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Sex Cases

Arizona is tough state to be charged with a sexual offense. In some cases, the penalty for a sex offense is worse than murder. Arizona has special sentencing statutes for sex offenses. That means that certain sex offenses have specific ranges of sentence in prison upon conviction. These enhanced sentencing ranges are for “Dangerous Crimes Against Children.” Dangerous crimes against children include a wide range of offenses where the victim is under the age of 15. Those offenses and correlating sentences are outlined in A.R.S. 13-705. Below are some of the sexual offenses in the State of Arizona.

TOP SEX CRIME ATTORNEYS

If you or a loved one are facing possible sex charges, please have in mind that you have the right to speak with an attorney before you respond to any questions presented to you by the police.

There are often times where the police will attempt to utilize psychological tricks and guilt in order to obtain a “confession.” If you are in doubt, don’t talk on the phone, do not consent to a lie detector test, and do not allow yourself to be questioned before you speak with an experienced sex crimes attorney.

Additionally, the police may also use “confrontation calls” in order to try to compile evidence against you.

If you have received a phone call from someone who has accused you of committing a sex crime, keep in mind of the fact that the police may be recording the call and can use anything that you say against you. Here at Alcock & Associates we have a long history of winning criminal cases in the state of Arizona.

Our team of dedicated and experienced attorneys includes former sex crimes prosecutors. We comprehend that sex crimes can be falsely claimed in divorce and custody cases. We also understand that there are plenty of innocent people who are wrongly accused. Our ultimate goal for each of our clients is to win their case.

Sex Offense Trial Strategies

Sex offense trials are “all or nothing” propositions. If a defendant goes to trial and loses a sex case, they are usually looking at life in prison. It is as serious (if not more so), than a murder case. Different attorneys employ different strategies to defend a client during a sex offense trial. At Alcock & Associates, we don’t sit back and let the State determine the narrative at trial. Don’t let yourself be railroaded by the prosecution.

Cross examination is a defense attorney’s most important tool at trial. Your attorney should be able to expertly question the State’s witnesses, including experts, officers, and any victim that is called to testify. In the past, our attorneys have successfully attacked state witnesses by confronting them with false or misleading statements. Trial is about presenting the truth to the jury through evidence. You need an attorney who knows the law, the rules of evidence, and how to conduct a trial.

Risk Assessments

Risk assessments are reports generated by psychologists that suggest whether a defendant is a risk to re-offend. A risk assessment in a sex case can be very important to negotiate with the prosecution. Risk assessments have three main parts: 1) biographical information, 2) psychological testing, and 3) a polygraph. A doctor of will take all this information and compile a comprehensive report. The final report is called the risk assessment. While risk assessments cannot predict the future, they provide insight into whether a person is a sexual predator, or merely made a bad choice. A good risk assessment can be presented to the state during plea negotiations.

HERE ARE SOME FACTORS WE LOOK AT:

  • Does the defendant have a criminal record?
  • Were they in a relationship with the victim?
  • Was there a confession or confrontation call made?
  • Did the defendant submit to a lie detector test?
  • Is there any DNA or other physical evidence?

What are sex crimes?

Sex crimes in the eyes of the law is a broad term because of the fact that it refers to a wide variety of crimes. For example, there are many types of sex crimes including Indecent exposure, public sexual indecency, sexual abuse, sexual conduct with a minor, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, molestation of a child, and voyeurism.

All sex crimes are considered to be a serious offense. If you have been accused of a crime that involves a sexual element, or believe you may be charged with such a crime, please do not hesitate to contact our team of experienced and dedicated attorneys so we can help you win your case.

If someone calls you and accuses you of committing a sex crime, the police may be recording the call, and can use anything you say during the call against you. This is considered a “confrontation call,” and it is one way the police may investigate the alleged crime. Furthermore, you might also be asked to speak with the police and answer questions, or submit to a lie detector test.

If you believe you have been accused of a sex crime and are under investigation, do not speak on the phone or agree to speak with police under any circumstances. Instead of speaking to the police you contact an attorney and allow your attorney to handle the case for you.

Sex crimes are defined in Title 13, Chapter 14 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. Below are some common examples of sex crimes.

If an individual is accused of a crime and there is a sexual element, it is a sex crime. There are many terms that are associated with sex crimes including: Lewd, indecent, molestation, enticement, solicitation, and prostitution.

Penalties

Just how the term sex crimes is very broad, the penalties for these sex crimes are also wide-ranging. Having said that, almost every crime that involves a sexual elements in considered a felony. Also, sex crimes statutes or laws often contain sections within the law that increases the penalty for any individual who has been convicted of two of the same or similar crimes.

Every crime where there is a sexual element involving a child under the age of 15, it falls under the Arizona’s Dangerous Crimes against Children statute. Sex crimes involving children carry especially severe and serious penalties which can include a heavy mandatory prison sentences on first offenses. Arizona’s DCAC statute carries some of the harshest penalties in the United States.

In addition to the possibility of probation or prison, sex crimes statutes usually require that someone convicted of a sex offense register as a sex offender. Sex offender registration is generally for life, and information on the sex offender registry is made accessible to the public. This means that an employer performing a background check is almost certain to find out if someone is a sex offender. Failure to register as a sex offender is itself a crime.

