Navigating accusations of a sex offense can be an incredibly distressing and complex journey. Allegations of this nature carry a heavy societal stigma and often result in life-altering consequences if not handled appropriately. It’s at this crucial moment that the significance of a skilled criminal defense attorney becomes essential.
If you believe you are or are about to be under investigation, or you are already facing sex crimes charges in Los Angeles or any other county in California, contact the Law Office of Ryan Peabody today at (310) 709-2000. We have over a decade of experience handling various criminal law matters. We’ll use this experience to prepare an effective defense in your case.
Contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation with a skilled Los Angeles sex crimes lawyer.
How the Law Office of Ryan Peabody Can Help If You’re Arrested for a Sex Crime in Los Angeles, CA
Seeking the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer is critical if you’re accused of a sex crime in Los Angeles, CA. We’ll use our professional understanding to navigate the legal maze and work tirelessly toward defending your rights.
Our experienced Los Angeles sex crimes attorney can help you in the following ways:
Provide Sound Legal Advice and Guidance
We will explain the charges against you while outlining potential consequences. We will also help you understand legal jargon and court protocols when necessary.
Build a Strong Defense
No two cases are identical. We’ll work closely with you to develop a strong, tailor-made defense strategy. This could involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, or seeking expert testimonies that support your innocence.
Protect Your Legal Rights Throughout the Process
As trained legal professionals, we’ll ensure to safeguard your rights throughout the process. We will file motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence if constitutional violations occur (for example illegal searches or Miranda rights violations).
In some instances, negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution can mitigate your potential punishment. Leveraging our negotiation skills and legal experience, we aim to strike the best possible agreement for you, which could include pleading guilty to a lesser offense to avoid being required to register as a sex offender.
If your case goes to trial, having knowledgeable representation becomes even more crucial. To successfully defend a sex crimes case, you need an attorney with extensive experience cross-examining the prosecution’s witnesses. This cross-examination is crucial when confronting the complaining witness, as well as the prosecution’s expert and law enforcement witnesses.
Defense witnesses, while not required nor existing in every case, are to be explored and called if helpful to the case. A defense expert witness can be critical in some cases, although not necessary in others. It is also critical to keep out unduly prejudicial evidence and any other inadmissible evidence that hurts your case. This is done through pretrial motions, motions in limine, and contemporaneous verbal objections during trial.
Picking a jury that can give you a fair trial is critical — as many jurors have difficulty giving you the presumption of innocence and holding the government to the very high burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, given the inflammatory nature of these kinds of charges. After the evidence is in, the prosecution gives their closing argument, followed by the defense, and then the prosecution is allowed to give a rebuttal argument to the defense’s argument. This is a critical stage of the trial where counsel has the ability to tell the jury why the evidence that they heard from the prosecution is not sufficient to prove each and every element beyond a reasonable doubt. We point out every important inconsistency, contradictions in the evidence, motives to lie, absence of evidence, all evidence in the case that cast doubts on guilt and points towards innocence. It is also critical to make sure, by making objections, that the prosecutor does not commit prosecutorial misconduct by engaging in improper argument.
From presenting compelling arguments before the judge and jury to objecting to improper questions and behaviors from prosecutors, we will be by your side every step of the way. If you’ve been charged with a sex crime in Los Angeles, California, we can help. Contact the Law Office of Ryan Peabody to schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.
Overview of Sex Crimes in California
Our Los Angeles-based legal team handles a variety of sex crimes under California law. Here’s an overview of some common offenses:
Indecent exposure involves exposing one’s private parts in public with the intent to cause offense or arousal. It’s a serious offense that can carry significant penalties if convicted.
Sexual battery commonly occurs when an individual touches another person for sexual gratification while the victim is unlawfully restrained.
Prostitution encompasses any act of engaging in a sexual act for financial compensation. Someone can also be charged when they solicit another to engage in a lewd act for money or other consideration.
Given the severe stigma in engaging in or soliciting prostitution, a good resolution, short of charges being dismissed or trial, is misdemeanor diversion under Penal Code section 1001.95. If granted diversion, the charge is dismissed after successful completion of the diversion period. This happens before one is ever convicted, keeping one’s record clean of such a problematic conviction.
