Representing Riverside For Sex Crime Defense
Have you or someone you know been charged with a sex crime? Those experiencing sex crime accusations face serious legal penalties, as well as a significant impact on their personal and professional lives. Those convicted of sex crimes must register themselves on the sex offender registry and may experience difficulty maintaining employment or professional licensure, finding housing and attending school.
Sex crime cases are extensively investigated in the state of California, primarily to protect the innocent and enable victims to assert their rights. However, not all accusations are founded. Every day, Californians are accused of sex crimes they did not commit. Whether you believe you are the victim of a false accusation or a deeply misunderstood scenario, it’s important to connect with a qualified Riverside sex crimes attorney. The right attorney will listen to your story, review the facts of your case and explain the options available for your legal defense.
You Deserve Answers About Your Sex Crime Charges
Riverside criminal defense attorney Darryl Exum has spent years defending Californians after sex crime accusations. As a result, he has a deep understanding of the laws surrounding sexual violence, as well as the defense strategies that can most effectively protect you and your rights. Mr. Exum will review any evidence collected by law enforcement, examine any eyewitness testimony and create an aggressive defense that demonstrates the facts at the root of your situation.
No two sex crime cases are alike. That’s why every case the firm accepts receives individualized attention and a custom-crafted defense that considers your unique situation. Attorney Exum can answer any question you have about your case, but before you speak with him, take a look at these answers to some of the most commonly asked questions the firm receives:
What are the different types of sex crimes?
The California Penal Code approaches the various types of sex crimes individually. Sex crimes are “crimes against the person.” In other words, sexual assault violates the body in some way, as opposed to a “crime against property,” which seizes money, property, or some other asset. Depending on the crime, individuals may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
Common sex crimes include:
- Rape or any nonconsensual sexual intercourse with a person. This can include penetration, oral sex or forced touching of sexual organs. Rape often occurs when someone is unable to give consent, including people who are unconscious, drugged without their knowledge, intoxicated or under the influence of recreational drugs.
- Oral copulation by force or fear, which consists of any nonconsensual form of oral sex. This typically involves penetration of the mouth by a sexual organ.
- Sexual battery, or any nonconsensual touching of the intimate parts of another person’s body for the purpose of sexual arousal or abuse. Sexual battery does not include penetration, but it can include kissing, groping, rubbing against the other person’s body or forcing them to touch intimate parts.
- Incest, or sexual intercourse between people who are related biologically to one another. For example, when a parent and child have sex, it is considered incest whether the child is a legal adult or not.
- Sodomy, or any nonconsensual sexual intercourse involving penetration of the anus. This does not apply to penetration of the mouth, vagina or other body parts.
- Lewd and lascivious acts, or any nonconsensual touching of the intimate parts of someone else’s body for the purpose of sexual arousal or abuse. This can include sexual intercourse, oral sex and touching of the genital area.
- Child molestation, where an adult has sexual intercourse with, forces oral sex, or sexually touches someone under 18 years of age. These are considered juvenile sex crimes.
- Child pornography, or possessing or distributing images involving a minor under the age of 18 who is nude or involved in sexual acts.
- Statutory rape, which occurs any time an individual over the age of 18 performs consensual sexual acts with an individual under 18. Although the acts were consensual, the minor in the situation is not legally able to consent to sex.
- Date rape, which occurs after drugging someone against their will and performing sexual acts while they’re incapacitated.
- Indecent exposure, defined as public nudity that causes the exposure of genitalia and/or buttocks to another person.
- Public urination is defined as urinating in a public place or anywhere other than a designated restroom.
- Prostitution, defined as engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sex for money.
- Soliciting a prostitute, which occurs when an individual agrees to exchange money for a sexual act.
- Pimping, defined as arranging for a prostitute to meet with a client.
- Pandering or attempting to convince an individual to engage in prostitution or any sexual act.
