Sex Crime Lawyer
If you have been charged with committing a sex crime, you need legal representation by an experienced sex crime lawyer. A sex crime conviction can result in very serious penalties and consequences, such as:
- long periods of incarceration or probation
- registration as a lifelong sex offender
- serious impact on your future educational and employment opportunities, since virtually all prospective educational institutions and employers research criminal backgrounds
In short, sex crime charges and accusations are extremely stigmatizing and can have an enormous impact on your personal and professional life. Penalties may also vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- criminal history
- age of the victim
- amount of force used in the commission of the crime
- injuries the victim allegedly sustained.
Sex Crimes Involving Adults
The following sex crimes typically involve adults:
This refers to any act of sexual intercourse involving fraud, force, threat of violence, retaliation, or lack of legal consent. A victim may not be able to consent due to lack of mental capacity, or alcohol or drug impairment.
In California, rape is a felony offense and is punishable by three, six, or eight years in prison – and a fine of up to $1,000.00. A convicted rapist must also register as a sex offender with the State. A sex crime lawyer will work hard to explore all possible defenses in order to obtain the best outcome available.
This involves touching the intimate body parts of another person, without consent, for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse – including touching over clothing. “Intimate body parts” are defined as a person’s:
- sexual organs
- female breast
Sexual battery could be either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances, and may result in sex-offender status.
This involves exposing one’s body or private parts in any public place. There is no requirement that the offended person actually observe the exposure – only that the exposure occurs. Indecent exposure is usually a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine and up to one year of incarceration.
- soliciting sexual services from a prostitute
- engaging in prostitution (i.e. exchanging sexual intercourse or some other lewd act for money)
- having someone else make the arrangements for a sex/money exchange
- exchanging sexual services for goods or other services, instead of money.
Anyone involved in the transaction(s) may be charged with prostitution.
Lewd Conduct in Public
This involves touching one’s own private parts (or those of another person) in a public place, for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal. Private parts include the genitals, buttocks, and female breasts. Lewd conduct in public is charged as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.00.
Sex Crimes Involving Minors
The following sex crimes typically involve children:
This involves sexual intercourse with someone who is under the age of eighteen at the time of intercourse, and who, as a result, is unable to provide consent. The minor’s consent to the offense is not a valid legal defense. In California, statutory rape may be either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending upon the age of the participants. The defendant may also have to pay a civil penalty of up to $25,000.00 and register as a sex offender. Your sex crime lawyer will help you try to obtain a lighter penalty in your case.
Lewd Acts With a Child
This involves “lewd or lascivious acts with a child” who is under the age of 14. These “acts” usually involve touching a child anywhere on the child’s body (including touching over clothing), for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification. A lewd act need not involve touching an intimate body part, and the child’s consent is not a defense.
Lewd acts with a child is a felony offense, punishable by three, six, or eight years of incarceration, depending upon the amount of force, violence, duress, or intimidation used. Convicted defendants must register as sex offenders.
Contact a California Sex Crime Lawyer
Defendants charged with sex crimes are often scared and confused. The stigma of the charges can be overwhelming. The decision on how to proceed is difficult and requires guidance from a skilled and experienced attorney. Some want to plead guilty rather than go to court and face a potentially biased jury. However, an experienced California sex crime lawyer can advise you of your legal rights, defend you in court, and fight for reduced charges or a dismissal. If you have been charged with a California sex crime, call The Chastaine Law Office at (916) 932-7150.