SEX CRIMES DEFENSE ATTORNEY ORANGE COUNTY CA
Sex crimes are among the most aggressively prosecuted crimes in Orange County, and a conviction for an Orange County sex crime carries devastating penalties, possibly including time in county jail or state prison, lifetime registration as a sex offender and the loss of important civil rights, such as the right to possess a firearm. There is also a certain social stigma associated with sex crimes, especially those involving minors, that can adversely affect nearly every aspect of your life, potentially damaging your reputation and destroying your relationships with friends and even family members. If you are facing charges for an Orange County sex crime like child molestation, rape or prostitution, do not leave your future up to chance. Contact our Orange County criminal defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group today to discuss your legal rights.
Affordable Orange County Sex Crimes Defense Attorney
One of the most difficult aspects of fighting sex crime charges is the fact that, in most cases of sex-related offenses, people will naturally side with the alleged victim, especially if the victim is a minor or someone else who is easily sympathized with. At Seyb Law Group, we have a clear understanding of Orange County sex crimes law and how it applies to your case, and we may be able to get the charges against you reduced to a lesser offense or dismissed altogether. When it comes to fighting sex crime charges in Orange County, there is no substitute for skill and experience, and that is what we offer at Seyb Law Group. We also offer potential clients a free initial consultation, which means you can have a top Orange County criminal defense attorney analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your criminal case with no obligation to hire our firm. Any time you are facing charges for a sex crime in Orange County, your future and your freedom are on the line. Hiring an experienced sex crimes defense attorney can mean the difference between being sent to county jail or state prison and walking away with your freedom.
The term “sex crimes” refers to any misdemeanor or felony offense of a sexual nature, including everything from forcible rape to prostitution to possession or distribution of child pornography. Some common Orange County sex crime offenses our attorneys represent include, but are not limited to, the following.
Sexual Assault/Sexual Battery
Sexual assault is the crime of touching another person on an intimate part of the body, without consent or against that person’s will, for the purpose of sexual arousal or sexual gratification. In order to face sexual assault charges in Orange County under Penal Code § 243.4 PC, you must have carried out this act by the use of violence, fraud, force, fear of bodily harm or retaliation, or duress, threats or menace.
Prostitution & Solicitation
The crime of prostitution occurs when a person receives payment in the form of money or something of value in return for any sexual act, and the crime of solicitation occurs when a person offers to engage in an act of prostitution. Under PC § 647(b), prostitution and solicitation are misdemeanor crimes, but they are considered “priorable” offenses, which means the punishment upon conviction increases with each subsequent offense.
Sex crimes against children are punished harshly in Orange County, and child pornography is no exception. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, under PC § 311, Orange County child pornography is a felony or “wobbler” (can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony) offense to knowingly possess, produce, sell, advertise, distribute or transport pornographic materials depicting minors engaged in a sexual act, real or simulated.
Rape is the criminal act of having sexual intercourse with another person, either without consent or against that person’s will, by use of violence, force, fraud, menace, threats, duress or fear of bodily harm. Due to the violent or forceful nature of many rape crimes, most are prosecuted as felony offenses under PC § 261, punishable by up to eight years in state prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and other devastating consequences.
Child Molestation/Sexual Abuse of a Minor
The crime of child molestation, also known as sexual abuse of a minor, can be charged in any situation in which a person commits any lewd or lascivious act upon a minor with the intention of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying his or her own lust, passions or sexual desires, or the sexual desires of another person. Pursuant to PC § 288, child molestation is a serious sex crime punishable by a lengthy state prison sentence, hefty fines and mandatory sex offender registration.
Statutory Rape/Sex with a Minor
Also known as “unlawful sex with a minor,” statutory rape is a crime that takes place when any adult 18 years of age or older engages in sexual intercourse with a minor, unless the two individuals are married. In Orange County, statutory rape crimes are governed by PC § 261.5, which says that the offense can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s criminal history.
Penalties for Orange County Sex Crimes
There are a number of circumstances unique to each sex crimes case that can influence prosecution and sentencing, including the ages of the defendant and alleged victim and whether anyone was injured as a result of the crime, but generally speaking, the penalties associated with a sex crime conviction can be severe and long-lasting. In addition to substantial fines and a lengthy jail or prison sentence, there are a number of other personal and professional repercussions that may accompany a sex crimes conviction. For instance, if you are convicted of a felony sex crime, you could be banned from owning or possessing a firearm and you could lose your job and your professional licensing. Plus, if you have a sex crime conviction on your record, you could be barred from getting the conviction expunged. You are not eligible for expungement in Orange County if you were found guilty of the following sex crimes:
- Child pornography – PC § 311
- Lewd and lascivious acts with a minor – PC § 288
- Oral copulation with a minor – PC § 288a(c)
- Continuous sexual abuse of a child – PC § 288.5
- Forcible sexual penetration with a minor under 14 – PC § 289(j)
- Unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under 16 committed by a person over 21 – PC § 261.5(d)
- Sodomy with a minor – PC § 286(c)
That means the sex crime will remain on your criminal record, visible to potential employers and landlords, and you will be obligated to disclose the conviction on any future employment applications. However, if you were convicted of an Orange County sex crime and you: did not serve a state prison sentence, have satisfied the terms of your sentencing, have completed probation, and are not currently charged with, serving a sentence for, or on probation for any criminal offense, you may be eligible to apply for an expungement under Orange County law.
