Sex Crimes

Defending Against Sexual Offense Charges in Riverside and Los Angeles

Riverside Sex Crimes Attorney

Charges of sexual offenses not only bring an incredibly nasty stigma which can seriously damage your reputation, they can also trigger harsh penalties if the offenses result in convictions.

That’s why, if you’re facing such accusations, your first move should be to get in touch with Sharp Criminal Lawyers to leverage our expertise and success in battling charges for sexual offenses.

On this page, we’ll look at sexual assault charges, what California law says about them, the potential penalties involved and strategies for a successful defense.

What is a sexual crime?
Section 243.4 of the California Penal Code is the road map for what constitutes a sexual charge and the possible penalties. While there is a range of sex crime charges listed in the Code (sexual battery, child sexual abuse, rape, indecent exposure, prostitution, etc.), a common thread running among the charges is “illegal or coerced sexual conduct against someone else who is unwilling or unable to give consent.”

Below, we’ll share information about the most common sex crimes in California, the associated possible penalties and potential defenses.

** Keep in mind that each case is unique. Each defense listed is not necessarily what will be utilized in your case. Instead, Sharp Criminal Lawyers will examine every aspect of your situation, and develop a defense strategy best suited to position you for the most positive outcome.

What are the penalties for sex crime charges in California?
In California, penalties for sex crime charges are dependent upon whether or not the charge is treated as a misdemeanor or a felony. Along with prison time, sex crimes can also result in you having to register as a sex offender – for life – on the California Meagan’s Law site.

California rape penalties became much more strict recently when Gov. Brown signed legislation for bidding judges from sentencing rape defendants found guilty to probation. The particular legislation, Assembly Bill 701, expanded the legal definition to rape to include all forms of nonconsensual sexual assault.

Other associated penalties include having to tell potential employers about the conviction and prohibition from possessing a firearm.

What does California law say about rape?
California law defines rape as using physical force, violence, threat or fraud to have intercourse with someone unwilling or unable to provide consent. Being unable to provide consent can occur when someone is:

  • prevented from resisting;
  • asleep or unconscious either naturally or from use of an intoxicant;
  • not able to understand what is going on because of the perpetrator’s fraud;
  • threatened with retaliation in the future; or
  • unable to provide consent because of a mental or physical disorder.

Keep in mind that these are merely a few examples of what can be called “rape.” For instance, a person can be charged with spousal rape if they forcibly have sex with their spouse without consent or knowledge.

What does California law say about statutory rape?
When someone engages in sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 18 but older than 14, charges of statutory rape are possible. Even if consent is provided by the alleged victim of the incident, the act is still a crime. 

What does California law say about date rape?
Also known as “acquaintance rape,” date rape is non-consensual or forced sex between person who know have been dating. This includes a first date all the way to a stable relationship.

What are the penalties for rape in California?

Understandably, the severity of the penalties for rape depend upon a host of variables, including severity of force and age of the victim. They include:

  • prison time of three (3), six (6) or eight (8) years in the California State Prison (a minimum of 7 years if the alleged victim is a minor);
  • fines of up to $10,000 (up to $25,000 for an adult who had sex with a minor); and
  • a possible “strike” in relation to California’s Three Strikes Law.

What are examples of successful defenses for rape charges?

It’s not uncommon for completely innocent people to be charged with rape. Perhaps even more disturbing is that fact that many innocent people are coerced into confessing to the charges.

Even though rape is obviously a serious charge with tough penalties, some of the more successful strategies include:

  • you’re being falsely accused;
  • you’ve been entrapped;
  • the alleged victim actually did give consent; and
  • this is a case of mistaken identity.

Successful defenses against statutory rape (when the alleged victim is under 18) include:

  • you truly believed that the alleged victim was 18 or older; and
  • there was no sexual intercourse (if no intercourse took place, the more severe penalties will not be triggered).

What does California law say about child sexual abuse?

Under California law, child sexual abuse includes the alleged perpetrator “…living with or having access to a child under 14, and over the course three (3) months committing three (30 or more acts of substantial sexual contact or lewd acts.”

This can include oral copulation, masturbation, or penetration of the alleged victim’s or alleged perpetrator’s vagina or rectum by the other person’s penis or a foreign object.

It’s important to keep in mind that there are a host of professional people who are required to report their suspicions of child sexual abuse to authorities. The people required to do so include:

  • medical care professionals;
  • teachers and other school employees;
  • processors of film and photographs;
  • therapists and counselors;
  • foster parents; and
  • those who provide services to minors.

What are the penalties for child sexual abuse?
The offense is a felony and punishable by up to 6, 12 or 16 years in the California State Prison. It’s also a strike under the California Three Strikes Law, and if you’re convicted, you’ll be required to register as a sex offender.

What are examples of successful defenses for child sexual abuse charges?

There are a host of ways to defend against charges of child sexual abuse, including:

  • any touching was accidental;
  • the accuser is making the story up;
  • someone else abused the child; and
  • the child has been coached to say certain things.

What does California law say about lewd or lascivious acts on a minor?
This charge is made when someone is accused of touching any part of a minor’s body – or forcing the minor to touch you – for the purposes of sexual gratification.

What are the penalties for lewd or lascivious acts on a minor?
The potential penalties for this charge are up to 8 years in prison (10 years if it was forced), a $10,000 fine, a strike under the California Three Strikes Law, and registration as a sex offender.
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What are examples of successful defenses for lewd or lascivious acts on a minor?

Again, each case is different, but successful defenses for this charge include:

  • being falsely accused;
  • any contact was accidental;
  • the child is being coached by someone else to make the allegation; and
  • there was no intent for sexual arousal.

What does California law say about prostitution?
Simply put, prostitution is the performance or buying of sexual acts for money. This includes participating in the sexual act for money, agreeing to participate in a sexual act for money and soliciting sexual favors in exchange for money.

What are the penalties for prostitution in California?

Prostitution is typically treated as a misdemeanor in California. For this, you could be hit with fines of up to $1,000 or six (6) months in county jail – or both.

What are examples of successful defenses for prostitution?

Defenses to charges of prostitution include, but are not limited to:

  • entrapment;
  • lack of evidence;
  • a misunderstanding;
  • there was no exchange of money; and
  • there was no agreement for exchange of sex for money.

If you’ve facing charges for sexual misconduct in Riverside or the Los Angeles area, call Sharp Criminal Lawyers.

Charges for sexual offenses pose a great risk to your reputation and freedom, in large part because of the stigma attached to the charges.

If you’re facing sex crime charges, the only people you should be speaking with are your lawyers. Your best bet for a positive outcome, regardless of whether you’ve done what you’re accused of, is to work with a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer, who can develop and execute a winning defense strategy for you. Stephen has successfully defended countless felony charges and this experience can make a difference in the outcome of your case.

Call Sharp Criminal Lawyers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for free legal info by phone at 951-777-1111.

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