Los Angeles Sex Crimes Lawyer
The California Penal Code outlines various criminal offenses and the recommended penalties for conviction, and the penalties associated with sex crimes are generally quite severe. As a result, Los Angeles prosecutors tend to seek convictions in all sex crime cases very aggressively, especially when the alleged victim is a minor. Unfortunately, proving the truth behind some accusations of sex-based criminal offenses can be challenging, and many cases reduce to one party’s word against another’s.
Criminal Defense Representation for Los Angeles Sex Crime Charges
If you or a family member has been charged with any sex offense in Los Angeles, you need criminal defense representation you can trust. The right defense team can potentially help their client avoid the worst possible penalties they face, or they may even manage to help them to avoid conviction entirely. But ultimately, if you want the best chances of reaching positive results for your impending case, you need to secure defense counsel as soon as possible.
The Law Office of Stein & Markus has decades of professional experience representing clients in all types of criminal cases, including sex crime cases. It’s easy to feel as though the system is pitted against you in this situation, but the right attorney can potentially help you reach much better results than you initially expected. We defend our clients’ rights aggressively and ensure the criminal justice system operates as it should in every case we accept. Our team in Los Angeles has helped many past clients secure much better results than they expected in seemingly hopeless situations.
Know Your Rights After Arrest Involving Sex Offenses
The Constitution of the United States upholds the rights of all American citizens, two of which come into play in critical ways in a criminal case. First, the Fifth Amendment upholds the right to remain silent during an arrest. You are not legally obligated to act as a witness against yourself, and you do not have to answer any questions from the police once they place you under arrest. Some may think this would seem combative or that a suspect remaining silent is inherently suspicious and a sign of guilt. Some also mistakenly believe that hiring a defense attorney is only a concern for the guilty and that they can explain their way out of situations in which they’ve been wrongfully charged.
The reality is that anything you say during arrest and booking can potentially be used against you, and there is no incentive for the police to help you. Many attempt to secure convictions in whatever way they can, and some stretch or even break the bounds of their professional duties in handling arrests throughout Los Angeles County. It is always best for an arrested defendant to remain silent and to respectfully comply with instructions from arresting police officers. Resisting arrest in any way can easily lead to more charges added against you, even if you know the situation is unjust.
The second constitutional right you must understand in this difficult situation is the right to legal counsel, upheld by the Sixth Amendment. Every US citizen has the right to an attorney when they’re charged with a crime, even if they are unable or unwilling to pay a private criminal defense attorney’s fees. If a defendant cannot or will not hire private counsel, the court can appoint a public defender to represent them for free. To some defendants, this would seem like an easy way to get the legal representation they need while avoiding legal fees. The reality, however, is that even the most exceptional public defenders cannot give their clients a lot of individual attention.
While most Los Angeles public defenders do their best for their clients, they are inherently required to handle multiple cases at a time. If you have a public defender represent you, you might only get their attention on your case for an hour or so each day. Choosing an experienced private criminal defense team can ensure more personalized and responsive representation throughout all stages of your case. Additionally, a private defense attorney can devote more time to your case in a shorter time span, significantly improving the chances of catching early defensive options that can substantially streamline your case.
The Law Offices of Stein & Markus have years of experience handling criminal defense for clients in Los Angeles, and we know how distressing an arrest can be for anyone. California’s Penal Code outlines a wide range of sex offenses, and while some qualify as misdemeanors, most constitute felonies, and the penalties for most sex crimes in the state are often severe. Our team can provide the responsive defense representation you need after an arrest for any type of sex crime in Los Angeles.
Lewd and Obscene Conduct in Public
Some of the state’s most commonly prosecuted sex offenses pertain to sexual activity in public, indecent exposure, and other obscene conduct in public spaces. It is vital for anyone who engages in such behavior to remember that the people nearby who view their behavior could potentially file civil suits against them. Additionally, engaging in lewd or obscene conduct in public while in view of children, on school grounds, or near any childcare center can immediately qualify as a felony.