Additionally, certain sex crimes are considered crimes of “moral turpitude” in Orange County, which means a conviction could impeach your credibility as a witness and affect your immigration status. If you are convicted of a sex crime like child molestation or rape in Orange County, you could forfeit your right to become a U.S. citizen, apply for a green card or re-enter the country after leaving. In some cases, crimes of moral turpitude can even result in deportation.
Orange County Sex Offender Registration Requirements
Orange County takes a tough stance against crimes of a sexual nature, and these offenses carry strict penalties, possibly including mandatory registration as a sex offender, which means you will have to routinely update your local law enforcement agency about your whereabouts, so long as you live, work or attend school in California. Under the Sex Offender Registration Act, also known as Megan’s Law, there are certain sex offenses for which a conviction requires mandatory sex offender registration for a minimum of 10 or 20 years, or for life, depending on the nature and severity of the crime. California sex offender registration is a three-tiered system set up as follows:
- Tier 1 – For the lowest level sex offenses, like misdemeanor sexual battery, indecent exposure and misdemeanor child pornography; requires sex offender registration for at least 10 years.
- Tier 2 – For mid-level sex offenses, like lewd acts with a minor under 14 and rape when the victim is at least 18 and is incapable of giving consent because of a physical or mental disability; requires sex offender registration for at least 20 years.
- Tier 3 – For the most serious sex offenses, like felony sexual battery, aggravated sexual assault of a child, and most cases of rape; requires sex offender registration for life.
Orange County CA Sex Crimes Defense
Too often, the police arrest innocent individuals for a sex crime based on a false accusation, mistaken identity or an innocent misunderstanding. Unfortunately, even unfounded allegations of a sex crime can have devastating repercussions affecting your personal and professional life. If you have been accused of child molestation or statutory rape, even if your case is dismissed or you are acquitted at trial, you could still suffer the social stigma of a sex crimes arrest. That is why it is imperative that you hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are arrested or learn that you are the target of a sex crimes investigation. If charges have not yet been filed, our defense attorneys may be able to help you avoid being charged or prosecuted. And if you have already been charged, we will do everything in our power to get the charges reduced or dismissed, negotiate a favorable plea agreement, or minimize the consequences of a conviction.
Best Defense Strategies in Sex Crimes Cases
In any sex crimes case, the stakes are extraordinarily high. Given the violent or abusive nature of most sex crimes, the police and the prosecutor will do everything in their power to get a conviction and impose harsh penalties that could affect the rest of your life. Fortunately, there are a number of defense strategies your attorney may be able to present on your behalf, depending on the nature of the crime, including the following:
- You were falsely accused by the alleged victim
- You were the victim of mistaken identity
- You honestly and reasonably believe that the alleged victim consented
- There was no sexual contact
- There isn’t enough evidence to warrant a sex crimes conviction
- The sexual act was consensual
It is important to note that consent is not a defense to statutory rape or any other sex crime involving a minor. The law states that minors are not old enough to fully understand and appreciate the consequences of their actions and are therefore not legally able to give consent. That means, even if the minor consented to the act in question, you cannot use consent as a defense in your case.
How Hiring a Sex Crimes Defense Attorney Can Help
Facing charges for a sex crime like rape, sexual assault or child molestation can be confusing, overwhelming and frightening, especially if you don’t have an attorney on your side who specializes in sex crimes defense. The most important thing to remember when facing sex crime charges is that an arrest is not the same thing as a conviction. Just because you have been accused of committing a sex crime does not mean you will be found guilty of wrongdoing. Our defense lawyers at Seyb Law Group are committed to protecting the rights of the criminally accused in the community, and we will use every resource at our disposal to help you get the best possible outcome in your criminal case. We will initiate a private investigation into the allegations against you, examine every aspect of your case and interview expert witnesses to strengthen your position and mount a solid defense.
Contact Our Orange County Sex Crime Defense Attorneys
Being prosecuted for a sex crime can be shocking and humiliating, and a sex crimes conviction can follow you for the rest of your life, especially if you are required to register as a sex offender with the state. Sex crimes require early intervention by a skilled criminal defense attorney, who can protect your rights and keep your freedom intact. If you or someone you know has been arrested for or charged with a sex crime in Orange County or the surrounding counties, it is imperative that you seek legal guidance from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Our defense team at Seyb Law Group has more than 60 years of combined criminal defense experience, and we will put our expertise to work for you. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.