Sex Crimes Lawyer Oakland
Being accused of a sex crime is stressful and frightening. Even if you know you are innocent of the charges, the mere accusation could harm your reputation permanently if you don’t get the help you need. When you contact us for your free consultation, you will be able to speak freely about the circumstances leading up to the charges without fear of judgment. Because of the sex crime attorney-client relationship, we will not share the details you provide in private so that we can start building your criminal defense.
Sex Offender Registration Laws in CA
If you are convicted of any of the sex crime charges under PC 290, the California Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA), you will need to register as a sex offender for the rest of your natural life. Registration is annual even if you don’t move, and you have 5 days to update your address with local law enforcement when you change addresses. Anyone can look up your name and/or address to see your status. Your Oakland sex crime lawyer will evaluate your case to see if you may be eligible to have your name removed from the registry.
What Is a Sex Crime in California?
Under California law, a sex crime is any misdemeanor or criminal offense that is sexual in nature. Some common sex offenses include:
- Indecent Exposure, a minor sounding charge that can have devastating consequences in your life;
- Child Molestation or Child Sex Abuse, where any minor may be considered a victim of the offense;
- Sexual Battery or Sexual Assault, which can be any unwanted touching even if the touching is nonviolent;
- Statutory Rape, where consent is not a defense because under California law someone under 18 cannot legally consent;
- Child Pornography, which prohibits the possession or manufacture of any sexual material regarding minors;
- Date Rape, which includes circumstances where the victim could not consent because of intoxication or unconsciousness; and
- Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, punishable either as a misdemeanor or a felony.
The crimes of prostitution and soliciting a prostitute do not require sex offender registration. Your Oakland CA defense attorney can discuss your charges and your potential penalties and defenses.
Sentencing for Oakland Sex Crimes
Misdemeanor crimes in California are punishable by up to one year in the county jail, but the judge may also put you on probation and order you to pay restitution and fines. Your attorney in Oakland can help you to present mitigating evidence to prove that you should not receive a harsh punishment. If you are convicted of a felony sex crime in California, you are also required to disclose your conviction on employment applications, and you are banned from owning or possessing a firearm.
How Does an Oakland Sex Crimes Attorney Defend a Person Charged with a Sex Crime?
Just as in any other criminal proceeding, defendants can choose not to testify on their own behalf. The burden is entirely on the State to prove the case. You should always keep quiet and let your defense lawyers speak for you.
The State may bring forensic evidence trying to place you at the scene of a crime, but you can use your own experts to rebut their testimony. Any evidence obtained illegally should be suppressed, and your Oakland sex crime lawyer will handle your suppression hearing as part of your defense. Other common defenses include:
- You may be the victim of a false accusation, so you can look for evidence of motive.
- There was no sexual contact. Sometimes the other party was mistaken.
- The sex was consensual, or you had an honest and reasonable belief that the accuser consented.
- There is not enough evidence to prove that you committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Remember that voluntary intoxication is never a defense against a sex crime.
Let our Oakland Sex Crimes Attorneys Help
If you or a loved one are facing potential charges for a sex offense in Oakland CA, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Call us today for a free consultation so we can offer you legal advice on how to get the best result on your case.