Category: Sex Crimes

Sex Crimes | No Cuffs

California Sex Offenders Penalties Increase

California sex offenders face some of the toughest penalties in the country.

As such, part and parcel of punishment for sex crime conviction is to join the sex offender registry for life. as Megan’s Law allows for much of the personal information of a sex offender to be publicly available.  Of course, some civil liberties groups and convicted sex offenders want to see change. They argue that a one-time conviction should not remove all future opportunities. However, the general public supports tough penalties, and may even be pressing for further restrictions.

Penalties for California Sex Offenders

Penal Code § 290 requires convicted sex offenders to register as such. Registration takes place in their city or with the sheriff’s department directly. Additionally, law requires the offenders check in every year on their birthdays and with any change of address.

Convictions which may require registration include:

  • Sexual Battery;
  • Rape;
  • Indecent Exposure;
  • Lewd Acts with a Child;
  • Child Pornography Crimes; or
  • Child Molestation.

Although the laws are strict, there are a few exemptions. Indeed some people convicted of sex crimes do not have to register as sex offenders.

Discretion of Judges to Lift Registration

Judges have the discretion to spare some adult offenders from the lifetime sex offender registration. This discretion occurs when the offending sexual intercourse was non-forcible. For example; a young adult who has consensual sex with someone underage may not face the requirement. After all, the registry is a truly life-altering sentence.

In 2006, discretion for judges was expanded. Here, a California Supreme Court decision gives judges more leeway in cases of oral sex.  Judges received leeway to be treat oral sex differently than full intercourse.

Discretion Lifted

However, that said, the same court changed their position earlier this year. A convicted sex offender who was not required to register based on a judge’s discretion. Sadly, the man violated his probation by working with teenage girls in the Miss Rio Linda Pageant. Those young girls faced exposure to a sex offender. As a result the court claimed judges were applying their 2006 ruling too broadly. They state it wasn’t intended for older defendant engaging in sexual activity with much younger victims.

In this case, the offender was 48-years-old at the time. He received a conviction for oral copulation and penetration with a foreign object of a 17-year-old girl.

More Prison Time

Taking back discretion is not the only place the law is coming down even harder on sex offenders. A California state senator introduced a bill to increase prison time for sex offenders who remove GPS trackers. Sen. Patricia Bates of Laguna Niguel authored the bill that cruised through the senate with unanimous support. SB 722 make it a felony for the highest level of sex offenders to disable or remove required GPS bracelets. Violation includes up to 3 years in prison.

The bill was introduced after two homeless sex offenders kidnapped and killed four women from Anaheim and Santa Ana. They served a few months in prison previously for cutting off their GPS bracelets. Determined as they were, they did this twice.

Unemployment and Poverty

The laws limiting where sex offenders can live, increasing penalties, and requiring lifetime registration are popular with the public. However, the real-life impact of such laws could bring about a lifetime of unemployment and poverty for convicts. Many of whom have a hard time finding employment after they serve their sentence. Additionally, many are forever shunned by the communities where they live.

Frank Lindsay received a conviction of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under 14-years-old when he was 26-years-old, in 1979. After serving his sentence and probation, he tried to move on with his life. In 1996, the creation of the public federal sex offender list put Lindsay’s name online. Of course, his life hasn’t been the same since. Neighbors and business contacts no longer treat him the same way, and one man even threatened him after breaking into his house.

Due to his experience, Lindsey takes part in an organization called California Reform Sex Offender Laws. In part, their mission is to create a tiered system for California sex offenders. This ensures that those each offense receives a different level of punishment. They argue that one person with a conviction of public nudity is not in the same category as violent rapists. Civil rights advocates argue public registries do not reduce sexual crimes or recidivism. Now, an estimated 6,000 registrants of convicted California sex offenders may be homeless, and as a result, difficult to monitor.

Get the Help You Need

The Kavinoky Law firm hires only the most experienced criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles. If you find yourself facing a criminal conviction, don’t do it alone. You can call us anytime 24/7, 365 days a year. We don’t sleep – so you can.

Prostitution

Prostitution, considered a sex crime in California, may be charged under a variety of circumstances. Although considered “the oldest profession in the world,” it still carries criminal penalties, which include probation, fines, community service or labor, jail time, a possible state prison sentence and, in connection with certain offenses, a requirement that the offender register as a sex offender, pursuant to California’s Penal code 290. In order to best avoid these penalties, it is important for the accused to hire a criminal attorney who specializes in California sex crime defense to ensure the most qualified representation.

