When you read stories about someone facing criminal accusations related to sexual misconduct, chances are that person is not just looking at a single offense. In most cases, a single incident can lead to numerous charges and multiple counts, compounding the penalties that can be handed down.
This can happen for a few reasons we will explore below.
- Law enforcement agents want their efforts to pay off. In many cases, sexual misconduct charges are the result of elaborate sting operations. When someone ends up in these dragnets, police and prosecutors want to make sure their efforts and the use of extensive resources are seen as valuable and warranted. Reporting a long list of charges can make these operations sound more impressive.
- Certain charges often go hand-in-hand. Situations such as this one involving a Florida man convicted of traveling to meet a minor often result in numerous charges because that one offense generally involves people using a computer or phone to engage in the misconduct, which is a separate offense. Traveling out of the state will also add on additional charges. In one single event, multiple state and federal laws may have been broken.
- Stacking charges increases the likelihood of conviction. Filing more charges essentially stacks the deck against an individual. Even if some charges are reduced or dismissed, prosecutors can still focus on securing convictions or guilty pleas on the remaining charges.
Any charge related to sexual misconduct should be taken seriously, but chances are that there will be more than one charge filed. It can be frightening and overwhelming, making people feel as though they have lost before they even get to trial.
However, rather than take on the weight of situation alone, you can work with an attorney who can fight on your behalf to defend against the charges.