There is no such thing as a minor criminal charge; every criminal charge has the potential to turn your life upside down and limit your future opportunities. With that said, criminal charges of a sexual nature add additional layers of potential damage whether you are convicted or not.
Damage to Your Personal Reputation
Charges alone can change the way friends, colleagues and even family look at you. You are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, but many people will still primarily view you as someone accused of sexual assault.
Damage to Your Personal Freedom
A conviction for a sex crimes charge such as sexual assault can result in a lengthy prison sentence. You will have plenty of time to sit behind bars and wonder what could have been if you had only not been in the wrong situation at the wrong time. Once you finish serving your time, your freedom will still be limited due to your status as a registered sex offender. There are laws that prohibit sex offenders from living in certain areas – such as near schools – and you will not be able to move freely without notifying local authorities or updating your information on the registry.
Damage to Your Financial Wellbeing
Finding gainful employment is difficult, if not impossible, when you are a convicted sex offender. This makes it hard to rebuild your life after you have paid your debt to society.
The only way to avoid these issues is to take sexual assault charges seriously from the beginning. As soon as you are accused or have reason to believe you are under investigation, seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.