It’s difficult enough having a criminal charge of any kind hanging over your head. But when the offense is one the various sex crimes, 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.
At Feldman & Royle, we understand the importance of utilizing an experienced Arizona sex crimes lawyer. We understand the stigma and the fear that accompanies these types of charges and 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.
Types of Sex Crimes
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 types of sex crimes commonly charged in Arizona:
- 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 and may require mandatory prison.
- Child Molestation. Child molestation involves having sexual contact with a person under the age of 15. The term “sexual contact,” means the touching, fondling or manipulating of the genitals or anus. Sexual contact with only the female breast does not constitute child molestation, however, is criminalized by ARS 13 1404 as sexual abuse. Read more
- Sexual Abuse. Sexual abuse pursuant to ARS 13 1404, involves having sexual contact with someone who is either at least 15 years of age but without consent or; under the age of 15 if the contact involves only contact with the female breast. Read more
- Sexual Extortion. Sexual extortion under ARS 13-1428 occurs when a person threatens or coerces another person into engaging in certain sexual activates. Sexual extortion is generally a class 3 felony under Arizona law but can be a class 2 felony and require a mandatory prison sentence pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-705 if the victim is under 15. Read more
- 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.
- Prostitution. Whether offering prostitution services or accepting services, it is a crime under Arizona law. Prostitution is generally a class 1 misdemeanor, however, if convicted there is a minimum jail sentence that must be served under law. Prostitution offenses involves a minor or procuring, pimping and others are felonies, and many require mandatory prison sentences.
There are a number of other types of 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 sex crimes 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.
Can You Get a Sex Crime Expunged?
The answer to this question depends on the type of sex crimes offense you of which you were convicted. Arizona doesn’t have pure expungement, only the ability to have the conviction set aside. However, you are not eligible to have a crime set aside if it is:
- A felony offense involving a victim under the age of 15;
- An offense with a finding of sexual motivation under A.R.S. § 13-118;
- A sex offenses requiring registration under A.R.S. § 13-3821.
Because most sex crimes fall into one of those categories, generally having a sex crime expunged or set aside under Arizona law is uncommon. There is one major exception for having a sex crime expunged, however. Under A.R.S. § 13-909, if a person was convicted of a charge of prostitution and it is found that their participation was a direct result of being a victim of sex trafficking, then the conviction can be vacated entirely.
What is the sex crimes Statute of Limitations?
Because the term “sex crimes” has such a broad definition and encompasses so many crimes, there is no one answer to this question. Sex crimes statute of limitations pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-107, can range from 1 year in misdemeanor sex crimes cases to an indefinite time period for a violent sexual assault.
Sex Crimes Lawyer
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. Finding a sex crimes lawyer with the required experience is of the utmost importance when defending charges as serious as many sex crimes. At Feldman & Royle, we have a proven track record of success and have represented hundreds of people charged with all types of sex crimes. We provide a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case details and strategize a defense.