Morgantown Sex Crime Lawyer

Home /  Morgantown Sex Crime Lawyer

Morgantown Sex Crime Attorney

Sex crimes are considered one of the more severe crimes that can be committed. Because of this, those who are convicted face lengthy prison sentences or large fines for those who live in West Virginia. There are several crimes that are considered sexual in nature. If you have been charged with a sex crime, you need to consult with a Morgantown sex crime lawyer as soon as possible.

If you are convicted of a sexual offense, you may face several years, or possibly decades, in prison. You may also receive heavy fines and may have to file as a registered sex offender. To fight for your future, hiring a criminal defense lawyer may be a wise decision.

Sexual Assault (First Degree)

A person convicted of this crime is someone who has participated in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person and has caused that person harm, causing a personal injury. In some cases, the convicted person has used weapons while engaging in sexual acts.

If the perpetrator is 14 years old or older and engages in sexual activity with someone 12 years old or younger (and the two are not married), the perpetrator may be accused of sexual assault in the first degree. This crime is considered a felony in West Virginia. If charged with this felony, the perpetrator may serve 15-35 years in prison or face fines up to $10,000.

Unfortunately, sexual assault is a common occurrence on college campuses, making it a common college student crime. College students who commit this crime can have a permanent record and may face expulsion.

Sexual Assault (Second Degree)

Sexual assault in the second degree means that one person has had sexual intercourse with another person without their consent or by force. This crime is also committed if a person has sex with a person who is physically disabled and unable to fight back. It is considered a felony with jail time of 10-25 years or fines up to $10,000.

Sexual Assault (Third Degree)

This type of assault involves one person engaging in sexual intercourse or intrusion with someone who is mentally incapable of consenting to sex. A person can be charged with sexual assault in the third degree if the person with whom they are engaging in sexual acts is under 16 and a minimum of 4 years younger. It is a felony with a penalty of 1-5 years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves one person forcing sexual contact on another person who is physically incapable of consenting or fighting back. Anyone aged 14 or older who forces themselves on someone 12 or younger can be convicted of sexual abuse in the first degree. Sexual abuse is a felony, and if convicted, the perpetrator may face a prison sentence of up to 5 years or up to $10,000 in fines.

For those charged with sexual abuse who are 18 or older who have victimized a person 12 or younger, penalties are 5-25 years in prison with fines up to $5,000.


This sex crime is an extremely serious felony that, if convicted, the perpetrator may face life in prison. While most assume that rape is violently forcing themselves sexually on someone else, rape is not always violent. Actions that can lead to rape charges include:

  • Forcing sexual intercourse
  • Sexual intercourse with someone who is physically or mentally incapacitated
  • Sex with someone 16 or younger
  • Sex with someone incapable of consenting due to a mental handicap or is under the influence of drugs or alcohol

There are two degrees of rape known as first- and second-degree rape. First-degree rape is defined as one person forcing sexual acts on another person with violence, having sex with a minor under the age of 12, or having sex with someone who is physically or mentally disabled. This felony can result in 25 years or life in prison.

Second-degree rape includes a person having sexual intercourse with someone mentally and physically inhibited or is under the age of 16. Also considered a felony, the penalty for second-degree rape is 10 to 25 years in prison.

In addition to serving several years in prison, if convicted of rape, the perpetrator may be forced to register as a sex offender. The individual may also be restricted from living a certain distance from schools or other areas where children are present.

Sex Offender Registry

If you have been charged with a sexual crime, then your name can be added to the national sex offender registry. This registry is a database that keeps records of names, ages, and the crimes committed by those convicted of sexual crimes. If you are forced to register yourself, this will make your previous crime known to the public, making it harder for you to find work or even a place to live.

An attorney can help to come to your defense for your case.

How a Sex Crime Attorney Can Help You

As stated above, being convicted of a sex crime can drastically change your life as you may be sentenced to many years in prison, large fines, or have your name registered on a sex offender list. Below are some of the ways that having a sex crime attorney can help you.

Navigating the Legal System

For those who do not have a legal background, navigating the processes can be confusing and challenging. A lawyer will have the knowledge to help their clients navigate through the legalities of their cases.

Effective Defense Strategies

A lawyer can thoroughly investigate all of the details of your case. This helps to develop a more effective defense specific to your situation. It is the lawyer’s job to research all possible avenues to protect your rights, as well as your reputation.

Protecting Your Rights

Your rights deserve to be protected throughout the legal process. A sex crime lawyer will prioritize your rights, making sure that they are not violated throughout your case.

Minimizing Penalties

Most sex crimes are considered felonies, and because of this, heavy consequences are dealt to the offender, such as years of jail time, heavy fines, or registering as a sex offender. A lawyer can help to decrease the severity of the penalties, fighting for the most positive outcome possible for your case.

When You’ve Been Falsely Accused

There’s not much worse than being blamed for something that you didn’t do. Maybe you were in a place that you shouldn’t have been at the wrong time, or you accidentally clicked on an inappropriate link online. If the blame has been placed on you for a sex crime that you didn’t commit, you need to take action quickly. You need the help of a sex crime attorney to achieve the justice you deserve.


Q: What Are the Sex Laws in West Virginia?

A: The sex laws in West Virginia include sexual abuse and sexual assault. Both sexual abuse and assault involve physical force, threats or intimidation, or forcing someone under the age of 16 to have sexual intercourse or engage in sexual acts. Sexual assault means that one person forces themselves sexually on another, causing bodily harm, or using a weapon to induce fear. Sexual abuse means that one person forces themselves on someone else with a lack of consent.

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes in West Virginia?

A: The statute of limitations on sex crimes in West Virginia varies depending on the degree of the felony and when it occurred. For example, if the victim was over 18 when the incident took place, then it falls under West Virginia’s standard rule of a two-year limitation. For child sexual abuse cases, the victim is able to file a claim up until they turn 36 years old.

Q: Does the Romeo and Juliet Law Exist in West Virginia?

A: No, the Romeo and Juliet law does not exist in West Virginia. Any contact that is sexual in nature that is between someone 16 years or younger is considered statutory rape. No matter the age of the other person or if both were consenting parties, it is still considered rape if someone 16 or younger is involved. If you have been charged with statutory rape, consult with a sex crime lawyer immediately.

Q: How Long Does the State of West Virginia Have to Indict Someone?

A: West Virginia does not have a time frame for when to indict someone, except for in the case of perjury, which is a three-year limitation. West Virginia is one of the many states with no set time frame for which prosecution for felonies must take place. Even sex crimes against children do not have a time frame for when indictment must take place.

Consult with a Morgantown Sex Crime Lawyer

One of the more serious crimes committed includes sex crimes, which can result in lengthy prison sentences or heavy fines for those who are convicted in West Virginia. If you have been convicted of a sex crime, don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Contact Meadows Law PLLC for assistance with your case.


contact us

Request Your Free Consultation

Find Out If You Have A Case Or Ask Us A Question By
Filling Out The Form Below.

"*" indicates required fields

I Have Read The Disclaimer*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.