Our award-winning criminal defense lawyers are highly experienced in sex crime defense cases in South Carolina and will devise a strong defense while explaining what you are facing. Our attorneys are ready to help you now. Get in touch with us to find out more about how a criminal defense lawyer in Greenville can assist you.
Contact Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, LLC. We are skilled professionals, ready to stand with you and fight for your rights. We can start representing you immediately.
Types of Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges in South Carolina
S.C. Code § 16-3-652 – Criminal Sexual Conduct – First Degree
- Sexual battery, and
- Use of aggravated force, or
- The victim was forcibly confined, robbed, extorted, or a similar act, or
- The offender incapacitated the victim using a controlled or intoxicating substance
Penalty: Up to 30 years in prison
S.C. Code § 16-3-653 – Criminal Sexual Conduct – Second Degree
- Sexual battery, and
- Use of aggravated coercion, or
- The victim is 11-14 years old, and the defendant is older, or
- The victim is 14-16, and the defendant is in a position to coerce the victim
- Note: Coercion is a threat, whereas aggravated force is actual force
Penalty: Up to 20 years in prison
S.C. Code § 16-3-654 Criminal Sexual Conduct – Third Degree
- Sexual battery, and
- Use of force or coercion, or
- With knowledge of the victim’s mental or physical impairment
Penalty: Up to 10 years in prison
S.C. Code § 16-3-656 – Assault with Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct
Assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct is punished as if it occurred.
S.C. Code § 16-15-130 – Indecent Exposure
- Indecent exposure is the willful and malicious exposure of the person in public, on someone else’s property or to someone’s view on a public street or highway.
- Breastfeeding does not count.
Penalty: Misdemeanor, up to three years in prison, a fine or both
Note: There are additional charges for criminal sexual conduct with a minor. If applicable, you may also be charged under those statutes.
Representing Greenville County Residents Facing Sex Crimes Charges
Hearing that you are facing a CSC criminal charge isn’t easy. A criminal sexual conduct conviction turns your life upside down. Even just the allegation can be devastating.
As lawyers representing those facing CSC charges, we serve our clients in several ways:
- Aggressively fighting for your rights and defending your interests. We will pursue every avenue to directly challenge the allegations against you.
- Guiding you through the legal process. Our team explains the law and your options so that you can make informed decisions, and so that you are confident at each stage in the case.
- Standing with you through this challenge. You don’t have to face this difficulty alone. You can have the help of a professional and compassionate legal team, with you each step of the way.
When you are charged with a sexual offense, you have important rights. As defense lawyers, we help you exercise those rights effectively.
What are your rights when you are charged with criminal sexual conduct?
When you are charged with criminal sexual conduct, here are some of the important rights you have:
- The presumption of innocence
- A jury trial with a fair and impartial jury
- Questioning the witnesses and the evidence against you
- Presenting your own evidence and making arguments to the jury
- Bail and bond as allowed by South Carolina law (in most cases)
- Fair legal process following rules for presentation of evidence and criminal procedure
- Proceedings handled in a reasonable amount of time
- A lawyer, and qualified legal representation
Your rights are important. Exercising them effectively can mean the difference between hearing the words not guilty and serving the maximum sentence. As your lawyers, we understand your rights. We investigate and evaluate your situation and pursue your case in full.
Fighting Against Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges
A conviction for criminal sexual conduct can devastate your life in many ways. There are the direct consequences, including:
- A lengthy jail or prison sentence, some offenses are even punishable by life in prison
- Fines and fees
- Your name in the sex offender registry
- Probation or parole with conditions
There are also indirect ways that a conviction can ruin your life:
- Employment difficulties
- Child custody and visitation denial
- Immigration status changes
- Denied participation in volunteer and community programs
- Social stigma
A charge alone is not a conviction of a crime. If you are found not guilty, or if the charges are dismissed, there is no sentence and a conviction does not enter. Our lawyers explore all options for you to defend against the charges. We also explain what factors to consider as you weigh different courses of action.
Find out what you can do right now to help your case. Talk to a criminal sexual conduct defense lawyer by calling Bannister, Wyatt, & Stalvey, LLC.
Defenses to Charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct in South Carolina
It’s true that people get abused – it’s also true that people get falsely charged.
Some examples of defenses in CSC cases are:
- The accuser is not telling the truth. People may be manipulated to lie by overzealous police officers, social workers, parents seeking an upper hand in a relationship, in child custody proceedings and other situations. Unfortunately, a person is not always telling the truth simply because they are accusing someone else of a terrible crime.
- The accuser is mistaken. Even people with good intentions can sometimes have their facts wrong. A person may not remember clearly.
- Mistaken identity. Sometimes, the wrong person is charged. DNA evidence and other information can shed light on a mistaken identity.
- Violation of constitutional rights. Overzealous policy may violate your constitutional rights in an attempt to get a conviction. We consider this possibility and motion to exclude evidence if necessary.
- The elements of the crime have not been proven. A child may not have been the age claimed in the charging documents. There may not be sufficient evidence that a battery occurred. If any element of a charge is not proven, the entire case should be dismissed.
A defense to CSC charges should be carefully prepared, well in advance of trial. We investigate and review the statements made by the accuser. We understand how to investigate and challenge their credibility, and how to examine what may have impacted their testimony.
Our team can challenge declared experts and others involved in the system who may want to vouch for the credibility of the accuser, including on the witness stand. You can count on our team to prepare and present an aggressive defense to the charges, working through each step from the initial stages through trial, and even post-trial proceedings as necessary.
Hire a Defense Lawyer Against Criminal Sexual Conduct
CSC charges can destroy your life – you deserve an aggressive and relentless defense. We can start your case today. Talk to a criminal sexual conduct defense lawyer now at Bannister, Wyatt, and Stalvey, LLC. Contact us for your consultation.