When someone is accused of committing a sex-based criminal offense, it is one of the worst days of their life.
Not only do sex offenses subject a defendant to serious criminal penalties, but just the accusation carries a lot of negative stigmas.
If you are being investigated or have been arrested for a sex crime, you need professional legal representation. You must hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
At the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, our San Diego sex crimes defense lawyers provide compassionate representation to our clients. Our law firm is committed to protecting the rights of the accused. We have a strong record of exonerating clients and getting false charges dismissed.
If you or your loved one was charged with a sex offense in San Diego County, please contact our legal team for an initial consultation.
An Overview of Defenses in Sex Crimes Cases in Southern California
A number of different defenses can be raised in sex crimes cases. Whether any of these defenses will be applicable to your case will depend on the underlying nature of the charges. Some of the most common defenses raised in sex crimes cases are:
- Innocence: As with any other legal charge, innocence is always a valid defense. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. If they cannot prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, the case should be dismissed or you should be found not guilty.
- Consent: Another common defense in sex crimes cases is ‘consent’. With many sex crimes charges, a core element the prosecution must prove is that the defendant did not contain lacked consent. It is important to remember that minors cannot give legal consent. This defense is not applicable to a statutory rape case or a child molest case.
- The mistake of Fact: In a limited number of cases, a mistake, in fact, maybe a viable defense. The most common example of this is when the defendant has a good faith, reasonable belief that person was actually of legal age. If a 17-year-old lies about their age, a mistake, in fact, maybe a valid legal defense. However, this defense cannot be raised if the minor is under the age of 14.
Sex Crimes Charges We Handle in San Diego County
Our San Diego sex crimes defense lawyers have the skills, experience, and legal knowledge to handle all types of sex-based offenses. If you are charged with a sex crime in California, we will protect your rights and your reputation.
Some of the sex crimes charges that our San Diego criminal defense lawyers have experience with include:
- Indecent Exposure: In California, indecent exposure is a misdemeanor offense. That being said, it is still a serious crime. Under California Penal Code Section 314, it is punishable by up to six months in prison and a lifetime sex offender registration. *Note: The new sex registration three-tiered system does not go into effect until 2021.
- Solicitation: California has strict solicitation and prostitution laws on the books. If you were charged with either, you need to contact us right away. Do not plead guilty, even to a misdemeanor offense.
- Sexual Battery: Under California Penal Code Section 243.4, sexual battery can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Sexual battery is often charged as a misdemeanor when the allegations are groping or a similar type of misconduct. In most circumstances, felony sexual battery involves some form of unlawful restraint.
- Forcible Rape: Rape is a very serious felony offense. A conviction for rape will result in a lengthy prison sentence and automatic sex offender registration.
- Statutory Rape: In California, the age of consent is eighteen. Under California Penal Code Section 261.5, unlawful sex with an underage person is statutory rape. This is a serious felony offense if you were more than three years older than the person accusing you.
- Child Pornography: California has developed and enacted a wide range of child pornography laws and computer sex crime laws. A person accused of possessing or distributing child pornography or any related offense will face felony charges.
What is Megan’s Law?
One of the questions that our defense attorneys often get asked is “will I have to register as a sex offender in California?” It is important to know that California has a very strict sex offender registration requirements.
Under Megan’s Law, a person who was convicted of a sex crime will be required to add their name and address to a national sex offender registry.
In addition, they will be required to notify law enforcement when changing addresses. As of 2021, California will have a tiered system for sex offender registration.
While some convictions mandate lifetime registration, with others, you may eventually be able to apply to get your name off the list.
How Our San Diego Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers Can Help
We understand the immediate stigma that comes with a sex crime accusation. Our San Diego sex crimes defense lawyers handle every case with compassion and support.
We are here to help you understand your rights, clear your name, and protect your future. Our top-rated San Diego, California sex crimes defense attorneys will:
- Conduct a confidential review of your case;
- Take the time to answer your questions and explain your options;
- Investigate the charges — getting any relevant, exonerating evidence; and
- Build a fully personalized legal defense strategy.
Sex crimes charges must always be defended on a case-by-case basis. There is no one proper defense strategy. In some cases, the proper approach is an aggressive defense to get false accusations dismissed.
In other cases, a sensible strategy is to focus on negotiating a plea bargain.
Speak to Our San Diego, CA Sex Crimes Defense Attorney Today
At Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, our California criminal defense lawyers have the skills and experience needed to handle the full range of sex crimes charges. We offer compassionate legal representation.
To schedule an initial consultation with a defense attorney, please contact our office right away.
Our law firm represents defendants in San Diego and throughout the surrounding communities, including in Chula Vista, Oceanside, National City, and Encinitas.