If you’ve been charged with rape or sexual assault, you have to be scared. In this day and age, you can’t be sure where people are coming from anymore. We’ve gone from a time when accusations of rape weren’t taken seriously enough to a time when people are afraid to have relations for fear of getting in trouble.
Criminal lawyers in San Diego are aware of this. They know how fine the line is between consensual sex and assault. This line seems to be changing all the time. And when you are charged with a sex crime, it seems as if the normal standard of innocent until proven guilty no longer applies. It’s as if you have to prove you did nothing wrong.
It’s important to understand the different sex crimes that exist in California. It’s also important to know what your possible defenses are. If you are charged with this type of crime, you don’t want to handle it yourself. It’s really important that you have a San Diego criminal lawyer help you clear your name.
Different Sexual Crimes in San Diego
There about a dozen different sex crimes defined in the California Penal Code. Some are felonies and others are misdemeanors. However, no matter how serious the offense, they all carry stiff penalties. They also carry the risk of your having to register as a sexual offender. This is why it’s so important that you have an experienced San Diego criminal lawyer help prepare a defense.
Here are some of the more serious and common sex crimes in California:
- Rape: The crime of rape involves having actual sexual intercourse with someone without their consent.
- Sex Act with a Child Under the Age of 10: If you’re convicted of this crime, you will be facing serious jail time. If there is actual penetration, the minimum sentence is 25 years to life. For oral sex acts, the minimum sentence is 5 years.
- Statutory Rape: If you’re accused of having sex with someone under the age 18, you’ll be charged with statutory rape. You’ll be found guilty even if the victim consents to the sex. If there is less than 3 years between you and the victim, it will be treated as a misdemeanor. Otherwise, it will be deemed a felony.
- Sexual Battery: If you touch someone’s genitals without their consent for the purposes of sexual gratification, it will be considered sexual battery. It is usually a misdemeanor. However, if the victim is mentally challenged or disabled, it could be a felony.
- Prostitution: If you have sex for money – or offer to have sex for money – you can be charged with prostitution. So can the person who pays you to have sex.
If you’ve been charged with any of these crimes, you need a good San Diego criminal attorney.
What are Some of the Defenses to Sex Crimes?
Your San Diego criminal attorneys will have to come up with a defense that works in your favor. The most common defense is innocence. If you didn’t commit the crime you’re being charged with, your lawyer will have to prove this. Sadly, the number of false allegations of sexual assault is on the rise. It is very difficult to prove innocence because it’s usually your word against the victim’s. This is why it’s important that you be upfront and honest with your lawyer from day one.
Consent is another defense that may be used in your case. It won’t work in prostitution or statutory rape. However, it is a workable defense in most other sex crime charges. If the sex or touching was consensual, your lawyer will have to prove it.
Here are some of the factors that can be used to disprove false allegations of sex crimes:
- Prior relationship
- Motive on the part of the victim to make the false allegations
- Proof in the form of text messages, phone calls or video to prove consent
- Statements made by both yourself and the victim after the alleged offense
Your San Diego criminal lawyer will work hard to get the charges against you dismissed or reduced.
Contact a San Diego Criminal Lawyer Today
If you’ve been charged with a sex crime, you need to contact a San Diego criminal lawyer. He can review your case and see how strong the evidence is against you. He can talk to the prosecutor and see if he can get the charges reduced or dismissed.
Call and schedule your initial consultation today. You don’t want to face these charges on your own. There’s just too much at stake.