Sexual Offenses in Arizona

Sexual Conduct with a Minor: Sexual conduct with a minor is the most serious sex offense in Arizona. Under A.R.S. 13-1405, sexual conduct with a minor is defined as intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person who is under eighteen years of age. Oral sexual conduct is self-explanatory, but sexual intercourse is not just penile/vaginal or penile/anal intercourse. Sexual intercourse is defined under A.R.S. 13-1401 as “penetration into the penis, vulva or anus by any part of the body or by any object or masturbatory contact with the penis or vulva.” Digital penetration into the vagina or anus constitutes sexual conduct with a minor.

If you are convicted of sexual conduct with a minor, you face a range of 13, 20, or 27 years in prison. Sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 15 is not probation eligible. A defendant convicted of this crime is also not eligible for early release. That means if you are convicted, a judge cannot sentence you to less than 13 years in prison. If the alleged victim is under 12 years old, you could also be sentenced to life in prison. Because these offenses are so serious, it is important to have an attorney with experience in these types of case. Attorneys at Alcock & Associates have successfully defended these cases. We have won sex cases at trial and secured dismissal of all charges.

Molestation: Molestation is defined under A.R.S. 13-1410 as intentionally or knowingly engaging in or causing a person to engage in sexual contact, except sexual contact with the female breast, with a child who is under fifteen years of age. Sexual contact is defined under A.R.S. 13-1401 as any direct or indirect touching, fondling, or manipulating of any part of the genitals or anus by any part of the body or by any object or causing a person to engage in such contact. This touching can be over or under clothes.

If you are convicted of molestation, the range of sentence is 10, 17, or 24 years in prison. Molestation of a child under the age of 15 is not probation eligible. A defendant convicted of this crime is not eligible for early release. That means if you are convicted, a judge cannot sentence you to less than 10 years in prison. Again, our attorneys have had great success in defending against these serious crimes.

Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is Arizona’s legal term for rape. Under A.R.S. 13-1406, sexual assault is defined as, “intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person without consent of such person.” If convicted, a defendant faces a range of 5.25, 7, or 14 years in prison. This offense is not probation eligible.

The biggest issue in a sexual assault case is consent. If a defendant can prove that the other party consented to the sexual act, then a defendant will be found not guilty at trial. Arizona law defines a lack of consent as any of the following:

  1. The victim is coerced by the immediate use or threatened use of force against a person or property.
  2. The victim is incapable of consent by reason of mental disorder, mental defect, drugs, alcohol, sleep or any other similar impairment of cognition and such condition is known or should have reasonably been known to the defendant. For the purposes of this subdivision, “mental defect” means the victim is unable to comprehend the distinctively sexual nature of the conduct or is incapable of understanding or exercising the right to refuse to engage in the conduct with another.
  3. The victim is intentionally deceived as to the nature of the act.
  4. The victim is intentionally deceived to erroneously believe that the person is the victim’s spouse

Whether a victim consented to a sexual act usually comes down to testimony. It is important to have an attorney on your side who knows how to question important witnesses, including an alleged victim, at the time of trial.

Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse is defined under A.R.S. 13-1404 as intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual contact with any person who is fifteen or more years of age without consent or with any person who is under fifteen years of age if the sexual contact involves only the female breast. A person can be charged with sexual abuse if they: 1) touch the genitals or anus of a minor who is between 15, 16, or 17; or 2) touch the breast of a minor who is under the age of 15. If the victim is 15, 16, or 17, the offense is a class 5 felony. If the victim is under the age of 15, the offense is a class 3 felony.

Sexual Exploitation of a Minor: Sexual exploitation of a minor is Arizona’s term for possession of child pornography. It is defined under A.R.S. 13-3553 as knowingly:

  1. Recording, filming, photographing, developing or duplicating any visual depiction in which a minor is engaged in exploitive exhibition or other sexual conduct, or;
  2. Distributing, transporting, exhibiting, receiving, selling, purchasing, electronically transmitting, possessing or exchanging any visual depiction in which a minor is engaged in exploitive exhibition or other sexual conduct.

Arizona is the worst place in the world to be charged with possession of child pornography. For each image, a defendant faces 10, 17, or 24 years in prison. On top of that, each sentence must run consecutive to the other. That means if a defendant is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, they face a minimum of 100 years a maximum of 240 years in prison. Effective negotiation is essential in sexual exploitation cases.

Prostitution: Prostitution is defined under A.R.S. 13-3211 as engaging in or agreeing or offering to engage in sexual conduct under a fee arrangement with any person for money or any other valuable consideration. Most people understand that prostitution means paying another person for sex. Money is not the only form of payment contemplated under the statute, however. Any form of “valuable consideration” can constitute a fee arrangement for prostitution under Arizona law.

Police in Arizona love conducting so-called “prostitution stings.” These occur when undercover officers pretend to be prostitutes and trick unwitting defendants into paying for sex. An effective defense against undercover prostitution stings is entrapment. An entrapment defense asserts that, but for the police action, the defendant would not have committed the crime. Don’t let the police get away with coercive tactics. Contact our attorneys today.

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Alcock & Associates P.C.
2 North Central Avenue, 26th Floor
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