This list is not exhaustive. If you have been accused of any of the above sex crimes or find yourself facing other sexually related offenses, it’s essential to find an experienced Riverside sex crimes lawyer to discuss your case.
What is the difference between rape and statutory rape?
Both rape and statutory rape are sex crimes. Thus, they are both punishable by law, but it’s important to distinguish between the two.
- Rape is defined as nonconsensual sexual intercourse. That means that the person did not give their consent before engaging in any type of sexual activity with another person. It is treated as a serious crime and may be punishable by law.
- Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with an individual who is under the age of consent. The age of consent differs among states, but is 18 years of age in the state of California. The term statutory rape is often used interchangeably with the term “unlawful sexual intercourse.” This crime isn’t limited to penetration; it also includes any type of oral activity or sexual touching.
Both offenses can result in serious criminal charges against a defendant. If you were accused of rape or statutory rape, it is important to consult with a sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney who is familiar with California consent laws can help defend you against such charges.
How do you know if you have consent?
Consent is one of the most significant factors in any sex crime case. Consent is defined as agreeing to engage in sexual activity, and it is mandatory to receive consent before embarking on any sexual act with a partner. However, it is important to recognize that consent can be taken away at any time. Understanding whether a partner wants to engage in specific sexual activities is crucial before and during the encounter – and if consent is revoked, the sexual contact must stop immediately.
For example, some people might consent to one type of sexual activity only to change their minds as the activity continues. Another might draw the line as an escalating chain of sexual activity continues. Either party is legally free to withdraw consent for any reason at any time – continuing after consent is withdrawn is sexual assault. It is important to note that minors under the age of consent in California (18) are unable to give legal consent for any sex act. Therefore, adult sex with a minor can never be consensual and is always a sex crime.
If you believe you had consent but were later accused of a sex crime, the other individual may be confused, mistaken or even lying. Cease all communications with the accuser and consult with an attorney right away. A Riverside sex crimes attorney can help you examine your situation and determine your best course of action.
What are the consequences of sex crimes?
The punishments for sex crimes are severe, and many defendants face mandatory prison sentences if convicted. However, the penalties depend largely on whether the crime is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor sex crimes like misdemeanor sexual battery, indecent exposure and solicitation are often punishable by fines of up to $2,000, community service, and up to a year in county jail – though circumstances may warrant additional jail time.
Penalties for a felony sex crime are much more severe. For example, felony sexual battery can net you up to four years in state prison and a $10,000 fine, while felony rape can result in up to eight years in prison and a fine of $5,000. When aggravating factors like bodily injury or minor victims are involved, both prison time and fines can be increased – you may be facing decades in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
However, prison time and stiff fines are just the beginning of what you could face if convicted of a sex crime. Those convicted of these offenses will have to complete a term in prison and community service and then register as a California sex offender. This means that your name, address, photograph and personal information will be made available to the public for the purpose of public safety.
What is the sex offender registry?
Once an individual is convicted of a sex crime, they must register on the sex offender registry. This system was launched in response to Megan’s Law, which required all states to track convicted offenders in the hopes of preventing additional sex crimes. Sex offender registration intake information may include your name, address, photograph, license plate number on any vehicles you own, place of employment, type of conviction and other personal information. Lesser sex crimes may require a registry on the tier-1 sex offender list for 10 years, while more severe crimes can land you on the tier-2 list for 20 years or the tier-3 list for life.
When you are placed on the sex offender registry, your information is entered into a public database that anyone can access online. You must keep your address updated and check in with local law enforcement on an annual basis as long as your sentence dictates. If you fail to do so, you have committed a felony offense and may face criminal charges for not abiding by these rules and regulations.
Your presence on a California sex offender list can affect your life for years to come and may prevent you from finding a job, keeping professional licensure, and living within 2,000 feet of a school, park, or similar facility. Don’t let a mistake or false accusation ruin your life. If you believe that the charges being brought against you are unreasonable or do not warrant these consequences, seek the help of a Riverside sex crimes lawyer.