An individual (either the alleged prostitute or the alleged customer) will be charged with prostitution (any lewd act between persons for money or other consideration) as a misdemeanor when he or she either solicits, agrees to engage in or engages in any act of prostitution, which is evidenced by something done in furtherance of the commission of the act. An act in furtherance can be payment, going to a specific location or may consist of words only, if the statements made were unambiguous and unequivocal in conveying that the agreed act of prostitution would occur and moved the parties toward completion of the act. If the accused is convicted and has been previously convicted of this same offense (which is proven to the judge and/or jury) on one occasion, he or she will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum 45-day jail sentence. and if convicted on two or more occasions, he or she will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum 90-day jail sentence.

Persuading or enticing an unmarried female virgin under the age of 18 to engage in prostitution, aiding and assisting in such persuasion or procuring such an individual under false pretenses or other fraudulent means to have illicit sexual relations with another will be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, punishable by a maximum one-year jail or prison sentence, a maximum $2,000 fine and a requirement that the guilty register as a sex offender. In order to be convicted of this offense, it must be proven that the female was previously “of chaste character” and that she was under someone’s care. It therefore follows that no crime is committed if the woman isn’t a virgin, is living on her own and is simply aided in being placed in a house of prostitution.

The most serious prostitution charge involves an individual who takes a minor (a person under 18) away from his or her parents or other guardian without the parents’ or guardian’s consent for the purpose of prostitution. If convicted under these circumstances, the accused faces a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months or two or three years, a maximum fine of $2,000 and mandatory registration as a sex offender, pursuant to Penal code 290.

The skilled criminal defense lawyers at The Kavinoky Law Firm have mastered California sex crime defense and all of the defenses that are applicable to these types of crimes. They know how to effectively argue insufficient evidence, lack of intent, lack of knowledge or any other defense that may be used to convince a judge or jury that the accused should not be convicted of prostitution. They thoroughly examine every police report and all witness statements, visit the scene where the alleged crime took place and speak to any and all witnesses in an effort to uncover how their client’s constitutional rights may have been violated, which could result in a reduced charge, a suppression of evidence or an early dismissal of the case. The outstanding Kavinoky Firm has law offices in Los Angeles and throughout the state, enabling them to provide their excellent legal advice and services to anyone in need of a California sex crime defense attorney. Contact them today for a free consultation and for unparalleled representation.

 

Polygraph Testing

Polygraph Testing and its Role in California Sex Offense Cases

Polygraph machines are one of the most famous instruments used to detect truth and deception. They record one’s physical involuntary responses to questions and generally measure results based on the respiratory, sweat gland and cardiovascular systems of the body. Although polygraph testing is the subject of much debate and is generally excluded from evidence in California, there are ways that it can be helpful to the defense in a sex offense case. The skilled California sex crime defense attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm know how to effectively use this type of evidence to help their clients in a variety of ways.

California courts are open to the use of polygraph results under a number of circumstances. While results are generally excluded from evidence during the case-in-chief, there are some instances where they may nonetheless be admissible, and others where they may be useful in pre-trial situations. For example, a polygraph test may be admissible in a sex offense criminal trial if both parties stipulate to its admissibility before the test is administered. When this is the case, the court will typically set certain requirements relating to the conditions under which the test may be given and relating to the qualifications of the polygraph examiner. These requirements are set forth in an effort to ensure the most reliable results, as even those who believe in the accuracy of these tests admit to the fact that erroneous results can occur. Errors can result from inadequate preparation of the individual taking the test, from the manner in which the examiner asks the questions, from the examiner’s interpretation of the test, and from the individual’s anxiety and nervousness. If the accused believes that his or her results were mistakenly interpreted, he or she should immediately ask the criminal defense lawyer to request a second examination with a different examiner.

