Facing Criminal Charges For A Sex Crime? The Sooner You Act, the Stronger Your Defense 

Will Be.

What Is A “Sex Crime”?

In California, a “sex crime” is any misdemeanor or felony of a sexual nature. It includes everything from forcible rape to grabbing your genitals in public to annoy someone.

What are some common sex crimes?

Common California sex crimes we defend include (but are not limited to):

 

What are the consequences of a sex crime conviction?

In addition to jail or prison time, conviction of a California sex crime can require registration on the California Meagan’s Law Website – often for life.

 

There are additional consequences if the conviction is for felony charges. 

Consequences of a felony conviction include:

 

 What are some common legal defenses to sex crimes in California?

Defenses to California sex crime allegations often include (but are not limited to):

 

Note that being too intoxicated to know what you were doing is NOT a defense to a California sex crime if your intoxication was voluntary.

 

Legal strategies for defending sex crimes:

Some criminal defense lawyers wait until formal charges have been filed in sex crimes cases. Not us.

We believe sexual misconduct allegations demand early intervention and independent investigation. This aggressive, proactive approach has given us a proven track record in defending our clients. Strategies we use to defend against sex crimes charges include (but are not limited to):

 

Negotiation With Law Enforcement:

California law enforcement officers take sex crime accusations seriously. Often they arrest people first and ask questions later. But sometimes all it takes to get the police to drop a case is for us to present our client's side of the story.

Example: Our client initiated a conversation with a teenage girl he mistakenly believed was an adult. He was arrested for annoying or molesting a minor under California Penal Code 647.6 PC. But after we presented his side of the story to the police, the detective dropped the case. No charges were ever filed.

 

Private Investigation:

Accusers often misinterpret a situation. Or they mistakenly identify the wrong person. Sometimes they even lie.

We work with some of the best private investigators in California. We investigate the crime scene, the accuser and witnesses. If an accuser or a witness is not credible or has a bias, we will uncover it. Or our investigation may turn up conditions – such as lighting or distance from the crime scene -- that make eyewitness identification unreliable.

 

Private polygraph (lie detector) testing:

Polygraph tests – commonly known as “lie detectors” -- are not usually admissible in court based on California polygraph lawBut private polygraph tests can be a useful tool for fighting a California sex crimes case.

If the test shows that our client is telling the truth we show the results to the prosecutor. Often this leads to the prosecutor dropping the case or reducing the charges. And if the results are unfavorable to our client, we simply keep them private. The prosecution never even knows the test took place. Private polygraph tests can be a useful tool for fighting a California sex crimes case.

 

Pre-Trial Advocacy and Motions:

Most California sex crimes cases do not go to trial.

In some cases, the accused pleads guilty in exchange for a more lenient sentence. But with a proactive defense, we can often successfully bring a motion to suppress evidence. Or we can convince the prosecutor that our client is innocent or the case is too weak to take to trial.

 

Example: The Los Angeles Police Department investigated our client for sexual battery. We conducted an independent investigation and discovered exonerating evidence. We presented the evidence to the LAPD and the Los Angeles District Attorney. Both the D.A. and the detective in charge rejected the case.

 

Plea bargains in sex crimes cases:

Prosecutors will often agree to let defendants in sex crime cases plead guilty to a less serious charge. These California “plea bargains” let both the prosecution and the defense avoid the uncertainty and expense of trial.

In many cases, pleading guilty can let the defendant avoid jail time. Or it can keep the defendant from having to register as a sex offender for life.

 

Example:

Our client was charged in California Superior Court of lewd conduct with a 13 year-old. He faced several years in California state prison as well as lifetime registration as a sex offender.

After presenting favorable evidence to the prosecutor, we were able to work out a plea deal. Under the deal, our client pleaded guilty to statutory rape. In return, he received no prison time and was not required to register as a sex offender.

 

Fighting a case at trial:

Television shows would have us believe that prosecutors only go to trial when the accused is guilty.

But this is simply not true. As former cops and prosecutors, we know the pressure prosecutors are under. Sometimes they are trying to show the community that they are “doing something.” And sometimes, they just get it wrong.

 

Example:

The San Diego District Attorney charged our client with indecent exposure. The client had a private indecent exposure conviction and was looking at state prison time.

But he maintained his innocence and we believed him. During the week-long trial, the jury was told of his prior conviction. Nevertheless, after just a few hours of deliberation, they returned a “not guilty” verdict.

 

Sentencing Mitigation In Sex Crimes Cases:

Defendants found guilty of sex crimes in California have the opportunity to present “mitigating factors” during sentencingMitigation allows the judge to impose a more lenient sentence. Mitigating factors in sex crime cases can include (but are not limited to):

  • You mistakenly believed your conduct was legal,

  • You have no prior – or only an insignificant – criminal record,

  • You voluntarily acknowledged wrongdoing before arrest or at an early stage of the criminal process,

  • You made restitution to the victim, and/or

  • Your prior performance on probation or parole was satisfactory.

Our criminal lawyer will give you a FREE initial meeting to discuss your case and recommend a course of action. Even one hour talking to a true professional can change the way you view your case. Don’t face a  Sex Crime Charge without representation. We at Monterey Peninsula Law Inc. are here to help.

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