Allegations of sexual offenses can be damaging to your career and reputation. If convicted, you will be required to submit your information to a public registry where your neighbors, future employers, and loved ones can see your status as a sex offender. Even if you are innocent, going to court for a case of sexual misconduct can be embarrassing and complicated.
There are three different tiers in which sex offenders are classified by the state, depending on the severity of the offense. If you are being accused of sexual misconduct in Louisiana, you should understand your rights and learn how an experienced criminal defense attorney can defend your case in court.
3 Tiers of Classification for Sex Offenders
If you have been accused of a sexual offense, learning about the potential severity of the situation can be helpful. Understanding what may be in front of you can help you prepare your next steps and reduce significant stress. Many of these offenses, if you are convicted, could result in your needing to spend time in jail and register as a sex offender in Louisiana.
Tier 1 Sex Offenders
Individuals who are placed in the Tier 1 category are considered to have the lowest risk of a repeat offense. This tier is the lowest level of a sexual offense, and the related crimes vary in classification. Acts of Tier 1 sexual misconduct include but are not limited to:
- Sexual battery (R.S. 14:43.1)
- Voyeurism (R.S. 14:283.1)
- Indecent behavior with juveniles of several types (R.S. 14:81), including
- Illegal employment (R.S. 23:251)
- Delinquency of juveniles (R.S. 14:92(A)(7))
- False imprisonment with minor through use of a weapon (R.S. 14:46.1)
- False imprisonment of a minor victim if the defendant is not the parent (R.S. 14:46)
- Interference with child custody minor when the defendant is not the parent (R.S. 14:45.1)
- Conduct between educators and students (R.S. 14:81.4)
- Obscenity through solicitation of a minor (R.S. 14:106(A)(5))
- Intentional exposure to HIV or other STIs (R.S. 14:43.5)
- Sexual abuse of animals (R.S. 14:89.3)
- Crimes against nature (R.S. 14:89)
Anyone registered in Louisiana as a Tier 1 sexual offender for charges other than “aggravated offenses” or “sexual offenses against a victim who is a minor” is subject to a 15-year registration period.
Tier 2 Sex Offenders
Compared to those placed under Tier 1, offenders added to the Tier 2 list are viewed as presenting a moderate risk of repeating an offense or committing similar crimes, which may include the following misconduct:
- Sexual battery of a minor under 18 years of age (R.S. 14:43.1)
- Oral sexual battery (R.S. 14:43.3)
- Soliciting a minor with use of a computer (R.S. 14:81.3)
- Pornography involving juveniles (R.S. 14:78.1)
- Molestation of a juvenile or a person with a physical or mental disability (R.S. 14:81.2)
- Aggravated crime against nature (R.S. 14:89.1(A)(2))
In Louisiana, instances of prostitution charges involving a minor who is not yet 18 years old are considered Tier 2 offenses and can include the following acts:
- Enticing a minor into practicing prostitution (R.S. 14:86)
- Soliciting a prostitute who is under 18 years of age (R.S. 14:83)
- Practicing prostitution as a person under 18 years of age (R.S. 14:82.1)
- Promoting prostitution involving anyone under 18 years of age (R.S. 14:83.2)
- Operating a place of prostitution involving persons under 18 years of age (R.S. 14:282)
- Inciting prostitution involving a minor (R.S. 14:83.1)
- Pandering of a minor under 18 (R.S. 14:84(A)(1), (3), (5), and (6))
- Crimes against nature with a minor, excluding circumstances(B)(2) or (3) as stated in (R.S. 14:89)
Per state legislation, individuals placed under the Tier 2 category are subject to registration for 25 years. Once they are publicly registered, it is up to offenders to maintain and update their registration information as it changes, like during a move or relocation.
Tier 3 Sex Offenders
The final level of sexual offense categorization in Louisiana is Tier 3, which is viewed as the most serious of all convictions. These acts, which carry the highest chance of a repeat offense, are considered the most severe and can include any of the following charges:
- Sexual battery of a child under 13 years of age (R.S. 14:43.1(C)(2))
- Second-degree sexual battery (R.S. 14:43.2)
- Molestation of a juvenile or a person with a physical or mental disability (R.S. 14:81.2(D)(1))
- Sexual battery of the infirmed (R.S. 14:93.5)
Cases of sexual misconduct in Louisiana frequently involve severe sexual assault. The state’s rape charges are listed under the Tier 3 classification due to their serious nature and can vary depending on the degree of harm committed, such as:
- Forcible rape (R.S. 14:42.1)
- Aggravated rape (R.S. 14:42)
- First-degree rape (R.S. 14:42)
- Second-degree rape (R.S. 14:42.1)
- Third-degree rape (R.S. 14:43)
Individuals convicted of human trafficking and kidnapping are also included beneath the umbrella of Tier 3 charges, which can include:
- Aggravated kidnapping of a minor or a child (R.S.14:44.2)
- Simple kidnapping of a minor (R.S. 14:45)
- Second-degree kidnapping of a minor under 18 years of age (R.S. 14:44.1)
- Human trafficking for sexual purposes (R.S. 14:46.2(B)(2))
- Trafficking of children for sexual purposes (R.S. 14:46.3)
- Purchase of commercial sexual activity from persons known to be under 18 years of age (R.S. 14:82.2 (C)(4))
- Purchasing commercial sexual activity from a minor under age 14 (R.S. 14:82.2 (C)(5))
- Crimes against nature excluding a minor victim (R.S. 14:89(B)(2) or (3))
- Aggravated crimes against nature (R.S. 14:89.1(A)(1) or (2))
Defendants who are convicted of Tier 3 sexual offense must remain on the public sex offender registry for the rest of their lives, regardless of where they live. It can be a stressful circumstance to spend your life being reminded of your conviction for sexual misconduct.
Who Should Work With an Attorney After a Charge of Sexual Offense?
If you have been charged with some kind of sexual offense in Louisiana, you should strongly consider working with an attorney for assistance. Your lawyer can help you in several ways throughout the legal process, including speaking on your behalf, completing and filing paperwork, collecting and analyzing evidence, and leveling the playing field against other parties and legal representatives.
We recommend you refrain from managing your legal matters alone, as you may accidentally misrepresent yourself and worsen the situation. Self-representation has the potential to result in worse consequences and drawn-out prison time, while a lawyer can help represent you fairly. Your attorney’s representation is much more likely to result in reduced penalties and a faster return to normalcy. We suggest you retain assistance from a sex crimes defense attorney at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, LLC for more information and assistance.
Please don’t hesitate to contact our team at your earliest convenience, as this can improve your odds of legal success even further. Your attorney will require adequate time to analyze information, get familiar with your needs and circumstances, and build arguments in favor of your perspective. Giving your lawyer enough time to focus on your case can also significantly reduce stress related to navigating the legal system.
Work with a Trusted Sexual Offense Attorney in Louisiana
If you have been charged with any level of sexual offense or if you were wrongfully convicted of a sex crime, knowing your rights and building a strong case will be your best chance at getting the justice you deserve. You will need an experienced attorney at your side who can help you obtain the best possible results. At the John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, LLC, our team of expert attorneys will work with you to develop a winning defense. Our lawyers, including the talented attorney Eric G. Johnson, would be proud to support you during this difficult time.
When you’re ready to move forward with your case, reach out to us and schedule your free consultation with one of our trusted sexual offense attorneys. You can also contact us online or call (318) 377-1555 for more information.