Phoenix lawyer discusses FAQ’s about sex crimes.
If you are facing a sex charge, you’re no doubt fearful not only of the outcome of the case, but also the condemnation of the community. The following frequently asked questions (and answers) are intended to dispel myths and provide accurate information about sex crimes.
Q: If I am charged with a sex crime, do I need an attorney to represent me?
A: Any person charge with a sex crime should hire a lawyer. The list of potential sex crimes in Arizona is substantial, and the penalties if you are convicted are harsh. Even if you believe you have no defense to the charge, an experienced sex crimes lawyer will often be able to negotiate a reduction in the level of the charge(s) and the applicable penalty.
Q: What is a sex crime in Arizona?
A: The primary sex crimes in Arizona are (a) sexual assault, (b) child molestation, (c) sexual contact with a minor, (d) sexual conduct with a minor, (e) indecent exposure and (f) public sexual indecency. There are many other offenses that fall under the general heading of sex crimes.
Q: What is a “dangerous crime against children”?
A: Dangerous crimes against children include a wide variety of charges involving crimes by adults (18 years of age or older) against children 14 years of age or younger, including all the offenses listed above, as well as a number of other crimes. Dangerous crimes against children carry stiff sentences, with minimum and presumptive terms of incarceration.
Q: If I am convicted, will I have to register as a sex offender?
A: Crimes which, if you are convicted, require you to register as a sex offender, are listed in A.R.S. 13-3821. Those crimes include sexual assault, child molestation, child prostitution, child sex trafficking, luring a minor for sexual exploitation, and continuous sexual abuse of a child, among others.
Q: What are the requirements of sex offender registration?
A: Persons required to register as sex offenders must provide their current address (or physical location, if different from the address) to law enforcement, the name of the owner of the person’s residence, and the location of any temporary residence. There are numerous additional requirements, and the name of a registrant will be available for viewing by the public on the Arizona DPS Sex Offender Compliance website.
Q: Is it possible to terminate my sexual offender registration?
A: Yes, in some cases. A procedure exists (in A.R.S. 13-3826) to permit some registrants to apply for termination of their registration status. Various conditions must be satisfied, including the successful completion of probation, and the application must be approved by the court.
Q: If I am convicted of indecent exposure, will I have to register as a sex offender?
A: The law in Arizona requires a person convicted of indecent exposure to register only if it is his or her second or subsequent conviction for that offense.
Q: What is the difference in Arizona between sexual assault and sexual abuse?
A: Sexual assault is commonly referred to as rape. It is knowingly or intentionally having sexual intercourse or having oral sexual contact with a person without that person’s consent. Sexual abuse, on the other hand, is knowingly or intentionally having “sexual contact” (touching genitals, etc.) with a person without that person’s consent. Sexual assault is a class 2 felony. Sexual abuse is a class 5 felony, except where the victim is under 15, in which case it is a class 3 felony.
Q: Is it possible to be convicted of sexual assault (rape) without the use of force?
A: Yes. There are situations in which you can be charged with sexual assault without any allegation that you employed the use of force. Examples include having sexual intercourse with a person after having administered a date rape drug; and an adult who has sexual intercourse or who has oral sexual contact with a child 17 years of age or younger (statutory rape).
Q: Is spousal rape a crime in Arizona?
A: Under A.R.S. 13-1406, the fact that you are the spouse of the victim is not a defense to a charge of sexual assault.
If you were arrested for a sex crime, you need to hire an experienced Phoenix sex crimes lawyer now. A conviction could spell disaster and follow you for the rest of your life. At The Feldman Law Firm, we have significant experience representing clients charged with sex crimes. Call us today for a free consultation.