Child Molestation Lawyer In Oklahoma City
Being charged with child molestation is incredibly serious and stigmatizing. Because of the severity of the accusation, these matters need to be handled very carefully and skillfully. If you have been charged with child molestation, do not wait to contact the child molestation lawyers at Taylor McLawhorn Attorney at Law. We handle these matters discreetly and effectively while protecting your rights.
Child Molestation Under Oklahoma Law
While the phrase “child molestation” is commonly used, that phrase is not a legal term under Oklahoma law. What we think of as child molestation can be charged as two different crimes: (1) child sexual abuse, and/or (2) lewd or indecent proposals or acts to a child under sixteen years of age. Being charged with child sexual abuse most commonly occurs with regard to individuals that are family members or caregivers of the victim.
Child Sexual Abuse In Oklahoma
Oklahoma law defines child sexual abuse as “rape, incest, or lewd acts with a child by an adult who is responsible for that child’s safety and well-being.” These cases are very serious and depending on the age of the victim, could lead to a prison term of a minimum of twenty-five years to a maximum of life in prison.
Lewd Acts With A Child
The child molestation lawyers at our firm see child molestation most often being charged as lewd acts with a child. A lewd act is any sexual contact (falling short of rape) with children sixteen years old or younger. It is important to note lewd acts with a child do not have to include physical contact but includes any act for sexual gratification. Some of the most common activities leading to lewd acts with a child charges include:
- Soliciting a minor, including online solicitation
- Coercing a minor to meet for the purpose of sexual contact
- Inappropriately touching a child’s private parts
- Urinating, defecating, or ejaculating on a minor or doing so in their presence with lewd intent
- Forcing a child to watch sex acts or pornography
- Forcing a child to touch the private parts of another person
- Exposing oneself to a minor
The Severity of Sex Offenses
The state of Oklahoma divides sex offenses, including those involving children and minors, into levels based on the offender’s risk of committing these crimes again. The least severe category is a Level One sex offender. Charges such as indecency with a child or child pornography often carry a Level One sex offender registry. Level Two sex offenders include individuals who solicit minors for sex or engage in child prostitution. The most severe category, Level Three, is reserved for serious crimes including child abuse and rape.
A person convicted of lewd acts with a child will be categorized as a Level Three sex offender. This means that upon release from prison, the convicted sex offender must register as an Oklahoma Sex Offender every 90 days for the rest of his or her life. In addition, there are residency restrictions which make it difficult to find housing.
The Stigma of Child Sex Crimes
Being accused of child sex crimes will have a huge impact on your life beyond the courtroom. The accused will likely face the difficulty of being branded a pedophile before any facts of the case are even heard in a courtroom. Additionally, these individuals face difficulties while serving prison time as other inmates often despise crimes against children. Once individuals serve their time and are released from prison, it can be challenging to live a normal life. Finding work after a conviction is not easy and many people will ostracize offenders in their communities. Finally, even those whose cases are dismissed or are acquitted often find themselves battling the stigma of the accusation.
Know Your Rights
Every person is innocent until proven guilty. You do not have to talk to any law enforcement officials until you have spoken with an attorney. You do not have to explain or admit to anything. When you work with an Oklahoma child molestation lawyer, he can make sure you understand the legal process and protect your rights while pursuing a resolution that has as little an impact on your life as possible.
Our Past Successes
Taylor McLawhorn has represented numerous clients accused of child molestation. In one case, a client was charged with Lewd Molestation of a Child. The client maintained his innocence but was incarcerated in the county jail. Mr. McLawhorn engaged in an extensive investigation, conducting his own interviews and investigating the facts surrounding the allegation. Mr. McLawhorn took his findings to the local prosecutor, and the client’s case was subsequently dismissed, allowing him to go home.
In another case, a client was being investigated for inappropriate touching of a child. Mr. McLawhorn was retained during the investigative process and prior to the filing of any criminal charges. He was able to open a dialogue between the investigative agency and the prosecuting agency. After several months, the case was closed and no charges were filed.
Don’t Wait To Call Us
We regularly handles these incredibly difficult cases. Mr. McLawhorn combines his experience with a hands-on approach that puts clients first. We may be able to reduce the charges against you, negotiate a favorable plea deal, and/or represent you at trial. Taylor McLawhorn fights tirelessly for his clients, so contact us today to schedule an appointment.