An experienced criminal attorney may also ask his or her client to participate in a polygraph test for pre-trial purposes. If the charged allegations are based on false accusations under any circumstances, test results could be extremely helpful in obtaining an early release from custody and in negotiations with the prosecution to either reduce or dismiss the charges. For example, if a polygraph test reveals that the defendant either didn’t commit the crime alleged, or that he or she believed that (in certain crimes, such as rape or sodomy) there was consent on the part of the other adult participating in the act, the judge may be persuaded to permit an OR release or to reduce bail, based on the fact that the accused doesn’t present as big a threat to society as was previously believed. Similarly, these types of results may be useful evidence to convince a prosecutor that the alleged “victim” may not be telling the truth, especially if it is a case that is lacking in physical evidence. Such powerful evidence may convince a prosecutor to either reduce the charged offense to a less serious offense (for example, to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor or to reduce a charge that requires sex offender registration under Penal Code 290 to one that doesn’t) or it may convince him or her to dismiss the case altogether, especially if it lacked substantial support to begin with.

Only a qualified lawyer should consider this type of testing because of the risks that it presents. The outstanding attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm specialize in all the complexities related to California sex crime defense, enabling them to provide the most comprehensive defenses. They keep current with the latest rulings, trial strategies and issues that are applicable to this ever-changing and emotionally unique area of the law, which gives their clients a tremendous advantage. With law offices in Los Angeles and throughout California, they are conveniently accessible to those in need of an exceptional California sex crime defense attorney. For more information about the role of polygraph testing in sex offense cases, and for the most trusted legal advice, contact them today for a free consultation.

Other Crimes Dealing With Prostitution

Other Crimes Dealing With Prostitution

In addition to the basic California sex crime of prostitution, there are a variety of additional crime that encompass this offense that may be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies. The following are some of the most commonly prosecuted in this state.

Persuading another to visit a place kept for the purpose of prostitution will be charged as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in county jail and a maximum $500 fine.

Operating, owning or living in a house or inn that is kept for the purpose of prostitution or lewdness will be charged as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.

Taking a person against his or her will and without his or her consent (or with his or her consent, obtained by fraudulent misrepresentation) for the purpose of prostitution will be charged as a felony, punishable by 16 months or two or three years in state prison and a maximum $2,000 fine. If the accused has previously procured others to live in houses of prostitution, that evidence may be admissible to prove his or her guilty intent.

Purchasing (either with money or something else of value) a person for the purpose of prostitution or for the purpose of placing that person in a house for immoral purposes against his or her will will be charged as a felony, punishable by 16 months or two or three years in state prison.

Placing, leaving or procuring another to place or leave one’s own wife in a house of prostitution either by force, intimidation, threats, persuasion, promises or any other means will be charged as a felony, punishable by imprisonment in state prison for two, three or four years. The accused will be guilty of this charge even if he simply consents to or permits his wife to live or remain there or if he doesn’t do anything to actively take her home. The fact that one’s wife was a prostitute before the marriage will not serve as a defense to this charge. However, if the accused used all lawful means to cause her to be removed from the house of prostitution, was eager for her to leave and/or tried to persuade her to do so using a variety of reasonable methods, those facts will serve as a defense to this crime.

The outstanding criminal attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm excel in California sex crime defense and know the most effective ways to have their client’s charges reduced and dismissed. When a case must go to trial, they provide unparalleled representation, knowing exactly how to successfully communicate all applicable defenses to the judge and jury to ensure that they not only hear the defendant’s side of the story, but believe it as well. They keep up-to-date on this ever-changing field of law, giving their clients a tremendous advantage and keeping them ahead and shoulders above the competition. With law offices conveniently located in Los Angeles and throughout the state, they are easily accessible for those in need of a criminal defense lawyer who has mastered all the complexities related to California sex crimes. For the most trusted legal advice and the best representation, contact The Kavinoky Law Firm today for a free consultation.

 

Sex Crime Penalties

California sex offenses carry harsh penalties – some can even result in lifetime incarceration. Sentencing enhancements can add years to an already lengthy prison sentence, and many California sex crime convictions carry a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender. Fortunately, it’s possible to aggressively fight California sex charges with the help of a skilled criminal lawyer. The experienced California defense attorneys of The Kavinoky Law Firm are well-versed in effective defenses to sex crime charges.

How a California sex crime is punished depends on whether it is charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. The following are examples of some felony penalties.

An individual convicted of certain acts of rape (including spousal rape), rape in concert with another, lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age, penetration with a foreign object, sodomy, oral copulation, or of the continuous sexual abuse of a child faces 15 years to life in prison (with no probation) if he or she committed one of these offenses while involved in the commission of another felony offense, while using a weapon or inflicting serious bodily injury on the victim, if the victim was restrained during the offense, if the offense was committed against two or more victims, if the accused administered a controlled substance to the victim during the commission of the offense, or if the accused acted in concert with another during the offense and either of the accused parties engaged in one of these activities.

