Young man I know charged with sexual assault with a child 12 years ago. He was 17 she was 16 they were boyfriend/girlfriend. Father of girl dropped charges but it was too late and he was still convicted. The felony on his record has affected his life, needless to say. He was told that it was reduced about 7 years ago to injury to a child/3rd degree, but after looking on the county website today it is still there as CAPIAS/SEXUAL ASSAULT CHILD. On by his name it says this under Type/Status : Felony by Indictment Inactive: Disposed
Now he's 30 and needs a break. Is there anything he can do to remove or something, the felony record? And if not how can he have the charge updated to injury child, it was not sexual assault, she was willing. Thank you.
DUI / DWI Attorney
Sexual Assault of a Child is often pled down to an Injury case. This helps the defendant avoid sex offender registration. I'm not sure why he would have pled under these facts. Either there's more to the story, or he just had a bad lawyer. When a case is pled to a reduced offense, the charge as originally filed does still appear on the county system. Only someone with access to the entire court's file (which he has the right to get a copy of) will be able to tell the case was reduced. The status you are seeing is just an indication that the case was disposed of. This does not tell us how it was disposed of (prison time, deferred probation, straight probation, etc.). Depending on the disposition, he may at some point become eligible to seal the record by filing a Petition for Non-Disclosure. He should consult a defense attorney in his area to find out if and when he will be eligible to do this.
PS The father of the girl doesn't get to drop the charges. Neither does the girl herself. Only the State can drop charges in a criminal case.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
I think there may be more to all this then you're aware of, because those facts just don't quite all fit together. If there was no force used (and the girl's version supported that), given their ages, he would have had an affirmative defense to that, and it's har to see how he would have ended up where he did. It's also hard to understand why anyone would ever have been talking about injury to a child, because that does require an actual injury of some sort--something you wouldn't get with consensual sex. Also, it's not ever possible to change an offense years later for someone who has been convicted. That is done sometimes while a case is pending, typically as a means of negotiating a plea or when new evidence is discovered, but once there's a conviction, that's normally final. The only real exception to that would be if he'd had his convction reversed by either an appeal or a post-conviction writ of habeas corpus, but if that were the case, it would have probably resulted in a new trial, not just "they reduced it". So I don't really know what to think about all that, but at the least, I think some of the details may be a bit confused at this point.
Criminal Defense Attorney
I agree with Ms. Foley that this question presents a confused mystery. To determine if the defendant has any recourse would require a complete review of the case from start to finish.
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