Sex Crimes

 

Santa Barbara Sex Crimes Lawyers

 

Sex offenses are among the most abhorrent of crimes in the eyes of the public. Just being accused can result in unwanted media attention and extreme damage to one’s reputation, and it is not unusual for families to be torn apart and for marriages to fail under the strain. If you are under investigation for a sex crime, we urge you to do everything you can to hold on to your reputation and your way of life.

Invoke your right to an attorney and contact experienced criminal defense attorneys Sanford & Christy Horowitz as soon as possible. We’ll gladly sit down with you during a free consultation, thoroughly evaluate the evidence against you, and recommend your next steps to achieve the best possible results in your case.

 

Understanding Different Sex Crimes

 

The term “sex crimes” covers a wide range of criminal behavior. One of the more common sex crimes is rape. Common law defined rape as the unlawful intercourse by a man against a woman who is not his wife by force or threat against her will. Yet, most states have refined the definition of rape so that marriage, gender, and force are not pertinent. The crucial element in this crime is the victim’s lack of consent. A lack of consent can include the victim’s inability to say “no” to intercourse, due to effects of drugs or alcohol. It is important to note that people below the age of consent cannot legally consent to having sex; therefore, sex with a minor (someone below the age of consent) violates the law. The most common form of rape is forcible rape, in which an offender uses violence of threats of violence to force a victim into sexual intercourse. Each rape conviction varies according to circumstances and evidence provided during the trial. The average prison time for rape across the United States is between eight to nine years. Furthermore, once convicted, one is required to register as a sex crime offender and have that information made available to the public through the Internet and local police departments.

Another common sex crime is prostitution. Prostitution laws make it a crime to offer, agree to, or engage in a sexual act for compensation. Prostitution is illegal in all states except certain parts of Nevada, where it is strictly regulated. In California, a prostitute and a “customer” will be punished with a misdemeanor with imprisonment up to one year and/or a $1000 fine. A pimp (or middle-man) will be punished for a felony and the punishment varies from three to six years in prison.

Indecent exposure is the offense of purposefully displaying one’s genitals in public, causing others to be alarmed or offended. This crime is often committed for the sexual gratification of the offender or committed to entice a sexual response. In California, to be convicted of indecent exposure the prosecution must prove intent to sexually arouse, or sexually insult or offend. Exposing one’s genitals means to show your bare genitals. Showing a bare female breast is not considered exposing one’s genitals. Similarly, flashing someone your underwear is not indecent exposure for most indecent exposure statutes, including California. In most cases, a first indecent exposure conviction subjects you to misdemeanor penalties, such as a
few months in county jail and a fine. A second offense would likely rise to a felony and can lead to a state prison sentence. Worst of all, in some states any indecent exposure conviction is subject to a lifetime duty to register as a sex offender.

There are many other sex crimes other than rape, prostitution, and indecent exposure, such as sexual assault, solicitation, sexual battery, and sexting. The penalties for convictions vary, depending on whether the crime was a misdemeanor or a felony and can involve significant incarceration punishments, heavy fines, and other court conditions that seriously restrict one’s freedom. If you are charged with a sex offense, Sanford and Christy Horowitz will aggressively defend you to protect your civil rights.