If the accused did two or more of these things during the commission of the offense, he or she faces 25 years to life in prison with no probation. The same penalty applies if the accused is convicted of any of the above-mentioned offenses and he or she had been previously convicted of one of those offenses, or if he or she committed one of these offenses while engaged in the commission of another serious or violent felony.

In addition, if the accused is convicted of multiple charges against the same victim on different occasions (meaning that there was time between acts for the accused to reflect upon his or her actions before resuming the illegal sexual activity) or against different victims, he or she can receive consecutive sentences for each offense.

Anyone acting in concert with another, by force or violence and against the alleged victim’s will, who either personally commits or aids in the commission of rape, spousal rape or in the aggravated sexual abuse of a child will receive five, seven or nine years in state prison. It should be noted that when three sentencing options are available, the judge is required to impose the middle term unless aggravating or mitigating circumstances support either the higher or lower term.

An individual who has previously served two prison terms for any serious felony, and who, during the present offense, either inflicted great bodily injury on another or who used force that was likely to result in great bodily injury to another, will be labeled a habitual offender and will be incarcerated for life without the possibility of parole for the first 20 years. If the individual served three or more prior prison terms, he or she will be incarcerated for life without the possibility of parole. Bottom line: Anyone labeled a habitual offender faces a mandatory minimum 25 years in prison.

Clearly, an individual accused of a felony sex crime should hire a California criminal defense lawyer who knows how to skillfully navigate through the sentencing elements that are imposed in connection with such crimes. The experienced California defense attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm are skilled in every aspect of sex crime defense. With law offices located in Los Angeles and throughout California, they are conveniently located to serve those in need of an aggressive California sex crime defense attorney. Contact The Kavinoky Law Firm today at 1-800-NO-CUFFS for a free consultation.

Pimping, Pandering and Procuring

Pimping, Pandering and Procuring

Pimping, pandering and procuring a child under 16 years of age for lewd or lascivious acts are three different California sex crimes that will be prosecuted as felonies, which all require a convicted offender to register as a sex offender (pursuant California to Penal Code 290). To best defend against these severe charges, it is critical that the accused hires a criminal attorney who specializes in California sex crime defense, as no other lawyer will be as qualified to tackle the emotionally unique and complex issues that are frequently raised in sex crime cases.

Pimping will be charged against an individual who, knowing another was a prostitute, took or received money that was earned from the person’s prostitution or received compensation for soliciting that person. If convicted, the accused is deemed guilty of a felony and faces three, four or six years in state prison and mandatory registration as a sex offender, in accordance with Penal Code 290. If, under these circumstances, the alleged prostitute was a minor (a person under the age of 18) but over 16 years of age, the accused faces a felony, punishable by imprisonment in state prison for three, four or six years. If the alleged prostitute was a minor under 16 years old, the accused faces a felony, punishable by imprisonment in state prison for three, six, or eight years.

Pandering will be charged as a felony against an individual who procured another person for the purpose of prostitution, who threatened or otherwise persuaded another to become a prostitute, who procured for another a place in a house of prostitution and threatened or otherwise coerced or encouraged him or her to remain there, who procured another to enter or leave this state for the purpose of prostitution, or who received or gave, or agreed to receive or give, any money or thing of value for procuring, or attempting to procure, another person for the purpose of prostitution. If convicted of this offense under any of these circumstances, the accused faces state imprisonment for three, four or six years. If the defendant was accused of doing any of these things with a minor over 16 years of age, he or she would face the same penalty, but if the other person was under 16 years old, he or she would face three, six or eight years in state prison. Anyone convicted of this offense will additionally be required to register as a sex offender.

Procuring a child under the age of 16 for lewd or lascivious acts will be charged as a felony against anyone who intentionally gave, transported, provided, or made available, or who offered to give, transport, provide, or make available to another person, a child under 16 years of age for the purpose of any lewd or lascivious act, or who caused, induced, or persuaded a child under 16 years of old to engage in such an act with another person. If convicted, the accused will be imprisoned in state prison for three, six, or eight years and will be fined a maximum of $15,000. He or she will additionally be required to register as a sex offender.

