A man or woman accused of a sex crime in California needs an experienced attorney at his or her side. These offenses carry a stigma and can result in serious consequences for the accused if not defended aggressively. Unlike many other offenses, an individual who is convicted of a sex crime may end up paying for it for the rest of his or her life.
These special circumstances make it imperative that the accused seek the advice and counsel of an attorney who has a proven track record of success in helping defendants fight these types of charges. The law in California requires that a convicted sex offender, regardless of the nature of the crime, must register with his or her local law enforcement agency. This information is readily made available to the public in some cases as easy as accessing a web site.
California Sentencing for Sexual Offenses
California State is one of the hardest on accused offenders, especially when minors are involved. If found guilty, sentencing will almost always carry a prison sentence along with a substantial fine. They will also be required to join the sex offender’s registry, where their name and address along with the nature of their conviction are available to the general public. Being convicted of a sex crime in CA will have lasting repercussions on the defendant’s life. Having an attorney who has extensive experience in this area of the law is a necessity for those planning to reduce or beat their charges.
The most common charges the accused may face are:
- Acts of lewd and lascivious conduct: This charge is most often referring to the sexual molestation of a child under the age of 14. With lewd being such a broad term, it can include a variety of scenarios that may or may not involve contact with a sexual organ. Depending on the circumstances and age of the child, prison sentences range from 3 to 16 years in prison. This crime also counts as a strike under the California Three Strikes Law.
- Statutory Rape: The charge of statutory rape carries with it many variables. It typically refers to intercourse between a minor and an adult, even if consent is given. It can also refer to oral acts and intercourse between two minors. A defendant found guilty of this crime is facing 3 to 8 years in prison.
- Sexual Battery or Assault: Sexual battery or assault charges arise from the unsolicited touching of another for the purpose of sexual gratification, abuse or arousal. These types of charges can be lodged against a medical professional who attempts to convince the victim that the touching is part of medical treatment. The sentence for a misdemeanor assault charge can include a jail sentence of up to a year and a $3,000 fine or 4 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for a felony charge.
Other similar crimes in California that are considered felonies include:
- Forcible Rape
- Child Pornography
- Spousal or Date Rape
If convicted of any of these crimes, a defendant is facing mandatory jail time, a strike against them, and inclusion in the offender’s registry. Misdemeanor offenses include crimes such as prostitution or indecent exposure. The sentencing for misdemeanors varies but will almost always require being added to the offender’s registry.
Being added to the offender’s registry is a permanent mark against an individual. To avoid having your reputation tarnished, an individual facing these types of charges should always enlist the help of a defense attorney that will passionately fight to keep his or her name off of that list.
Sex Crime Offender’s List
The state of California has one of the most expansive lists of convicted offenders in the United States. This is due to the harsh regulations they impose for a convicted offender seeking to have his or her name removed. Even for those who pose a low risk of repeated violation. Any person who is facing a sex crime in California needs to know that if convicted, the odds of not being included on that list are very slim, and being removed from it even slimmer. They need an experienced lawyer to ensure that his or her future is not destroyed by his or her names inclusion on that list.
Having your name in the California sex offender’s registry means that the convicted person must check in with the registry at least once a year and give them an accurate living address. They must also inform them anytime that they change their residency.
This will have a lasting effect on a convicted offender’s ability to find housing. Certain restrictions such as the distance between the residence and parks or schools can be enforced as a condition of parole or probation. Plus, unlike other felony convictions which are protected by privacy laws, the identity of an individual who has served a sentence for a sex crime is revealed openly to the public.
Failing to register or non-compliance with the rules imposed by the registry is also a felony offense, punishable by jail time. The liberties of a convicted offender are forever restricted.
Being on the registered offender’s list can also limit the employment opportunities available to an individual. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a registered person can be prohibited by the terms of his or her parole or probation from seeking employment that has the potential for his or her to come in contact with children. This limitation could include anything from a teacher in a grade school to a driver of an ice cream truck.
Employers and potential employers also have open access to the registry and are allowed to exercise their right to use that when making employment decisions. This can make it difficult for a convicted person to find or keep a steady job after he or she has served his or her sentence.
Do You Need An Attorney?
If you are facing a sex crime charge in California, you need to act quickly to set up your defense. You have been charged with some of the most severely punished crimes in the state and need to have an attorney who understands the ramifications of a conviction.
Those in need of representation in Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles, and San Diego County are encouraged to contact us for a free confidential case evaluation. Call (888) 250-2865 to obtain your evaluation and find out how a MacGregor & Collins, LLP attorney can help keep you out of trouble.