Indecent exposure is the public revealing of one’s naked body, and public indecency can apply to any consensual or solitary sexual act performed in public space. For example, a couple engaging in intercourse on a public bus or a single person masturbating in view of others in a public space could all face charges of public indecency, outlined in California Penal Code 647. Any sex offense that falls within the purview of “lewd conduct” is likely to qualify as a misdemeanor, and penalties can include six months or a year or more in county jail, fines, and a stay-away order preventing them from returning to the location where they committed their offense.
Crimes Involving Prostitution
Prostitution and all related activities are illegal in the state. Offering to sell sexual service, pimping, and attempting to purchase sexual service in California are all crimes eligible for prosecution under the California Penal Code. Loitering while attempting to buy or sell sexual services in the state can lead to a misdemeanor charge and a year of jail time. Any form of pimping is a felony punishable by three, four, or six years in state prison. Many individuals charged with pimping and other criminal organization surrounding prosecution are often revealed to have willingly or unknowingly participated in human trafficking operations, opening up the possibility for even more serious criminal charges and potential prosecution in federal court.
Possible Penalties for Sexual Assault and Battery in Los Angeles, CA
Some of the most severe sex crimes prosecuted in the state and throughout the United States pertain to acts of forced sexual intercourse and other sexual contact, such as groping, molestation, or forcible sexual penetration of any kind. The term “sexual battery” is a blanket term used to describe any such situation in which unwanted physical contact is made in a sexual manner. The severity of the penalties for this type of behavior depends on the scope of the defendant’s actions and the alleged victim’s age.
When prosecuted as a misdemeanor, sexual battery can lead to more than a year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines. The victim may also have grounds for a civil suit against the defendant. If the defendant caused physical injury and other damages, the victim could sue them for their economic losses and their pain and suffering. At the felony level, a defendant faces two to four years in state prison and up to $10,000 in fines, civil liability for the victim’s damages, and sex offender status, possibly for life.
Rape and Statutory Rape
Rape is the most severe form of sexual battery prosecutable in the state and pertains to any incident in which one party forces another into sexual intercourse or sexual penetration of any kind. Rape occurs whenever one party is unwilling, unconscious, mentally unable to consent, or intoxicated. State law outlines various forms of rape, and there are many levels of punishment a defendant may face depending on the scope of their actions. For example, the use of a weapon, physical violence, immediate threats of harm, or other aggressive coercion substantially escalates a defendant’s penalty.
The term “statutory rape” applies to a situation in which one party is above the age of consent while the other is below it. The age of consent in the state is 18, but the state does have some provisions that can prevent teenagers in consensual relationships from facing criminal penalties for engaging in consensual sex with a moderate age gap. Statutory rape laws in the state are meant to prevent the sexual exploitation of minors by adults.
The most severe sex crimes a person can commit involve crimes against children. Possession, distribution, or production of child pornography, lewd acts with a minor, or rape of a minor can all lead to felony prosecution, many years behind bars in state prison, and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Victims of child sex abuse can also file civil lawsuits against their abusers, and there is almost never a statute of limitations that would apply to any civil suit pertaining to the sexual abuse of a child.
Understanding Sex Offender Registration
Any type of sex crime can lead to severe penalties, including heavy fines, liability for any damages caused to victims, compensation for victims’ psychological distress, incarceration, and much more. One of the most serious penalties assigned for most sex-related criminal offenses is mandatory sex offender registration. There is a publicly accessible database of convicted sex offenders that anyone can use to look up known sex offenders in their area. Some offenses will require defendants to register for up to 10 years, and many others require permanent sex offender registration.
Sex offender registration can be incredibly disruptive to the defendant’s personal and professional life. First and foremost, conviction is very likely to entail the loss of any child custody or visitation rights they previously held, depending on the severity of their offense, and they may also automatically lose any professional licenses they hold. After conviction and completion of their sentence, sex offender status will overshadow every aspect of their life, likely for years to come.