It must be noted that upon conviction for any of these charges, the court may, in addition to any other penalty or fine imposed, order the defendant to pay an additional maximum fine of $5,000, which will be used to fund counseling centers and programs for victims of child sexual abuse. In setting the amount of the fine, the court will consider any relevant factors including, but not limited to, the severity of the offense, the circumstances of its commission, whether the accused financially profited from the crime and the extent to which the alleged victim suffered losses as a result of the crime.

The outstanding attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm know how to successfully defend their clients, as they have mastered the legal and personal complexities related to California sex crime defense. To speak to one of these passionate and dedicated attorneys, contact them at one of their many Los Angeles or State of California law offices today for a free consultation.

 

Enhancements

California Sex Offense Enhancements

“Enhancements” are penalties that are added to one’s punishment for committing a crime when aggravating circumstances were present. Unless specified, the judge has the option whether to impose an enhancement consecutively to, or concurrently with, the underlying sentence. When consecutive sentences are imposed, an individual’s prison time quickly adds up and he or she may ultimately face lifetime incarceration. The skilled criminal defense attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm know the most effective ways to avoid these types of sentences.

The following are some of the most commonly imposed enhancements for California sex offenses:

When an individual is convicted for a felony violation of statutory rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts or oral copulation under specific circumstances, and the offense was committed with a person under the age of 18 for money or other consideration, he or she faces one year in prison in addition to the sentence that he or she received for the underlying offense

When an individual is convicted of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age or with the continuous sexual abuse of a child, and has a prior conviction for rape, spousal rape, rape in concert, the aggravated sexual assault of a child, incest, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, oral copulation, the continuous sexual abuse of a child or forced penetration, he or she faces a five-year enhancement for the prior violation. An individual who has incurred two or more of these priors faces 15 years to life in prison.

An individual convicted of certain acts of rape, spousal rape, rape in concert, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, the continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation or forced penetration will receive a five-year enhancement for any prior conviction for one of these offenses. An individual convicted of one of these offenses who has served prison terms for two or more of these offenses will receive a 10-year enhancement for each prior term. A full, separate and consecutive term may be imposed for each violation if the crimes involved the same victim on the same occasion (which is usually prohibited). A full, separate and consecutive term will be imposed for each violation if the crimes involved separate victims or involved the same victim on separate occasions. In addition to these enhancements, an individual convicted under any of these circumstances also faces a maximum $20,000 fine.

If an officer arrests an individual for a crime specified in Penal Code 290 (an offense that requires sex offender registration), and that individual is an employee of a California public school, the officer is required to notify the superintendent of that individual’s district. It should be noted that a registered sex offender is prohibited from receiving any publicly funded prescription drugs or other therapies that are offered to treat erectile dysfunction, or from applying for or accepting a job or volunteer position where he or she would be working with minors, without disclosing his or her registered status. If the individual is registered because of a conviction that involved a minor under 16 years of age, he or she is prohibited from holding such a position, period. Any violation of these rules will result in an additional misdemeanor charge.

An individual who flees to California with the intent of avoiding prosecution or incarceration for an offense specified in Penal Code 290 will receive an additional misdemeanor charge and, if convicted of the underlying charge, will receive an additional and consecutive two-year sentence.

Probation will not be granted to anyone convicted of specified acts of rape, rape in concert, sodomy, oral copulation, penetration with a foreign object or employing a minor for prohibited acts or of pimping, pandering or procuring a minor, or of the aggravated sexual assault of a child. Probation may be granted (under unusual circumstances) to an individual convicted of less severe acts of rape, sodomy, oral copulation or penetration with a foreign object.

For the most trusted legal advice concerning a California sex crime offense, contact the exceptional sex crime defense attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Sex Crimes

In California, sex offenses are aggressively prosecuted and heavily punished. They include a variety of criminal sexual behaviors and are typically charged as felonies, though some lesser offenses are charged as misdemeanors. The penalties for sex crime convictions are severe and can be life changing, but the skilled Los Angeles, California based criminal lawyers of The Kavinoky Law Firm are experienced in defending every type of sex cases.

The following is a list and brief description of some of the most commonly charged California sex offenses.

Internet pornography (otherwise known as sexually exploiting a child) may be charged when an adult knowingly develops or exchanges any data or images that depict a minor engaged in sexual conduct. Advertising or distributing obscene materials or possessing such materials with the same content can also result in criminal charges.

Lewd or lascivious acts, California Penal Code section 288, can be filed as a felony against an individual who willfully and lewdly commits a lewd or lascivious act with a child under the age of 14 or as a misdemeanor or felony against a person who does so with a child who is 14 or 15 years old, if the accused is at least 10 years older than the child.

