Challenging Sex Offense Allegations & Charges
If you have been charged with a sex crime or are being investigated for a sex-related offense in Southern California, you should waste no time seeking help from an experienced Santa Barbara defense attorney. A sex crime charge can lead to a rushed conviction and a lifetime of being labeled a “sex offender.”
Recently, a California man who spent 16 years in jail for sexual assaults he did not commit was exonerated by DNA testing and the court overturned his convictions. This underscores the important fact individuals who are charged with sex-related offenses may be victims of mistaken identity, entrapment, or false accusations. Any person accused of a sex crime deserves to have an aggressive criminal defense attorney on their side.
Our Santa Barbara lawyers are former prosecutors who understand the law from both sides of the courtroom. At Andrade Law Offices, we have successfully defended clients in Southern California on a range of criminal charges, including sex crimes. Your future and your freedom depend on your choice of a criminal defense lawyer to defend your rights. If you have been charged with a sex crime, you will discover that the California Justice System can be a harsh place without a skilled criminal defense attorney guiding you.
California Proposition 83
Proposition 83, also known as Jessica's Law, was adopted by California voters in 2006. It broadened the definition of certain sex crimes, stiffened the penalties for offenders convicted of sex crimes, barred probation for certain sex crimes, and required lifelong monitoring of certain high risk sex offenders.
Anyone charged with a sex offense is facing a serious charge and an unsympathetic public. It is critically important to have strong, experienced sex crimes defense representation.
Sex Crimes & Penalties in Santa Barbara, CA
The following is a list of sex crimes that the legal team at Andrade Law Offices handles. We represent arrestees, defendants, and suspects in Santa Barbara County and across California. Even if you have not yet been arrested or have not been formally charged with a sex crime, it is important to involve an attorney who can protect your rights and interests.
Indecent Exposure: California Penal Code § 314
California law defines the sex crime of indecent exposure as willfully exposing your genitals to someone else with the motivation to gratify yourself sexually, or to offend another person. A first conviction of indecent exposure is a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A Penal Code § 314 conviction carries a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender.
Engaging in Lewd Conduct: California Penal Code § 647
Engaging in lewd or dissolute conduct is defined in California as touching your private parts or another person's genitals, buttocks or breasts in public for sexual gratification or to offend someone else. The penalty for conviction of violating Penal Code § 647 is up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Lewd Acts with a Child: California Penal Code § 288
Touching a child on his or her body or fondling a child for purposes of sexual gratification is a violation of California Penal Code § 288. A conviction of this sex crime involving a child younger than age 14 carries a sentence of up to 8 years in a California prison, or a longer prison sentence if force was involved. A conviction also requires lifetime registration as a sex offender. A false accusation of lewd acts with a child can destroy an innocent person's reputation and career. You will need an aggressive lawyer who knows how to analyze the evidence and structure an effective criminal defense strategy.
Oral Copulation by Force: California Penal Code § 288(c)
The definition of oral copulation by force involves performing an act of oral copulation on another person or having them perform oral copulation on you by force, physical violence, or threat of bodily injury. The prosecutor must prove that the act was involuntary and not consensual. The potential penalties upon conviction include up to eight years in prison and fine of up to $10,000.
Soliciting a Prostitute: California Penal Code § 647(b)
If you solicited or sought to induce another person to perform sex and offered money, you may be charged with violating California Penal Code § 647(b), a misdemeanor. An effective legal defense can often be made to a charge of solicitation based on police entrapment or lack of evidence. The penalties for conviction of a first offense include up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Sexual Battery: California Penal Code § 243.4
Sexual battery is defined as touching the intimate parts of another person without their consent for sexual gratification or abuse.A violation of Penal Code § 243.4 may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A conviction of misdemeanor sexual battery is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $2,000. A felony conviction of sexual battery may bring a sentence of two to four years in state prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Statutory Rape: California Penal Code § 261.5
California Penal Code § 261.5 defines sexual intercourse with any person under age 18 as statutory rape, regardless of whether the act was consensual or who initiated it. Statutory rape may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The age difference between the people involved may affect how the charge is filed. If the age difference is less than three years, the charge is a misdemeanor.
Rape: California Penal Code § 261
California law defines rape as non-consensual sexual intercourse by means of force, threats, or deception. Some people who have not committed a sex crime may be falsely accused of and charged with rape for various reasons, such as mistaken identity, false allegations, or more. Rape is a very serious charge carrying years in prison upon conviction. You need a skilled Santa Barbara defense attorney if you are facing a rape charge.
Sex Offender Registry
California was the first state in the nation to adopt a sex offender registration law. Because of California's large population and the requirement of lifetime registration, California has the highest number of registered sex offenders in the United States. Since 2004, the public has been able to access information online about the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders who are required to register, under Megan's Law.
If you are convicted of certain sex-related offenses, California law requires that you register with local law enforcement as a sex offender and update the information annually within five days of your birthday and whenever you move to a new address. Knowingly failing to register is a violation of Penal Code § 290(b) and may lead to a charge of failing to a register as a sex offender, a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of a year in jail.
Not all registered sex offenders who are included in the California Department of Justice database are identified publicly on the sex offender registry website. Whether an individual's name and address are publicly disclosed depends on the type of sex crime for which the person was required to register.
Sex offenders may apply for an exclusion from being published on the Megan's Law Internet website if they meet the following conditions:
- The offense was a violation of Penal Code § 243.4 (a) felony conviction of sexual battery by restraint.
- The offense was a violation of Penal Code § 647.6 child molestation.
- The offense did not involve penetration or oral copulation involving a child, stepchild, grandchild, or sibling of the offender, and the offender has completed probation.
- The offense was felony child pornography where the victim was at least 16 years old or older, Penal Code §§ 311.1, 3111.2 (b), (c), or (d), or Penal Code §§ 311.3, 311.4, 311.10, or 311.11.
Some individuals whose sex offense convictions are eligible for exclusion from public disclosure may obtain relief from the lifetime requirement to register annually by filing a certificate of rehabilitation, as outlined by California Penal Code § 290.5. Depending on the specific sex offense, an individual is eligible to apply for a certificate of rehabilitation 7 to 10 years after release from custody or completion of probation.
Protect your reputation, your rights, and your freedom. Call (805) 962.4944 if you've been accused of a sex crime.