Sexual Abuse Defense

St. Louis Sex Crime Attorney Serving Missouri

Have you or someone you love been accused of sexual abuse or a similar offense? These are delicate matters that require the immediate involvement of an experienced criminal defense lawyer if your rights and interests are to be protected to the fullest extent of the law. At The Hammer Law Firm, LLC we provide aggressive defense against sex crimes in St. Louis and across Missouri. If you are interested in finding out how we can help you, please do not hesitate to call our offices for a strictly confidential case review. You can also review the information on this website to learn more about sexual abuse and other sex-related crimes in Missouri.

Intentionally subjecting another person to unwanted sexual contact constitutes the criminal offense of sexual abuse. In Missouri, this offense may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the age of the victim, the type of sexual contact allegedly committed and other circumstances surrounding the incident. With the harshest penalties enforced, a defendant may face up to 15 years in state prison.

"Sexual Abuse" Defined & Penalties Explained

Sexual abuse is defined and its penalties outlined under Missouri Revised Statutes § 566.100 and § 566.101. According to these sections:

  • Sexual abuse in the first degree occurs when one "subjects another person to sexual contact when that person is incapacitated, incapable of consent, or lacks the capacity to consent, or by the use of forcible compulsion."
  • Sexual abuse in the second degree occurs when one "purposely subjects another person to sexual contact without that person's consent."

Sexual contact is defined as "any touching of another person with the genitals or any touching of the genitals or anus of another person, or the breast of a female person, or such touching through the clothing, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire of any person."

Accordingly, a person who stands accused of inappropriately touching another person against that person's will or without his or her consent may face criminal charges and serious penalties, as long as this contact was intentional. The severity of penalties will vary in accordance with the type of charges filed; i.e. first degree sexual abuse versus second degree sexual abuse.

First degree sexual abuse is a class C felony punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. If a deadly weapon is used in the commission of the crime, if the victim is subjected to sexual contact with more than one person or if the victim is less than 14 years old, however, the defendant may face class B felony charges and 5 to 15 years in prison.

Second degree sexual abuse is typically charged as a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If the defendant has a prior conviction under this section, used a deadly weapon in the commission of the offense or committed said offense as part of a ritual or ceremony, class D felony charges may apply and a defendant may face up to 4 years in state prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Challenging Your Sex Offense Charges

From the instant you are accused of sexual abuse or any type of sex crime, your reputation, career and freedom may be at stake. Due to the nature of these crimes and the harsh penalties that may be imposed, defendants need to take immediate action to protect their constitutional rights. That is where a St. Louis sex crime attorney can make all the difference. At The Hammer Law Firm, LLC, we realize what you are up against. Our team is prepared to take on overzealous prosecutors and law enforcement personnel as we work tirelessly to protect our clients' interests inside and outside the criminal courtroom.

Call today to see how we can help with your case.

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The Hammer Law Firm, LLC
St. Louis Criminal Defense Lawyer
Located at:

1430 Washington Avenue, Suite 325
St. Louis, MO 63103. View Map
Phone: (314) 334-3807
(314) 856-5665
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