It’s difficult enough having a criminal charge of any kind hanging over your head. But when the offense is a sex crime, the effect can be devastating and immediate. It seems as if people assume you are guilty in the face of little or no knowledge about your case, and often brand you as a sex offender based solely on the unsubstantiated allegations against you.
You don’t have to go through this alone. At Feldman & Royle, we are experienced at representing clients charged with sex crimes. We know what you are going through, and we understand the stigma and the fear that accompanies these types of charges. We work hard so that our clients’ rights are protected, and that they are afforded the best chance of a dismissal, a reduced charge, or a not guilty verdict. Call us today for a free consultation.
How are Arizona Sex Crimes Categorized?
The fact that you have been charged with a “sex crime” does not begin to explain the classification of the crime or the potential penalties. Sex crimes in Arizona range from misdemeanors to serious felonies, and the punishments can extend from probation and fines to years in prison. The following are some of the more commonly charged sex crimes:
- Sexual Assault. Commonly called “rape,” sexual assault consists of engaging in sexual intercourse with another person without that person’s consent. It is a class 2 felony, and the statute, A.R.S. 13-1406, contains special sentencing guidelines with a minimum term of incarceration. The minimum could increase based upon your prior criminal history.
- Statutory Rape. Known in Arizona as sexual conduct with a minor, the offense involves having intercourse with a person under the age of 18. It is a class 6 felony. If the victim is 14 or under, or in the case of persons in certain positions of trust, it is a class 2 felony.
- Other sex crimes involving children. There are a number of additional offenses specifically aimed at protecting children. Among them are (a) child molestation (class 2 felony), which is the touching of the private parts of a child under the age of 15; (b) commercial sexual exploitation of a minor (class 2 felony); (c) sexual abuse (sexual contact with a minor under the age of 15), which is a felony, the level of which depends upon the age of the victim; and (d) public sexual indecency to a minor (class 5 felony).
- Indecent Exposure. Indecent exposure could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the age of the victim, and whether the defendant has prior convictions under the statute.
- Public Sexual Indecency. This offense involves engaging in sexual conduct of various forms where another person is present, and where the actor(s) are reckless about whether the other person would be offended by the conduct. It is a class 1 misdemeanor, unless the other person is a minor under 15 years of age, in which case it is a class 5 felony.
- This is a category that includes engaging in prostitution, pimping, and related offenses. While prostitution is a class 1 misdemeanor, the majority of the offenses such as procuring, pimping, etc. are felonies.
There are a number of additional sex crimes, including sexual misconduct, continuous sexual abuse of a child, certain internet crimes, and others. As is the case with the majority of sexual offenses, most are felonies.
Will I have to Register as a Sex Offender?
One of the great fears of those charged with a sex crime is that they may have to register as a sex offender. In that case, their identity will be available for all to see online, along with the crime of which they have been convicted. In addition, sex registration requires annual updates to law enforcement.
A.R.S. 13-3821 sets forth the conditions that would require sex offender registration. It includes numerous sex crimes, but not all such offenses are listed. And in some cases, registration is only required after a second or subsequent conviction for a particular offense.
Feldman & Royle – Experienced Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers
Experience is the best indication of whether a particular attorney will be able to provide you with the quality representation you need when facing a sex crime charge. Our attorneys have that experience, and we can talk to you about our track record of success. Call us today at 602-899-8000 for a free consultation.