Is internet sex a crime?
Internet sex becomes more common with each passing year. While viewing pornography, exchanging sexual messages and even participating in virtual sex is legal when it occurs between two consenting adults, nonconsensual behavior could be charged as an internet sex crime. Similarly, when any internet sex act involves a minor, that act is punishable by law.
California Penal Code Section 288.2 makes it a crime for any adult to communicate with a minor with the intent of engaging in sexual activity. This communication can include text messaging, email, instant messaging (IM), or any other form of communication that takes place using a computer or other digital device. Parental figures, teachers and other trusted adults are not exempt from these charges, as the public has seen in many cases across the country where a trusted public leader has been found guilty of sex crimes with minors.
Those accused of internet sex with minors are likely to face felony charges. These crimes are usually punishable by jail time, fines, probation and placement on the sex offender registry.
How do you beat a sex crime charge?
The only way to fight sex crime charges is with the help of a Riverside criminal defense attorney who understands the nature of these crimes and can effectively fight for your best interests. A lawyer will:
- Protect your rights. Your attorney will make sure that your rights are not violated during an investigation.
- Investigate the allegations. A sex crimes attorney will examine the evidence against you, which might include testimony from witnesses. The attorney will help you construct your version of events and ensure your official statement was not coerced or given without the presence of an attorney.
- Decide if you need to go to trial. Sometimes, it is better to take a case to trial and have a jury of your peers determine your innocence. In other cases, it is in your best interest to take a plea deal offered by the prosecution. It’s essential to have an experienced sex crimes attorney advise you regarding these options.
- Plead your case. Criminal defense lawyers will present your case in court and demonstrate your innocence or the mishandling of your case.
- Negotiate with the prosecution. If your case cannot be won outright, your attorney may still be able to negotiate a lesser charge or lighter sentence.
“Beating” any criminal charge is a challenge, and it rests on your definition of success. However, a lawyer with a knowledge of California law and the strength to fight for your rights can make a major difference.
Why do I need a Riverside sex crimes lawyer?
If you are accused of a sex crime, it is in your best interest to secure legal representation as soon as possible. Authorities frequently mistreat sex crime defendants or mishandle the details of their cases. An experienced Riverside sex crimes attorney can stand up for your rights and examine your case for flaws, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies.
When seeking an attorney, be sure to look for someone who is:
- Look for a criminal defense attorney who has been practicing law for a significant amount of time and can demonstrate an extensive track record of success.
- Knowledgeable regarding sex crime defense. It’s best to work with a defense expert with experience handling this type of case. A sex crimes attorney can easily identify critical assets they can use to construct your defense.
- You should be able to get in contact with your lawyer whenever you have questions about the status of your case. They should be available for both in-person meetings and phone calls.
- An active listener. You should feel as though you can speak openly with your attorney about the details of your case. They will need to use these details to construct an effective defense.
- An expert negotiator. It is key to secure a defense attorney who excels at negotiating with the prosecution. Their success rate can point to their ability to negotiate and strike a deal that benefits you.
- Able to communicate clearly. You should feel confident in your attorney’s ability to write well, speak eloquently, and communicate with you, the prosecution, the judge, and any potential witnesses.
It’s crucial to have a lawyer by your side to handle your statement, construct your defense and handle any negotiations with the prosecution.
Contact Exum Law Offices Today For A Free Consultation
If you were arrested for rape, sexual assault, prostitution or any other type of sex crime in the Riverside area, you need immediate assistance from a skilled Riverside sex crimes lawyer. The experienced attorneys at Exum Law Offices will relentlessly preserve your legal rights and defend you against the criminal charges you face.
You are innocent until proven guilty. Attorney Exum is here to listen to your side of the story so he can construct the most favorable defense against these serious criminal charges. Contact the firm today at 951-934-0227 for a free consultation to begin protecting your freedom.