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Glendale Sex Crimes Lawyer

Social values determine what any jurisdiction treats as a sex crime. As social values change, so do the laws criminalizing those activities. Currently, three types of sexual activity are criminalized:

  • Sex that is forced on someone against his or her will, like rape and child sex abuse
  • Sex that involves someone who may have consented in some sense, but is deemed incapable of legal consent (statutory rape, various forms of child sex abuse, rape in the form of sex with someone mentally handicapped, unconscious, etc.)
  • Sex between two willing people but performed for money (prostitution)

Since social values determine what is considered a sex crime, it’s not surprising that society holds anyone accused of a sex crime in great contempt. Simply being accused triggers a form of punishment consisting of public disapproval and exclusion.

Glendale sex crimes lawyer Craig Orent has decades of experience defending clients against charges of sex crimes and other offenses. He has served in both state and federal courts as a prosecutor and a public defender and has nearly 30 years of experience handling criminal cases of all types.

Sex Crimes in Arizona

Because sexual conduct can occur in so many ways, involving so many different circumstances and types of victims, Arizona has many, many specific sex crimes on the books. Typical of these crimes are:

  • Molestation of a child
  • Sexual assault (rape)
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual conduct with a minor
  • Indecent exposure
  • Public sexual indecency
  • Bestiality

Some crimes target specific positions of authority by, for example, making it a crime for police and probation officers to engage in sex with those under their authority or control.

Note that prostitution and related activities are crimes in Arizona, but are not included in the chapter of the criminal laws titled Sexual Offenses. Instead, they occupy a separate chapter devoted just to prostitution.

Penalties for Sex Crimes in Arizona

Penalties for sex crimes vary considerably, based on many factors like the age of the victim, the accused’s prior criminal record, and the extent of injury to the victim. Indecent exposure, for example, can vary from a class 1 misdemeanor all the way up to a class 3 felony. To see which class the indecent exposure crime will be categorized as, consult with a misdemeanor lawyer. Sexual assault is at least a class 2 felony with a maximum sentence of 14 years, but multiple prior convictions raise the maximum to 28 years.

Sex Offender Registration

Arizona requires registration as a sex offender for those convicted of any one of a multitude of sex crimes. Even non-residents are required to register if they work or are students in the state. At the time of registration, the sheriff is required to obtain a blood sample sufficient for DNA testing, which remains in the possession of the state.

Registrants are assessed for the level of risk they pose to the community and assigned level 1 (low risk), 2 (moderate risk), or 3 (high risk). The levels affect how long registration is required and the restrictions on activity.

Registration may be terminated or suspended by a court order after a hearing. The requirement of registration ends at age 25 for people who were juveniles when convicted.

Defenses

Defenses to sexual offense charges depend largely on the crime charged. For example, a common defense to any charge based on lack of consent is to show that there actually was consent.

There are several general defenses that apply to many different kinds of charges, like:

  • The victim is fabricating the claim
  • The victim and/or the police have identified the wrong person
  • The evidence has been tampered with or is otherwise unreliable
  • The state’s evidence is refuted by other evidence it failed to follow-up on or present
  • The accused has an alibi for the time of the offense

Skilled Legal Representation is Essential

If you have been formally accused of a sex crime or have reason to think you will be, your life is about to change forever. The time to get experienced legal help is right now. In experienced hands, the consequences of a sex crime charge can be minimized by:

  • Controlling the surrounding publicity
  • Ensuring that the case advances as quickly as serves your interests
  • Ensure that the state, in the form of both the police and the prosecutors, does its job competently and objectively, not merely selecting evidence that supports its view and ignoring whatever evidence contradicts that view
  • Obtaining the best-case outcome that the evidence will allow, whether that is a dismissal of the case before trial, an acquittal at trial, or the lightest possible sentence if convicted

Bring Craig Orent on Board from the Beginning

Craig understands that sex crime charges require a defense lawyer versed in the technicalities of the law, the practicalities of gathering and presenting the increasingly scientific evidence that determines guilt or innocence, and the need to take public opinion in its various forms into account.

If you have been accused of a sex-related offense, or think you are about to be, call the defense attorneys at Orent Law Offices immediately. The sooner you have a top-notch lawyer to defend you and protect your rights, the brighter the outlook for your future.