Child Molestation Defense Lawyer St. Louis, Missouri. Being accused or charged with any crime against a child or that is sexual in nature is upsetting and carries potentially dire consequences. When it’s an alleged sex crime against a child, many are quick to rush to judgment, and you can be sure the state of Missouri and the prosecution will throw everything they have at the case to get a conviction. In an instant, it may seem like the whole world is against you.
Combs Law Group is discreet and nonjudgmental. We know this is a difficult and nerve-wracking time for you, and we are willing to sit down with you and hear your side of the story. For a free and confidential consultation for your child molestation charges in St. Louis, MO, call us today at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.
Child Molestation Laws in St. Louis and Missouri
There are four degrees of child molestation offenses in Missouri Law. Each involves “sexual contact” with a minor. Missouri Revised Statutes §567.010 defines sexual contact as:
any touching of another person with the genitals or any touching of the genitals or anus of another person or the breast of a female person, or such touching through the clothing, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire of any person or for the purpose of terrorizing the victim
The four degrees of child molestation in Missouri are:
- First-Degree Child Molestation (§566.067, RSMo) — Child molestation in the first degree involves sexual contact with a minor under the age of 14 if the offense is an “aggravated sexual offense,” meaning the alleged victim suffered serious physical injury, a dangerous weapon was used, there is more than one alleged offender, if the alleged offender has previously been found guilty of a sex crime against a child or if the alleged offender is a family member.
First-degree child molestation in Missouri is a class A felony, and can be punished with 10 to 30 years in prison. If it is not your first conviction or the child was less than 12 years old, you would not be eligible for probation or parole and could face life in prison.
- Second-Degree Child Molestation (§566.068, RSMo) — A person commits child molestation in the second degree if they:
- Commit sexual contact with a child who is less than 12 years old; or
- If they are four years older than the alleged victim, commit sexual contact with a child who is less than 17 and the offense is an aggravated sexual offense
Second-degree child molestation is a class B felony, and is punishable by at least five, but no more than 15, years in prison.
- Third-Degree Child Molestation (§566.069, RSMo) — A person can be charged with child molestation in the third degree if they subject a child less than 14 years old to sexual contact.
It is typically a class C felony, which requires a mandatory prison sentence of three to 10 years and a possible fine of up to $10,000. If forcible compulsion was used, meaning the alleged victim was threatened, forced or drugged, it becomes a class b felony.
- Fourth-Degree Child Molestation (§566.071, RSMo) — Child molestation in the fourth degree occurs when a person more than four years older than a child less than 17 years old subjects the child to sexual contact.
Fourth-degree child molestation is a class E felony, which is punishable by up to four years in state prison or county jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Any of these charges would also require registering as a sex offender.
Defending Child Molestation Charges in St. Louis and Missouri
While others may be quick to pass judgment over accusations or charges of child molestation, the St. Louis, MO criminal defense attorneys of Combs Law are not. We know there are two sides to every story. Allegations can be made by adults or children with little to no supporting evidence. Sometimes they can be brought out of anger or in an attempt to influence a custody battle. Maybe a romantic relationship between teens went too far, or there was simply miscommunication or a misunderstanding.
When facing child molestation charges, you need a nonjudgmental criminal defense lawyer dedicated to finding out the facts of the case and defending your rights. We’ll rely on our experience, legal knowledge and court skills to work with you and develop a sound and effective child molestation defense strategy. We’ll also use our network of expert witnesses, psychiatrists, doctors and DNA experts to evaluate the physical evidence and assess the mindset of everyone involved. We’ll work to have your charges dismissed or reduced, but also know how to explain to a jury what the prosecution needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
If the evidence is stacked against you, we know how to work with prosecutors to get the best possible outcome for you.
Hire Combs Law as Your St. Louis, MO Child Molestation Defense Lawyers
If you have been accused of inappropriately touching or fondling a child, you need to reach out to a child molestation defense lawyer immediately. The future of your reputation, your freedom and even your family is at stake. We will take the time to hear what you have to say and develop a sound defense strategy that’s in your best interest. Call a St. Louis child molestation defense lawyer today at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation.