Atlanta Child Molestation Attorney
Leading Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer
Sex crimes are always serious. However, when a person is accused of molesting a child, they face harsh punishments and a severely damaged reputation. If you've been charged with child molestation, it's imperative that you hire an experienced attorney. Doing so can help protect your freedom and increase your chances of avoiding life-altering conviction penalties.
At The Abt Law Firm, LLC, we understand the seriousness of a child molestation accusation. That is why we do what it takes to seek the best possible result for our clients. Our team has more than two decades of experience and knows how to navigate the complex criminal justice system. When you retain our services, you will work with an Atlanta child molestation defense lawyer who will treat you with the respect you deserve. And while we will be compassionate and honest as we guide you through your case, we will be aggressive and steadfast as we go up against the prosecutor to challenge the allegations against you.
Georgia's Child Molestation Law
In Georgia, a person is charged with molesting a child when they engage in certain conduct with a minor.
Specifically, O.C.G.A. § 16-6-4 provides that a person commits the offense when they either:
- Do anything immoral or indecent to, near, or with a child under 16 years of age. Additionally, the alleged offender must have engaged in the behavior to satisfy their own or the child's sexual desires; or
- Electronically send to a child under 16 years of age depictions of anyone participating in an immoral or indecent act. In sending the images, the alleged offender must have intended to satisfy the sexual desires of themselves or the child.
If the offense resulted in injury to the child or involved sodomy, it is considered aggravated child molestation. The crime is more serious than general child molestation and can result in harsher criminal punishments.
The Conviction Penalties for Child Molestation
In many cases, child molestation is a felony. In others, it's a misdemeanor. Regardless of the level, Georgia law places significant penalties on convicted child molesters. The specific punishments exacted depend on the ages of the child and the alleged offender. The defendant's criminal history is also considered when determining penalties.
Upon a conviction, a court may sentence the defendant as follows:
- First offense (felony): Between 5 and 20 years in prison. While the defendant is incarcerated, the Department of Corrections will provide counseling.
- Second offense or subsequent offense (felony): Between 10 and 30 years in prison, and in severe cases, up to imprisonment for life.
- Victim at least 14 but under 16 years of age and defendant is 18 years of age or younger and not more than 4 years older than the victim (misdemeanor): Up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
If the defendant is accused of aggravated child molestation, they may be imprisoned for anywhere from 25 years to life.
However, the crime is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 1 year in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000 if the:
- Victim was 13 but younger than 16 years of age,
- Defendant was 18 years of age or younger and not more than 4 years older than the victim, and
- Crime involved sodomy.
Because the offense involves a minor, the prosecutor will aggressively pursue the matter and do everything in their power to obtain a conviction. Thus, it's important that you hire our Atlanta child molestation defense attorney to zealously advocate on your behalf.
Sex Offender Registry
If a person is convicted of molesting a child and released on probation, they must register as a sex offender. The registry requirement limits where a person can work, live, and travel. The registrant will also be stigmatized and face hurdles for the rest of their life.
If you're facing child molestation charges, contact The Abt Law Firm, LLC to work toward obtaining a favorable outcome and seek to avoid the burden of registering as a sex offender.
Fighting for Results for 25+ Years
The Abt Law Firm, LLC operates on the principle that innocent people are often accused of serious crimes. Every story has two sides, and we take the time to learn about the incident from our clients' perspectives to build a strong defense and give them a fighting chance in their cases. We work tirelessly to defend our clients.
If you or someone you love has been accused of child molestation in Atlanta, call our firm at (678) 582-2272 or submit an online contact form today. Sex crimes involving minors are serious and require immediate legal help.