There is no perfect definition for sex crimes because there are so many different varieties of sex crimes that are listed in the penal code. However, in general, if somebody is touching the intimate body part of another against that person's will, or if the person doesn't consent to it, then that would certainly be considered a sex crime.
Also, you have to look at the category of minors in California, which are people under the age of 18. Those individuals cannot consent to any touching. Some people get confused and say, “The minor consented to it, they were okay with it.”
They cannot consent to it. Therefore, if someone were to touch the intimate body parts of a minor with the intent to sexually arouse that person, that would be a crime as well, and obviously, that would be a very serious crime.
DNA Evidence in sex crime cases is an effective tool for law enforcement and prosecutors to show a defendant committed a crime.
How Are Sex Crimes Determined To Be Either Misdemeanors Or Felonies?
The dividing line between misdemeanor and felony sex crimes is not as clear as we'd like it to be. The felony sex crime charges are typically going to be the more serious charges that involve children or violent sexual felonies, like rape or digital penetration.
It may involve some other sex crime that is obviously against somebody's will and is a serious violation of that person's physical space. Misdemeanor sex crimes are usually going to be in the category of sexual batteries, like touching somebody in an intimate part of their body, assaults and other less serious misdemeanor type conduct, lewd conduct and solicitation. A crime in the misdemeanor category is not as violative of the person's body as a crime in the felony category.
Common Types Of Sex Crimes We Handle
Over the course of the last 25 years, I have handled thousands of sex crime cases. I've pretty much defended people for just about every single sex crime related penal code violation. Some common ones that we see are sexual batteries, which is Penal Code Section 243.4.
We also see a lot of 288-A charges, which deal with people who are involved with touching minors under the age of 18 in an inappropriate manner. I do a lot of federal child pornography cases in which people are doing things on the internet involving children and the FBI gets involved.
I handle cases involving date rape. So, I've handled countless types of cases, but it all usually boils down to whether or not the prosecutors can prove the particular sex charges, which boils down to whether or not they have the evidence.
The majority of the sex crime cases that we see involve people who know each other, whether they are family members, people who are dating or people who are friends with one another. There are also cases that involve strangers touching people.
I think the prosecutors and judges treat those types of cases much more harshly. Obviously, it's very serious when a stranger is violating somebody else's personal space in a sexual way. The prosecutors really come down hard on those offenders, and obviously, I represent those individuals as well.
Is A Sex Crime a State or Federal Case?
There are a lot of sex crimes that could be charged at either the state or federal level. I think the difference is in regards to which type of cases the federal government chooses to take. The answer to that is that the federal government is usually dealing with child pornography cases or cases that are more sophisticated.
I've seen large prostitution rings being dealt with by the federal government. The feds usually get involved in very sophisticated cases where they have to spend money and manpower in order to investigate and prosecute the case. The state is going to deal with simpler, straightforward sex crimes, and the federal government is not going to waste their time or resources on those types of cases.
How Can I Protect Myself If Arrested For a Sex Crime
The first thing you would want to do if you know you're being investigated or you've been arrested for a sex crime is speak to an attorney. Sit down, be honest with the attorney, go over the list of questions, and give them all of the information that you have.
Your attorney is going to be your champion, and they know how to deal with these types of cases. One of the best investigative tools that the authorities have is getting the person to give them information and incriminate themselves. So, that's obviously not a good idea.
Another thing that the authorities will do is have the alleged victim call the defendant, and they will record that call (which they're allowed to do). They will then feed the questions to the alleged victim so that the defendant incriminates themselves on tape.
Your best first move is to get with an attorney and be honest with them. Anything that you say under the privilege of the attorney-client relationship cannot be disclosed, whether you hire the attorney or not. You want to get in front of somebody who has done these types of cases before and has had success. Give them the path you're about to go down so that they can really tell you what the best course of action is.
For more information on Sex Crimes In California, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0979 today.