Child Molestation charges are some of the most serious allegations you can face in the Rhode Island criminal justice system. Just being accused of this offense has immediate and long lasting effects on your life, your relationships, your job, and your reputation. However, the punishment that you will face from the Rhode Island Court system is severe and imposing. Recently, the Rhode Island Superior Court has imposed sentences in excess of 70 years in jail on Rhode Island Child Molestation charges. In addition to severe and lengthy jail sentences, mandatory lifetime sex offender registration is required for everyone convicted of these charges.
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Early intervention in your case is vital in child molestation cases for a number of different reasons. First, without experienced representation it is possible that the prosecution or the court could seek to hold you in jail while the case proceeds through the legal system, a process that can take years in serious cases. This is referred to as being “held without bail.” Not everyone charged with child molestation in Rhode Island is held without bail on their child molestation case, but it usually takes the skilled advocacy of an experienced Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer to convince the Judge to grant bail while the case proceeds through the system.
Establishing your release while the case proceeds through the legal system provides two important benefits. First, obviously you are released and on the street. Second, because you are not behind bars it is easier to coordinate with witnesses and prepare your defense. Proper preparation of your defense takes considerable time and effort. It takes time to fully investigate and interview all witnesses, to obtain all medical and counseling records, and the prepare witnesses to testify both at preliminary hearings and your trial.
If you are facing charges of child molestation in Rhode Island, it is vital that you consult immediately with a skilled and experienced Rhode Island criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and begin preparing your defense to these extremely serious charges. Contact the Marin and Barrett Law Firm to schedule a confidential, no fee consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone at 401-228-8271 or email [email protected].
What are Child Molestation Charges in Rhode Island?
Child molestation charges in Rhode Island refer to a range of criminal offenses involving sexual contact or sexual activity with a minor, which is generally defined as anyone under the age of 18. These charges can include statutory rape, sexual assault, child abuse, and other related offenses. Child molestation charges in Rhode Island are taken very seriously and can result in significant penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and registration as a sex offender. It is crucial to seek the guidance of an experienced Rhode Island Child Molestation Lawyer if you are facing these charges.
Rhode Island Child Molestation Laws
§ 11-37-8.1 First degree child molestation sexual assault
First-degree child molestation: Any sexual act or penetration with a child under the age of 14 years old, or engaging in sexual contact with a child under the age of 14 years old with the intent to gratify oneself or another person. This is a felony offense punishable by imprisonment of up to 50 years.
§ 11-37-8.3 Second degree child molestation sexual assault
Second-degree child molestation: Engaging in sexual contact with a child between the ages of 14 and 16 years old or engaging in sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 16 years old if the offender is over the age of 18. This is a felony offense punishable by imprisonment of up to 20 years.
Case Process for a Child Molestation Charge in Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, the court process for a child molestation charge typically proceeds as follows:
Arrest: The defendant is arrested and charged with the crime of child molestation.
Arraignment: The defendant appears in court for the first time and is formally charged with the crime. The defendant is also advised of their rights and the potential penalties they face.
Pretrial conference: The prosecution and defense attorneys meet to discuss the case and potentially reach a plea agreement.
Trial: If a plea agreement is not reached, the case proceeds to trial. The prosecution must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Sentencing: If the defendant is found guilty, they are sentenced by the judge. The sentence may include fines, probation, imprisonment, or a combination of these penalties.
Appeals: If the defendant is found guilty, they have the right to appeal the decision to a higher court.
Possible Defenses to Rhode Island Child Molestation Charges
False allegations: Sometimes, false allegations are made against an accused person. The defense may try to show that the allegations are baseless and lack evidence.
Lack of intent: The prosecution must prove that the accused person intended to commit the crime. The defense may argue that the accused person did not have the intent to commit the offense.
Improper police investigation: If the police investigation was conducted improperly, the defense may argue that the evidence obtained is inadmissible.
Consent: The defense may argue that the alleged victim consented to the sexual activity.
Age of the alleged victim: The defense may argue that the alleged victim was not a minor or was not under the age of consent.