When and Why Should I Hire an Experienced California Sex Crimes Lawyer?

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Navigating the aftermath of a sex crime accusation in California requires immediate and decisive action. The stakes are incredibly high in these cases. Understanding the critical timing and reasons for hiring an experienced sex crimes lawyer is essential for anyone thrust into this daunting situation.

Sex crime allegations in California trigger a complex legal process characterized by rigorous investigations and severe potential penalties. The statistics are stark and sobering: nearly 98% of individuals convicted of sexual abuse end up behind bars, with average sentences stretching beyond 15 years. These figures underscore the severity of sex crime charges and the imperative need for skilled legal representation.

In the face of such serious allegations, anyone accused of these offenses must choose a lawyer with a proven track record in sex crimes defense. The right lawyer protects the accused’s legal rights and is a steadfast advocate, striving to achieve the best possible outcome amidst challenging circumstances.

Types of Sex Crimes in California

The state’s laws are stringent, with severe consequences for those convicted. In San Diego County and throughout California, the legal system aggressively prosecutes sex crimes, reflecting the seriousness with which these offenses are treated. Some common sex crime charges include the following: 

  • Rape–Non-consensual sexual intercourse, often involving force or coercion, is aggressively prosecuted and can result in lengthy prison sentences.
  • Statutory Rape–Engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor, regardless of consent, where the adult is over a certain age threshold, typically leads to serious legal repercussions.
  • Child Pornography–Creating, distributing, or possessing sexually explicit material involving minors is a crime that carries severe penalties, including long-term imprisonment.
  • Prostitution and Solicitation–Engaging in, or offering or agreeing to engage in, a sexual act for compensation.
  • Lewd Acts with a Minor–Any lewd or lascivious act involving a child under 14 is a felony, punishable by significant prison time.
  • Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation–Recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act is a grave offense with stringent penalties.

California law takes these offenses seriously, and the accused faces legal battles and long-lasting personal and social repercussions.

What Is the Punishment for a Federal Sex Crime in California? 

In California, the consequences of being accused of a sex crime are profound and far-reaching. The legal system imposes strict penalties, and the societal fallout can be devastating. The statistics are stark and revealing:

  • Sexual abuse convictions. A staggering 98.8% of those found guilty receive prison sentences, averaging 191 months.
  • Child pornography production. The average sentence for these offenses is 262 months, and for those facing mandatory minimums, it rises to 274 months.
  • Travel for illicit sexual conduct with minors. Offenders receive an average sentence of 147 months, which increases to 187 months if mandatory minimums are applied.

The impact of sex crime allegations extends beyond the legal ramifications. Accused individuals often face ostracism, loss of employment, and irreparable harm to their reputations. These social consequences can persist long after any legal penalties have been served.

Understanding False Allegations

Understanding false accusations in sex crime cases is essential, as their impact on the accused can be severe and enduring. Although studies show false reports are relatively uncommon, their consequences are significant. A study involving 2,059 sexual assault cases across eight U.S. communities found a false report rate of 7.1%.

Another analysis covering 136 sexual assault cases from 1998 to 2007 reported a 5.9% rate of false accusations. Additionally, research on 812 sexual assault reports from 2000 to 2003 indicated a false report rate of 2.1%.

Despite these percentages appearing low, the effects on the falsely accused are profound and lasting. A false accusation can ruin reputations, break personal and professional bonds, and cause deep emotional and mental distress. 

Immediate Need for a Sex Crimes Lawyer

One of the most important steps a person accused of a sex offense can take is to secure an experienced San Diego County sex crimes attorney. It is crucial to hire an attorney at the earliest sign of legal trouble, including the following: 

  • Upon any accusation or arrest;
  • Before charges are formalized; and
  • For guidance on navigating the legal system and strategizing an effective response.

A skilled attorney can devise and implement a defense strategy during plea negotiations or trial tailored to your case’s specifics.

Foundation of the Attorney-Client Relationship

In sex crimes cases, the dynamics of the attorney-client relationship are key and should be based on:

  • Confidentiality–guaranteeing privacy in all discussions to facilitate open and complete information sharing.
  • Trust–providing a transparent and effective defense strategy allows the client to feel secure in the legal process.
  • Communication–maintaining clear, consistent dialogue ensures informed decision-making and effective defense planning.

These elements are critical for building a solid defense and providing the necessary support to navigate the complexities of sex crime allegations.

Impact of Skilled Legal Advocacy

A qualified sex crimes lawyer plays a vital role in the following :

  • Vigorously protecting your rights throughout the legal proceedings;
  • Negotiating with the prosecution to possibly reduce charges or secure a plea deal; 
  • Crafting and presenting a compelling defense based on thorough investigation; and
  • Offering unwavering support and representation through all stages of the judicial process.

Choosing a lawyer with extensive experience in sex crimes is crucial. Key considerations should include:

  • A proven track record in successfully defending against sex crime allegations;
  • Experience in handling a wide range of sex crime cases, from indecent exposure to serious charges like rape and child pornography; and
  • A reputation for aggressive and effective courtroom advocacy to ensure the best possible defense.

Facing sex crime allegations in California is a serious and challenging journey. The right legal counsel is beneficial and essential in ensuring your rights are protected, your side of the story is heard, and you have the best possible defense against the charges. With the high stakes, the importance of experienced, trustworthy, and communicative legal representation cannot be overstated.

Have You Been Charged with a Sex Offense?

If you were recently arrested and charged with a sex crime, it is essential that you act quickly to secure an experienced sex crimes lawyer. At the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, our lawyers have nearly thirty years of experience and have handled thousands of cases, including those involving rape, child pornography, and sex trafficking charges.

Our lawyers take an aggressive approach to our representation, relentlessly fighting for your rights at every step of the process. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, give the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, a call. You can also reach out to lawyers by completing our secure online contact form

Where You Can Find Our San Diego Office

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

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