia police officers take allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously. Frequently, they place people under arrest first then ask questions afterward. Sometimes, however, all we have to do to have law enforcement officers drop a sexual misconduct case is present our client’s account of events.

Private Investigation

Often, supposed victims misinterpret a given situation or mistakenly identify a completely different person to be the culprit. Sometimes they lie. We partner with top-notch private investigators to investigate the supposed victim, witnesses, and crime scene. If the victim or witness isn’t credible or is biased, we’ll uncover them. Alternatively, our investigations may unearth conditions like distance from the crime scene or lighting that make witness identification unreliable.

Private Polygraph Testing

Usually, lie detectors, also known as polygraph tests, aren’t admissible in Virginia courts. However, private polygraph test results can be helpful when fighting sex crime cases. If the test results indicate that the defendant is speaking the truth, we could show them to the DA. Usually, this results in the DA lowering the charge or dropping the case altogether. If the test results aren’t favorable to the defendant, we won’t disclose them. The prosecution won’t ever know we conducted the test.

Pretrial Motions and Advocacy

Most Virginia sex offense cases don’t reach the trial phase. In certain cases, the defendant enters a guilty plea and, in exchange, receives a lenient sentence. However, with a solid defense strategy, we can successfully file a motion to suppress. Alternatively, we can persuade the DA that the accused isn’t guilty or the case is too weak to go to trial.

Sentence Mitigation

Defendants convicted of sex offenses in Virginia can present mitigating circumstances during sentencing. These factors allow the court to impose a lenient sentence. They include:

  • You don’t have prior convictions.

  • You voluntarily agreed to your wrongdoing before you were arrested or during the early stages of the criminal process.

  • You mistakenly believed your conduct was lawful.

  • Your previous performance on parole or probation was satisfactory.

  • You paid restitution to the victim.

  • You only have an insignificant criminal record.

Find a Sex Crimes Defense Attorney Near Me

Our skilled criminal defense lawyers at Virginia Criminal Attorney know how to build strong legal defenses to fight any form of sex offense charges. We’ll do everything we can to defend you or mitigate both the long- and short-term repercussions of the charges against you. Sex crimes are usually among the most challenging cases to defend, but we’ve been taking on this challenge for many years. We’ve represented hundreds of clients and helped them achieve the best possible outcome.

If your case is winnable, we boast the ability, intelligence, and knowledge to win it. And if a plea bargain is in your best interest, we’ll work tirelessly to enter the best possible plea deal, then use our skills to have you receive the lowest possible sentence. For more details on our approach to defend sex crime-related cases, call us at 703-718-5533 for a cost-free consultation. We serve clients facing sex crimes in Fairfax, VA, and Northern Virginia areas.