What Are Possible Defense Strategies for a Sex Crime in California? 

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Most people do not anticipate facing charges for a sex crime, and the average person does not know what defense strategies apply to sex crime charges.

While any criminal allegation carries lasting consequences, sex crime accusations often elicit enhanced scrutiny and judgment for the accused.

You need an attorney with extensive experience navigating such charges and preparing sex crimes defense strategies to present in court.

Our team at The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, has handled over 125 criminal jury trials and is willing to do whatever it legally takes to protect your rights.

Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with a qualified lawyer.

What Is a Sex Crime?

Sex crime is an umbrella term that describes various misdemeanor or felony crimes of a sexual nature.

The sexual crimes list in California is extensive. Some of the sex crimes offenses in California include: 

Each different sex offense carries different penalties.

For example, a misdemeanor sexual battery conviction carries the potential for up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. A conviction for lewd and lascivious acts with a child can carry up to 16 years in prison. 

In addition to the criminal penalties, most sex crime convictions require you to register as a sex offender.

California uses a three-tiered sex offender registration system. People with sex crimes convictions fall into a certain tier depending on the crime.

Tier 1 encompasses misdemeanor sex crimes and some non-violent felony sex crimes. This tier requires the registration of sex offenders for 10 years.

Tier 2 sex crimes include mid-level felonies not encompassed by Tier 1 or Tier 3 and require sex offender registration for 20 years.

Tier 3 is reserved for the most severe sex crimes and requires registration for life.

As a registered sex offender, you must keep your local law enforcement agency up to date on your current residence and where you work.

Additionally, your public information is available online while you are on the sex offender registry.

Potential Sex Crimes Defense Strategies

There are multiple different defense strategies in a sex crimes case.

Our team has represented many individuals facing accusations of sex crimes, and we know the tactics prosecutors use to prove their cases. 

Insufficient Evidence 

Sex crime allegations receive extra media coverage and attention because society sees them as especially heinous or damning.

Repeated media attacks and statements from law enforcement can make you feel like you are guilty before your trial even begins.

Do not let these scare tactics prevent you from hiring an attorney to defend your rights.

The prosecution carries the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

We can find evidence to negate a necessary element of the criminal charge and challenge the prosecutor’s ability to prove their case.

Even the slightest doubt in one juror’s mind can result in a hung jury.

An experienced criminal lawyer knows how to show the jury that the prosecution has not proven your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

False Accusations

Unfortunately, some sex crime charges arise due to fabricated accusations against an innocent person.

Motivations for lodging false allegations of sexual misconduct can range from seeking revenge to struggling with regret. 

Consider the scenario where a husband decides to leave his wife for another woman.

His wife, angry and heartbroken, contacts the police and falsely accuses her husband of keeping child pornography on his computer. In that case, the wife’s desire for revenge motivated her false accusation.

Sex crimes, especially crimes involving children, give your enemies ammunition to permanently damage your reputation and cause lasting consequences.

In some cases, children make false accusations of a sex crime because they are afraid to name their true abuser.

Alternatively, a child may falsely accuse their stepparent of sexual abuse to provoke a divorce from their biological parent. 

Mistaken Identity

In some cases, the victim can make an honest mistake by falsely identifying you as their attacker.

You cannot help it if you look similar to a person who commits a sex crime. Still, you should contact a lawyer who knows how to challenge the misidentification.


In most sex crimes between two adults, a lack of consent is required to make the alleged sexual conduct a crime.

Even though both parties may consent in the moment, feelings of shame or regret may lead one participant to lodge allegations of a sex crime after the fact. 

How Can a Lawyer Assist with My Sex Crimes Defense?

Even the most outrageous allegations can lead to sex crimes charges.

Law-enforcement and prosecutors could disregard the fine details of your case that demonstrate your innocence if they feel any indication that you committed the crime.

A criminal defense attorney can protect your rights and ensure the prosecutor reviews every piece of information in your case before moving forward. 

We can explain the details of your charges and the potential penalties you are facing. Then, we can work to prepare a defense strategy to present to the prosecutor and negotiate to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Although a legal defense may not apply in every case, we will go over the circumstances of your charges to determine if one applies to you.

Contact a Sex Crimes Defense Attorney at The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC

A sex crime conviction can cost you your freedom, your livelihood, and your reputation. You cannot afford to face this challenge without the help of a qualified criminal defense lawyer. 

Our seasoned criminal defense attorneys have more than 125 criminal jury trials under our belts. We believe that everyone deserves an effective legal defense, no matter what charges they are facing.

Attorney Kerry L. Armstrong is AV®Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell® in criminal law and sexual assault, signifying the highest degree of peer recognition and professional excellence.

If you need a sex crimes defense attorney, contact The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, today.

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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.