James M. Wagman, Attorney at Law
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Sex crimes, lack of consent and inability to consent in New York


When a New Yorker is confronted with allegations of sex crimes, the potential penalties if there is a conviction are only part of the problem, albeit the main problem. There are others that must be considered. The mere accusation of sex crimes can lead to a negative perception in the community, lead to problems with family and do harm to the person in a professional context in the present and future. Before formulating a defense against these charges, it is important to understand the crime itself and what the law says about it. Two important factors that can lead to an arrest for sex crimes are lack of consent and if the alleged victim is incapable of consent. Understanding these is integral to defending against the charges.


When there is lack of consent, it says that the act came about from of one or more of the following: forcible compulsion; the inability to consent; the act includes sexual abuse or forcible touching along with forcible compulsion or the inability to consent while the victim has not specified or implied that he or she is agreeing for the behavior to take place; or if it is a charge of third-degree rape or third-degree criminal sexual act along with forcible compulsion in a situation where, when the sexual act took place, the victim stated that the act was not consented to and a reasonable person would have understood what this meant.

People who are incapable of giving consent are: those who are younger than 17; those who are mentally disabled; those who are mentally incapacitated; those who are physically helpless; or people who have been committed to a hospital or the state department of corrections and the person who is committing the acts knows or should have known that the person is under such care and custody.

Being arrested for sex-based crimes is a difficult circumstance to be in with understandable worry and fear about what the future holds in a myriad of ways. Before making a mistake and saying or doing anything that can worsen matters, having legal advice to begin planning a defense is a must. A law firm that handles criminal defense and sex crimes can help. Calling for representation is imperative immediately after the arrest and should be done without hesitation.

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James M. Wagman, Attorney at Law

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