In California, a sex crime is any illegal act of a sexual nature and includes sexual assault, rape, unlawful copulation, sodomy, solicitation, prostitution, indecent exposure, and lewd acts, among other sex offender crimes. In most states, sexual assault includes any type of unwanted physical contact with any sexual organ, and most sex crimes in the state of California are felonies.
Defending a sex crime is a difficult task, considering the complex nature of the crime, the emotional outcry from the media, and the prosecution’s portrayal of the accused as being a ‘bad’ person. As a result, it’s important to entrust your case to a sex crimes lawyer who has extensive experience and success in dealing with all types of sex crime cases. By working closely with expert witnesses, the sex crime attorneys of The Kavinoky Law Firm can develop a unique defense strategy specifically tailored to your case.
Because most sex offenses are considered “strikes” under California’s “Three Strikes Law”, there is a prohibition against plea bargaining many of these offenses. California also has a “One Strike” sex offense law, which can mean a life sentence even for someone with no criminal history or prior “strike” convictions.
Sex offender registration for those convicted of most sex crimes is a certainty, and this lifetime requirement (which can include publication of the offender’s photo, address, and crime details on the Megan’s Law website) can cause social stigma that lasts a lifetime. This is yet one more reason why anyone charged with a sex offense get the best lawyer they can afford.
One of the most serious sex crimes is rape. Rape is broadly defined as nonconsensual intercourse accomplished by means of threats or force. While many people think rape only applies to situations where physical force was used, less obvious situations, like a man having sexual intercourse with a woman who is passed out drunk, can also lead to rape charges in the state of California.
Also grouped under the rape umbrella, statutory rape, oral copulation by force, date rape, and forcible penetration with a foreign object are also serious sex crimes. The punishment, penalties, and social stigma that can branch from a California rape conviction can be serious. If convicted of rape, you may face up to eight years in prison and, if the victim was a minor, the maximum sentence is 13 years.
Lewd Acts & Indecent Exposure
Typically charged as misdemeanors in the state of California, these crimes involve public sexual acts or the exposure of genitals in a public space. In California, indecent exposure laws are so broad and vague that they can cover behavior you may not have thought was criminal. Common behavior that can lead to indecent exposure charges in the state include females bearing their breasts in a public place, and teenagers exposing their genitals to elderly women with the goal of offending them.
Although indecent exposure or lewd act convictions may not seem like a serious offense, the repercussions can be devastating. Both convictions carry up to six months in county jail, and a fine of up to $1,000. Although a conviction for lewd conduct doesn’t require registration as a sex offender, prosecutor’s often charge it along with indecent exposure, which requires lifetime sex offender registration.
Sex Crimes Defense
Due to the sensitive nature of the crimes, defense requires very specific strategies backed by extensive investigation, mental health evaluations, and trial preparation. This is not an area of expertise for a general practice attorney, and should be left to a sex crimes attorney. By building the right defense team and conducting a thorough investigation of your case, the lawyers of the Kavinoky Law Firm can aggressively fight for you in a court of law.
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