If you are being charged with a sex crime in Arizona, this is a serious matter. You should hire an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, even if you are currently just a suspect or being questioned. The earlier you get legal representation involved, the more time they have to protect your rights and prepare a strong defense against the charges.
Definitions of the Different Sex Crimes
Sexual Battery or Rape – Being charged with sexual battery is a serious criminal matter. This is a federal offense and a felony. The two main types of sexual battery are sexual abuse or sexual assault. Sexual abuse is defined as “knowingly engaging in sexual contact with any person who is fifteen or more years of age without consent of that person or with any person who is under fifteen years of age if the sexual contact involves only the female breast.” Sexual assault is defined as “intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person without consent of such person.” Any conviction for a sexual battery crime will result in a mandatory prison sentence.
If you are convicted of sexual abuse, then you will likely be given a prison sentence, spend a lifetime on probation, and also be required to register as a sex offender. If you are convicted of sexual assault, then you will likely receive a minimum prison sentence of 5.25 years with a maximum prison sentence of 14 years and also have to register as a sex offender.
Sexual Conduct with a Minor – This is also known as statutory rape and encompasses all sexual acts. If you are convicted of sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona, you will find that the penalties are severe and can even include life in prison. You will be required to register as a sex offender, which can affect your future ability to get a job or rent an apartment. You will also have to go through testing to be allowed to have contact with children under 18 years old, including your own children if you have any.
Possession of Child Pornography – Other charges related to child pornography include manufacturing or distribution of child pornography, child sexual exploitation, and solicitation of a minor. If you are convicted of any of these crimes, you can receive a mandatory prison sentence of 10 years per instance of the crime, be required to register as a sex offender, and have restrictions placed on your custody and visitation rights of your own children or any other children that you are related to.
Molestation – In Arizona, this is when an individual has “sexual contact” with a child under age fifteen but does not involve penetration. Molestation can include child sexual abuse, lewd and lascivious acts, and lewd conduct with a minor. In most cases, you will face very harsh punishments. Sometimes the mandatory prison sentences can reach a life sentence since it carries a mandatory prison sentence of ten to twenty-four for each count.
Some other types of sex crimes include:
- Child Abuse
- Cyber Crimes
- Failure to Register
- Indecent Exposure
- Sexual Misconduct
Types of Penalties for Sex Crimes
Each type of sex crime carries different penalties based on the severity of the crime, the age of the accused, and the age of the accuser. But there are four main types of punishments for someone who is convicted of a sex crime: incarceration, sex offender probation, and sex offender/predator registration.
Incarceration – Almost all sexual offenses will require prison time. Many offenses carry minimum required prison terms that the judge cannot depart from for any reason. In some of the most severe cases, this can mean a mandatory life sentence without parole.
Sex offender probation – If you are placed on probation for any crime, there are many rules that you must follow, but those placed on probation for a sex crime have even more restrictions placed on their freedom. These restrictions can include where they can live, who they can associate with, where they can work, mandatory curfews, and required counseling. These additional requirements make sex offender probation even more difficult to successfully complete, so it’s important to fully understand the terms of your probation if you are in this situation.
Registration – If you are found guilty of a sexual crime, then you will have to register your address and your employment status, as well as other information every three or six months for the rest of your life, whether you stay in Arizona or move out of state. This information is available to the public, and it can make it very difficult to get employment or rent an apartment.
If you are being charged with a sex crime, you are facing serious consequences that will affect the rest of your life. You deserve to have your rights defended in court by an experienced, qualified Arizona criminal defense attorney. Remember, the earlier you hire legal representation, the better your chances are at building a strong defense and having the charges reduced or dropped.