At AZ Defenders, we know how stressful it is to be accused of a sex crime. A sex crime conviction in Arizona can have severe ramifications and life-changing consequences. If you or a loved one has been accused of a sex crime, contact a qualified Mesa sex crimes attorney at our law firm right away. We can defend your rights and fight hard for justice on your behalf. Call (480) 456-6400 today for a free and confidential consultation.
Many different offenses fall under the classification of a sex crime in Arizona. In general, it is a sex crime to touch someone else’s private parts or genitals without the victim’s consent, if the victim cannot legally give consent, or while the victim is constrained for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification or abuse.
In Arizona, the age of consent is 18 years old. A child under the age of 18 cannot give his or her consent to sexual activity. If anyone over the age of 18 engages in sexual contact with someone under 18, it is statutory rape. Other sex crime charges can be enhanced to aggravated if the victim is under the age of 18 and can become a class 2 felony if the victim is under the age of 16.
At AZ Defenders, we have the Mesa criminal defense lawyers and resources to accept all different types of sex crime cases. We understand Arizona’s related statutes and how to create a strong defense on behalf of a client according to the specific charges against him or her.
Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-1410 defines child molestation as a crime against a child who is 14 years old or younger, such as intentionally engaging in sexual contact or forcing the child to engage in sexual contact. Arizona’s child pornography law (ARS 13-3553) defines this crime as knowingly photographing, filming or depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct or distributing this type of material.
Indecent exposure refers to exposing one’s genitals, anus or a female’s breast (except while breastfeeding) in a public place. Public sexual indecency can describe any sexual act, including sexual intercourse or sexual contact, committed recklessly while someone who would be alarmed or offended is present.
The definition of sexual abuse in Arizona is knowingly or intentionally committing a sexual act or behavior against someone without that person’s consent.
Sexual assault is the crime of engaging someone in a sexual act – primarily rape – without that person’s consent. Violent sexual assault is this crime with an aggravating factor, such as the use of a deadly weapon.
Sexual misconduct describes sexual relations between two people who have a protected relationship, such as a therapist and his or her patient.
Prostitution is the crime of agreeing to engage or engaging in sexual activity for a fee or another type of payment. Solicitation for prostitution is the crime of paying someone or offering to give someone something of value for sexual engagement.
Even if someone consents to sexual intercourse, it could constitute the crime of statutory rape if one of the parties is under the age of 18.
Arizona punishes sex crimes harshly, making the need to hire a skilled Mesa sex crimes attorney all the more important. If the criminal courts convict you of a sex crime, you could face expensive fines, jail or prison time, probation, community service, and other penalties. The exact sentence will depend on the nature of the alleged crime and its severity. If the victim suffered a serious bodily injury or you are convicted of an aggravated crime, for example, you will face more serious consequences.
Arizona has a mandatory sentencing law for sexual offenses. If convicted, state law requires a prison term of 5 to 14 years for rape and 13 to 27 years for sex crimes involving children. These sentences may be imputed with no chance for early release if a risk assessment concludes that you should not be released back into the community. However, your lawyer can argue that you are a good candidate for probation or a substantially reduced sentence.
In addition to these penalties, you may be required to enter your name on Arizona’s Sex Offender Registry. This list is available to the public, meaning anyone can look it up and see your name on the list. Being on the list also comes with ongoing requirements, such as the need to notify the proper authorities when moving to a new address. As a registered sex offender, you also cannot live within 1,000 feet of schools or childcare facilities.
The strength of your defense is what will determine your future as the defendant of a sex crimes case. Your Mesa sex crimes attorney should personalize your legal defense based on the specific facts of your case, such as whether or not you have a criminal history. Examples of possible defenses include:
The defense that is right for your case depends on the circumstances. Your defense strategy may be to achieve a case acquittal, meaning all charges are dropped. It may also be to reduce the charges, such as negotiating a felony down to a misdemeanor. Your lawyer will build the strongest possible defense for you.Discuss your unique defense with our attorneys today.
Unlike many other states, Arizona does not allow for record expungements. This means you cannot erase a criminal conviction. However, it does allow people to set aside their convictions, in some cases. This means a judge will set aside the judgment of guilt and release you from all penalties that resulted from the conviction. If your request for the set aside is granted, you can say that your case was dismissed.
Arizona’s set-aside law does not apply to every type of criminal conviction. Convictions that require defendants to register as sex offenders, convictions involving victims under the age of 15 and convictions for crimes that are “sexually motivated” cannot be set aside. Find out if this is an option for your type of conviction by talking to an attorney.
The Mesa and Phoenix sex crimes attorneys at AZ Defenders have years of experience representing defendants in these types of cases. We understand the importance of obtaining positive results for clients facing severe consequences. Contact us today to request a confidential case evaluation near you. Call our law firm at (480) 456-6400 24/7.