Rape broadly describes engaging in sexual activity without receiving voluntary and explicit agreement from the victim. As per California law, lack of consent can arise through the use of force or threat but also involves situations where the victim did not (or could not) give clear affirmative approval – for example, when asleep or incapacitated due to intoxication.
This is a crime that entails participating in sexual intercourse with someone who’s under California’s age of consent. Even if the minor agrees to engage in or initiates the act, it’s considered statutory rape due to their inability to legally give consent.
Charges of child molestation are among the most serious charges someone can be charged with. The government aggressively pursues these cases with its vast resources. It is critical to speak with an attorney at the first instant you believe you could be under investigation or that you are being accused of a crime. Before arresting and charging you, law enforcement will seek to get you to make damaging statements, admissions, and ideally for them, a confession. They will employ such methods of having the alleged victim call you or speak with you while the conversation is recorded and confront you in hopes that you acknowledge that it happened or make statements they can otherwise use against you in court. It is critical that you not discuss the allegations with anyone other than an attorney. This includes not discussing the allegations with friends or family as well as law enforcement.
These cases are difficult, given the massive stigma attached to such an accusation. You need an experienced attorney with a track record of success in these cases. You need that attorney at the beginning of the investigation.
The penalties are great for these offenses, and they vary depending on what acts were alleged to have occurred, prior convictions (if any), and other factors. These are typically prison cases and lengthy ones at that. The collateral consequences are great given the extreme social stigma attached to such an offense, affecting all areas of one’s life, including having to register as a sex offender.
What Are the Potential Penalties For Sex Crimes in Los Angeles, California?
If you’re convicted of a sex crime in California, the penalties can be quite severe and significantly impact your life. These punishments may include some or all of the following:
Depending on the severity of the crime, one of the potential penalties is spending a significant amount of time behind bars. This could be in a county jail for less severe offenses or in a state prison for more serious crimes.
Monetary fines are also imposed alongside most sexual offense convictions. These assigned amounts depend on factors such as the nature and degree of the crime committed.
Instead of incarceration, the judge might place you on probation, where you’re expected to adhere to certain conditions set by the court. These can include meeting with a probation officer, completing community service hours, attending counseling sessions, drug testing, and more.
If sentenced to prison for a sex crime, you could possibly be released on parole after serving part of your sentence. As a parolee, you need to comply with set conditions and avoid any criminal activities.
Mandatory Sex Offender Registration
Many sexual offenses in California require mandatory registration as a sex offender following conviction. This requires periodic reporting and public disclosure of your status. This is a life-altering consequence, potentially affecting housing and employment opportunities as well as social relationships.
The consequences of a conviction can be severe and long-lasting. It’s essential to speak with a Los Angeles sex crimes defense lawyer right away if you’re facing criminal charges.
What Defenses Can Be Raised If I’m Arrested for a Sex Offense in Los Angeles, CA?
When you are facing allegations of sex crimes, it’s essential to know that a guilty verdict isn’t inevitable. There are several legal defenses that can be raised, including the following:
If you can provide evidence that proves you were somewhere else when the alleged crime took place, this could lead to an acquittal. An alibi can include eyewitness testimony, video footage, receipts, or other evidence showing that you were somewhere else when the alleged sex crime occurred.
Proving that sexual activity was consensual between the involved participants serves as a powerful defense to some sex crimes. To show consent, your attorney can provide evidence such as direct testimony from you, witness statements, and shared communications between you and the alleged victim, like texts and emails.
Wrongly or Falsely Accused
The allegations against you are not true for one or a number of reasons and the prosecution has failed to prove each and every element beyond a reasonable doubt.
Mistake of Age in Statutory Rape Cases
If you’re charged with statutory rape, you may be able to use mistake of age as a legal defense. For example, if you can provide evidence that you had reason to believe the victim was of legal age – like they were being served alcoholic drinks in a bar – you may be able to obtain an acquittal.
Understanding and correctly implementing these defenses requires extensive legal knowledge and experience.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our Los Angeles Sex Crimes Attorney
Confronting sex crime charges comes with many challenges – not just immediate legal consequences but also potential long-standing repercussions on your personal, social, and professional life. It’s essential to work closely with an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who understands the laws and how to defend you and protect your rights.
If you’re facing criminal charges and need help, contact the Law Office of Ryan Peabody to schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles sex crimes lawyer.
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