If you have been or may be charged with carnal knowledge of a child in Virginia, you should seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The charges are serious and may result in life-changing consequences.
Read on to learn the definition of carnal knowledge of a child, the penalties you could face, and how a sex crimes lawyer can help.
What Is Carnal Knowledge of a Child?
The relevant statute is found in section 18.2-63 of the Code of Virginia and is labeled “Carnal knowledge of child between thirteen to fifteen years of age.”
Carnal knowledge includes all sexual acts from actual intercourse to acts of oral sex. The charges that may be filed and the penalties that may be imposed depend on the age of the alleged offender in relationship to the age of the alleged victim.
Penalties Upon Conviction
The penalty for a conviction depends on the age of the offender and the age of the victim. Their age in relationship to each other is also a factor.
1) An adult, defined as someone 18 years of age or older, who is convicted of carnal knowledge of a child between the ages of 13 and 15, has committed a class 4 felony. The punishment for a first time offender is imprisonment from 2 to 10 years and a fine up to $100,000.
2) If the accused is also a minor and both parties have consented to the sexual acts, the penalty is reduced. If the offender is three or more years older than the victim, the offense is considered a class 6 felony. The punishment is 1 to 5 years in prison or 12 months in jail. A fine up to $2500 may be imposed.
3) If both parties involved claim they had consensual sex, and the offender is less than three years older than the alleged victim, the crime is considered a class 4 misdemeanor. No jail time is imposed. The penalty is a fine up to $250.
Actual Birthdates Control Determination of Age Differences
When determining the age differences, the actual birthdates are used. Whatever age an alleged offender believed the victim to be has no merit. For example, a 19 year old man, who believed he was having sex with an 18 year old who in reality was only 15, has no defense. The actual age of both parties is all that matters.
Registering as A Sex Offender and Second Offender Penalties
All those convicted of felony carnal knowledge of a child under this statute must register for life as a sex offender if they are five years older than the victim. Any subsequent conviction for a sexual offense may result in the maximum sentence possible. If a second offense involving violence occurs, a life sentence may be imposed.
No Statute of Limitations for Felonies in Virginia
There is no statute of limitations for a felony in the state of Virginia. No matter how many years pass after the alleged offense, charges can be brought. For the misdemeanor, charges must be brought within a year of the alleged offense.
Get Help From A Sex Crimes Lawyer
If you are charged, or concerned about being charged, under this statute, you may benefit from the services of an experienced sex crimes lawyer. All evidence needs to be obtained and carefully evaluated. All alternatives need to be explored, and you need not face this life-altering experience alone.
Contact Irving & Feldmann Today
To get immediate help from a sex crimes lawyer, contact Irving & Feldmann today. Call 703.468.1885 to speak with a legal representative about your case or click here contact us online.