Rape can be charged when an individual has sexual intercourse with another (who is not the spouse of the accused) either against that person’s will or without that person’s consent. Spousal rape can be charged under the same circumstances when the accuser and the accused are married. Statutory rape may be charged under any circumstances where the alleged victim is a minor. Oral copulation can be charged under any of the above circumstances if the accused either gives or receives oral sex and the same can be said for a sodomy charge if an individual’s penis or anus comes into contact with the penis or anus of another. If the accused uses a foreign object to penetrate the genital or anal opening of another under any of these circumstances, he or she may face prosecution for that as well.

Indecent exposure can be charged against an individual either exposes him or herself or persuades another to do so in a public place (or in a private home without consent) that is either offensive or done to provoke vicious or lewd thoughts.

The criminal charges of prostitution (California Penal Code section 647b) and/or pimping and pandering can be charged against an individual accused of soliciting a prostitute, running a “brothel,” or procuring another for the purpose of prostitution. If the accused is pimping a minor or pandering with a minor, special penalties will apply.

Crimes that apply to families include bigamy, which will be charged if an individual is simultaneously married to more than one person, and incest, which involves family members either marry or have sexual relationships with one another.
An individual who sexually assaults an animal for his or her own sexual gratification will be charged with sexually assaulting an animal.

Abduction for marriage may be charged against an individual who either forces a woman to marry him or another or against an individual who causes a woman to be defiled.

If an individual either commits an act or fails to perform an act that is sexual in nature against a minor and thereby causes that minor to become a dependant of the state, he or she will be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. On that note, any sex offense that is committed against a minor will likely result in enhanced sentencing, as that is typically considered an aggravating factor.

Attempting to commit certain sex crimes can also result in criminal charges in California, even if the attempt fails. Also, individuals convicted of specific sex crimes more than once will face harsher punishment with each subsequent offense.

The experienced California defense lawyers of The Kavinoky Law Firm are experienced in every aspect of fighting sex crime charges, and pride themselves on their unsurpassed level of service. For outstanding legal advice and representation, contact a top California sex crime lawyer today at 1-800-NO-CUFFS for a free consultation.

Statutory Rape Laws and Penalties in California

Statutory rape, by definition in California, is for the governance and protection of minors.

This charge encompasses unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. In California, a minor is anyone under the age of 18. An individual under the age of 18 years isn’t legally capable of giving consent. Of course, this law is regardless of how physically, emotionally, or mentally mature he or she is or appears.

Additionally, the courts may convict anyone of any age this crime. Therefore, adults are not the only ones capable of arrest for statutory rape. It’s true, depending on the circumstances, even two minors involved in a relationship may find themselves under arrest.

The Difference Between Rape and Statutory Rape

Knowing the above, it is clear the main differences between rape and statutory rape is age. Even if no force, threat, or duress occurs. In fact, this act is still a sex crime solely because of the age of the alleged victim.

Since statutory rape offenders face a haunting social stigma and serious penalties, it is imperative that the accused hires a qualified criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible so that the attorney has an opportunity to develop the most effective defense possible. The skilled criminal attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm have mastered this difficult field of law and know what it takes to successfully defend their clients.

Penalties for Statutory Rape Convictions

The penalties that are imposed in connection with a statutory rape conviction will vary, depending mostly on the age of the accused and on the age of the alleged victim.

There are three major categories of penalty in which this conviction falls:

  • First: A Misdemeanor Charge. When the accused is no more than three years older or younger than the alleged victim.
  • Second: Misdemeanor or Felony Charge. If the accused is more than three years older than the alleged victim. This misdemeanor conviction carries up to 1 year in county jail or state prison.
  • Third: Misdemeanor or Felony Charge. If the accused is 21 years old and has sexual intercourse with a minor younger than 16.  This misdemeanor conviction carries a penalty of up to 1 year in county jail. If it is a felony conviction, it carries 2 to 4 years in state prison.

An adult facing a statutory rape charge will likely also face further civil penalties. This person may be civilly liable for up to $2,000. Additionally, the punishments increase based upon age difference. For example,

  • If the minor is at least two years younger than the adult, the accused looks at up up to $5,000 in fines.
  • Furthermore, if the minor is at least three years younger, the accused may face up to $10,000.
  • Finally, if the accused is an adult over the age of 21, they face the most severe penalties. If this adult engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under 16, they’re facing a $25,000 penalty.

