As someone who is being accused of a sex offense, it’s important that you understand that certain offenses may have a mandatory minimum sentence. If that is the case with the charges you currently face, your attorney will work hard to help you have those charges reduced or altered so that no minimum penalties are required. 

People who are convicted of sex offenses that have a mandatory minimum penalty have sentences that are longer than those who commit sex offenses that don’t require a mandatory minimum, according to the United States Sentencing Commission. For example, in 2016, someone who was convicted of a sex offense with a mandatory minimum penalty would go to prison an average of three times longer than someone who did not commit an offense with a mandatory minimum sentencing guideline.

The exact nature of a crime can also affect whether you are facing any mandatory sentences if convicted, and it isn’t always logical or fair. For example, child pornography offenders convicted of distributing pornography face a five-year mandatory minimum. Meanwhile, those convicted of merely possessing that pornography have no mandatory minimums to combat.

There are many discrepancies in the court system today, and knowing how the system works is only one way that you can start taking back your power as a defendant. While the goal is always going to be to have the charges dropped or to gain an acquittal in court, you should also be aware of alternative sentencing options or ways to reduce or change the charges to help eliminate the mandatory minimum sentence. This is something that your attorney will work hard to help you with as you face the criminal justice system.