- Child Molestation
- Possession of Child Pornography
- Internet Child Pornography
- Sexual Assault
- Statutory Rape
- Date Rape
- Lewd Conduct
- Lewd and Lascivious Act
- Indecent Exposure
- Failure to Register
Call now for a free confidential consultation.
Sex Crimes Defense Attorney
Sex crimes defense is a highly specialized area of law. Los Angeles Attorney Debra S. White is extensively experienced, and has the skills and compassion necessary to defend against allegations of child molestation, possession of child pornography, and rape, as well as numerous other sex-related offenses.
Once a person has been arrested or, even accused, with a sex crime, it is imperative that they seek advice from an experienced sex crimes lawyer. A criminal defense attorney skilled in sex crimes defense knows how to best protect the accused’s interests, safeguard their individual rights, and will be able to provide reliable and trustworthy advice about their legal options. The sex crime lawyer you hire does make a difference.
Sex Crimes Punishment
There are many different types of sex crimes in California. They range in severity and may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. The severity of the charge will depend on the type of crime committed, if the alleged victim was a minor, if the alleged victim sustained injuries, if there are other complaining witnesses, and if the defendant has a prior criminal record.
California punishes sex offenses harshly. A person convicted of a single sex crime, may have to spend up to 8 years in prison. If a person is convicted of multiple sex crimes, or sex crimes against multiple alleged victims, they can be sentenced to life in prison. A sex crime conviction can also result in monetary fines, probation, community service, and court ordered sex-offender treatment. Additionally, most people who are convicted of a sex crime will have to submit their name and information to the California Sex Offender Registry of the California Department of Justice every year for the rest of their life. Once in the system, they are publicly labeled as a sex offender for anyone to see.
Child molestation is any unlawful physical or psychological sexual act committed against a child under the age of 14, although sex offenses committed against anyone under the age of 18 are often referred to as child molestation. The age of the alleged perpetrator is irrelevant except that there are harsher punishments when the age difference is great.
In many child molestation cases, a child accuses someone they already know, such as a relative, neighbor, coach, teacher, or acquaintance.
Internet Child Pornography
It is illegal at both the federal and California state level to knowingly produce, possess, distribute, share, store, download, view, or sell pornographic images, material, or film that feature a minor(s) under the age of 18 on the Internet.
Child pornography is considered to be images, film, and other materials that depict minors engaging in any type explicit sexual conduct, such as intercourse, masturbation, anal sex, exhibition of genitals, sodomy, bestiality, oral sex, and sadistic or other lewd or lascivious acts.
In addition to severe legal penalties, individuals who are accused or convicted of child pornography are often ostracized by society, family, and friends, and may loose their jobs, future opportunities, and sense of community.
There are several different types of rape crimes. They include forcible rape, statutory rape, date rape, and spousal rape. In California, you will be charged with rape if any of the following conditions are true:
• Force, injury, or violence was used to carry out intercourse.
• The alleged victim was drunk, unconscious, asleep, or drugged at the time the unlawful sexual act occurred.
• The alleged victim could not legally consent because he/she is either a minor or disabled
• The alleged victim was threatened or psychologically abused into engaging in a sexual act
• The alleged victim was misled into engaging in a sexual act
Most defendant’s convicted of rape go to prison, have to register has a sex offender, and face other extremely harsh penalties.
Sex Offender Registration
When a person is convicted of committing an illegal sexual offense, they are usually required under California Penal Code 290 to register as a sex offender. In California, the purpose of sex offender registration is to help law enforcement officials keep track of known sex offenders, and to alert members of the public if a sex offender moves into their neighborhood.
Sex offenders are required to register for life, and must report annually to keep law enforcement up-to-date. Failure to register or renew is a felony and will result in legal consequences such as prison, steep fines, probation, and other penalties.
Mandatory registration as a sex offender can lead to life-altering consequences that last a lifetime. Individuals who are registered sex offenders are usually ostracized by society, face employment loss, damaged reputations, strained relationships, limited future opportunities, and loss of community.
Representation Before Charges are Filed.
A criminal defense attorney can be retained to represent a client accused of a sex offense as soon as an accusation is made, before there is an arrest, or before charges are formally filed. The purpose of such early intervention is to protect the accused and try to persuade the prosecutor to not file charges. The chances of successfully preventing charges from being filed will depend on: 1) the nature of the charges and accusations, 2) the criminal history of the parties involved, and 3) the defense strategy of the attorney who is representing the accused. Because the lawyer you hire will make a difference to the outcome of your case, it is important to choose your lawyer wisely.
Know The Lawyer You Hire
Finding the right criminal defense lawyer to represent you or a loved one in a sex crime case can be a daunting task. Ms. White recommends that when you take the following steps to ensure that you hire the right lawyer:
- When you contact a law firm, be careful of any legal advice from a non-lawyer.
- Ask for a consultation from the lawyer you might hire. Most criminal defense lawyers offer free initial consultations.
- If possible, meet with the attorney you intend to hire in person.
- Make sure that the lawyer you hire is the same person who will actually represent you and not an associate you have never met.
- Do your homework. Research the attorney. Are they legally licensed to practice law in California? The State Bar of California's Member Search will tell you if there has been any disciplinary action against the attorney.
- Check for any client reviews about the attorney. What do others have to say about this attorney? Beware of fake testimonials and internet marketing ploys!
- Interview the attorney. How long have they been a criminal defense attorney? Where did they go to law school? What is their experience in handling these types of cases? Do they have any trial experience with these cases? What is their success rate? Are they available to take your case? Will someone else work on this case?
- Is it better to hire an attorney who is a former prosecutor? It is a misconception that former prosecutors make better defense attorneys. An experienced criminal defense attorney usually has more experience dealing with prosecutors and Judges in more courthouses than a former prosecutor who usually works in one office and one courthouse or courtroom. Moreover, attorneys who become prosecutors are usually pro-prosecution, and not defense-oriented. When a prosecutor decides to "switch sides" are they doing it because they are true defenders who want to fight for the rights of the accused? It is our experience that the best criminal defense attorneys have not only extensive legal knowledge, experience, and skill that is required to effectively and successfully represent a criminal defendant but are defense-minded people who are truly compassionate about helping their clients and zealously defending their rights.
The lawyer you hire does make a difference.
Contact Ms. White today for a free initial confidential consultation at 818-609-1800. We are available to take your call 24/7.