The Importance of Criminal Intent

The primary defense in a statutory rape case will be a lack of criminal intent, where the accused reasonably believed that the alleged victim was over the consenting age. Statutory rape was once a strict-liability crime. This meant a defendant faced conviction of this crime even if they were genuinely ignorant. If a person did not know a factor which makes the act or omission criminal, it did not matter.

However, California now recognizes ignorance as a defense where the accused participated in a mutual, sexual act. This is true only if the defendant believed their partner was of legal age. Of course, the attorney must prove the accused has reasonable grounds for such belief. However, committing lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14 is still a strict-liability offense. (California Penal Code 288)

The experienced lawyers at The Kavinoky Law Firm dedicate themselves to help their clients defend against this devastating charge. Their excellent legal advice and outstanding representation are available to those in need of a California sex crime defense attorney, and they have law offices in Los Angeles and throughout the state. Contact the firm today for a confidential, free case evaluation.

About Darren Kavinoky and The Kavinoky Law Firm

Darren Kavinoky receives recognition over and over for his commitment to clients and for being a top California defense lawyer. The Los Angeles Magazine repeatedly regards him as a Super Lawyer , and the American Trial Lawyers Association highlighted him as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in California. Additionally, he is the legal analyst and special correspondent for the syndicated television program The Insider. He is also a popular guest on shows that include Entertainment Tonight, Dr. Phil, NBC’s Today Show, and various programs on CNN and the Headline News Channel. Follow Darren on Twitter @DarrenKavinoky or www.DarrenKavinoky.com.

One-strike Sex Cases

California has one of the most severe sentencing schedules in the nation commonly called the Three-strikes Law. Three strikes on one’s record may result in a life sentence without the possibility of parole. These laws apply to serious felonies, and many of this state’s sex crimes will qualify for prosecution under this law. When an individual is convicted of a qualifying serious felony, he or she will obtain his or her first strike, which will result in 15 years to life in the state prison or in 25 years to life in state prison. When faced with such a charge, the only way to hopefully avoid these devastating possibilities is to hire a criminal defense lawyer who has mastered this area of the law and who knows how to defeat a felony sex crime conviction.

Violent felony sex crimes are prosecuted as “one-strike”, “three-strike” or “habitual sex offender” crimes. Prosecutors are forbidden from engaging in plea bargaining over these offenses unless there is insufficient evidence to prove the people’s case, the testimony of a material witness cannot be obtained, or a reduction or dismissal would not result in a substantial change in the sentence. The skilled criminal attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm critically evaluate every case in a diligent effort to uncover all of the flaws in the prosecution’s case that will encourage a plea bargain, knowing exactly how to convince a prosecutor or judge that the case lacks sufficient evidence.

With respect to California sex offenses, the following charges apply to these laws: Rape, sodomy by force, violence, duress, menace, threat of great bodily injury, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury to the victim or another person, oral copulation by those same means, any forcible acts of sexual penetration and the commission of rape or sexual penetration in concert with another person. With respect to sex crimes against children, the following charges apply: Lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14, continuous sexual abuse of a child, the aggravated sexual assault of a child and sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child 10 years or younger.

When an individual is convicted of any of these offenses and has been previously convicted of a serious felony (whether or not it was sexually-related) in this state or in another state that meets this state’s definition of a “serious felony,” he or she will receive an additional five-year state prison sentence for each qualifying prior conviction that was brought and tried separately. The sentence imposed in the present offense, and each enhancement will run consecutively, which means that they will run back-to-back.

With such severe penalties, it would be quite foolish for an individual accused of a one-strike crime to hire an inexperienced attorney, as his or her freedom, family and future are too valuable to entrust to less than the best. The trusted, experienced defense attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm know what it takes to win and are dedicated to producing the most favorable results for their clients. They scrutinize every police report, question all witnesses, independently examine and analyze any physical evidence, highlight any discrepancies in testimony or reports, and pride themselves on their exceptional cross-examination skills, which often leave judges and jurors doubting the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses and case. With law offices located throughout California, including several in Los Angeles, they are easily accessible to those in need of an outstanding California sex crime defense lawyer. When things are at their worst, the attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm are at their best! Contact them today for a free consultation and for unparalleled legal representation.