If you are compelled to register as a sex offender in the state, you will be severely limited in terms of where you can live, what jobs you qualify to hold, and you will face other restrictions assigned at the discretion of the judge handling your sentencing. While having your sex offender status removed early under certain conditions is possible, qualification is very restricted and difficult. Ultimately, sex offender status can easily cause a host of problems that will follow a person’s life for many years or permanently.
How a Los Angeles Sex Crime Defense Attorney Can Help
As soon as you are placed under arrest, take advantage of your right to remain silent until you can take full advantage of your right to legal counsel. If you have been falsely accused of committing a sex crime, you may feel compelled to try to explain your side of the situation and avoid arrest. The police have a duty to protect the alleged victim, and unfortunately, some people will use this to levy false accusations for personal gain. For example, a divorcing spouse may accuse their soon-to-be ex of abusing the couple’s children in an effort to win their custody battle.
False accusations can be incredibly damaging to one’s reputation. Even if they are later proven false, the public accusation can hang over the accused for a long time, diminish their standing in their community, and strain personal relationships. If you must prove your innocence following a wrongful accusation, remain silent through arrest and booking, and then contact an experienced Los Angeles sex crimes attorney as soon as you are permitted to make your phone calls.
If you committed any sex crime, your attorney would still be an invaluable asset as you navigate your case proceedings. The criminal justice system requires the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. When a sex crime case hinges on an accusation alone, and there is little to no physical evidence or witness testimony to support it, the prosecution is likely to struggle to establish the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This type of situation is likely to generate a protracted trial, in which both parties can present evidence, arguments, and witness testimony.
Alternatively, if a defendant is clearly guilty and the prosecution has more than enough evidence to convict, it does not require any party involved to undergo a protracted criminal trial. Plea bargains are sometimes offered that will allow a defendant to secure a lighter sentence and/or reduced charges. In exchange, they agree to immediately plead guilty and conserve court resources. It’s important to remember that plea deals are not always offered in criminal cases, especially if a defendant has been charged with a sex crime against a minor or if they have a record of previous offenses.
Find Your Defense Team Today
No matter what your situation entails, the right Los Angeles sex crimes attorney can greatly improve the results you reach in your criminal court proceedings. The Law Office of Stein & Markus responds swiftly to requests for legal representation. Sometimes we are able to have cases dropped relatively quickly in cases of mistaken identity or blatantly false accusations. Our team can also represent defendants facing multiple charges as well as those with extensive criminal records.
Time is a critical concern for anyone arrested in the state. You may be compelled to remain in custody for some time, and bail may or may not be available to you, depending on the scope of the charges against you. You may also face a civil claim for damages from the alleged victim accusing you. Ultimately, regardless of whether you committed some sex offense or have been wrongfully charged, you likely face a very difficult series of criminal court proceedings you may not know how to approach on your own.
Securing defense representation as soon as possible after an arrest can significantly improve the final penalties assigned by the judge handling your case. In addition, your defense attorney can potentially uncover avenues of defense you overlooked, or they may highlight problems with the prosecution’s case that benefit you in various ways. Ultimately, whether you intend to prove your innocence or mitigate your penalties when guilty, a Los Angeles sex crimes attorney is an essential resource to consult if you are arrested for any type of sex crime.
The Law Office of Stein & Markus responds quickly to our clients once they secure our representation in their criminal cases. We can meet with a client wherever is most convenient for them, including the police station where they’ve been booked, if necessary. In addition, we can help a client resolve preliminary issues like bail and prepare them for their arraignment.
Depending on whether you committed the offense in question, your attorney can provide a wide range of legal services intended to help you reach the best attainable outcome in your situation. We develop individually tailored defense strategies for all clients we represent. Contact us today and schedule a consultation with a Los Angeles sex crimes defense attorney you can trust with your case.
Our Bellflower Sex Crime Defense Lawyers Are Here to Help
Don’t hesitate to retain an attorney if you are under investigation or have been charged with a sex crime in California. Your freedom and your reputation must be protected right away. Reach out to The Law Office of Stein & Markus in Bellflower to get a free initial consultation. We can visit you in jail if necessary. Call (562) 512-7030 or contact us online today.
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