San Joaquin Sex Crimes Lawyer
Experienced Defense Against Sex Crime Charges in Fresno, Sacramento, & Stanislaus Counties
Our society is rightly horrified by crimes of a sexual nature. But it’s too common for that rightful horror at the crime to lead to prejudging the specific person accused. Defendants who are charged with sex crimes can find themselves abandoned by friends and perhaps even their own family. They face these charges from a District Attorney’s office that may be feeling public pressure to get a conviction. In this crucial hour of their lives, a defendant needs to know that their San Joaquin sex crimes lawyer has their back. Defendants need to know their attorney believes in them and has a deep understanding of how the criminal justice system works.
From our San Joaquin office, Krueger Legal serves clients in all of Fresno County and throughout Sacramento and Stanislaus counties. With over 10 years of experience in criminal law, we want to lead the fight for the reputation and freedom of you or the person you love.
Types of Sex Crimes
The term “sex crime” covers a broad range of illegal activities. It can include misdemeanor offenses such as public lewdness. Sex crimes also include serious felonies, such as rape or offenses involving child pornography, which can lead to very long prison sentences. Other sex crimes include activities involving prostitution, assault, and more.
What are the Penalties for Sex Crimes in California?
As mentioned above, the penalties for sex crimes may vary from either a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the specific offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the age of the victim, and the defendant's prior criminal record. The following are some general examples of penalties:
- Rape: This is considered a felony in California. The penalties can include imprisonment in state prison for three, six, or eight years. If certain aggravating factors exist, like the use of a firearm or the victim being a minor, the penalties could be increased.
- Sexual assault: Sexual assault can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Felony sexual assault can lead to imprisonment in state prison for up to four years. Misdemeanor sexual assault can lead to a maximum of one year in county jail.
- Possession or distribution of child pornography: Possession or distribution of child pornography is a felony in California. Penalties can include imprisonment in state prison for up to three, six, or eight years, depending on the specific circumstances.
- Prostitution (soliciting or engaging in the act): Prostitution is commonly considered a misdemeanor offense in California. The penalties for a first-time offense could include fines of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment in county jail of up to six months.
- Public lewdness (lewd conduct): Public lewd conduct is generally considered a misdemeanor in California. The penalties could include fines of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment in county jail for up to six months.
What is Megan’s Law?
The length of a jail sentence can vary depending on a variety of circumstances that include the crime itself and the prior record of the defendant. But regardless, any conviction of a sex crime requires the defendant to register on the “Megan’s Law” state database as a sex offender.
Megan Kanka is a little girl who was murdered in 1994 by someone who moved into her parent’s neighborhood, having a prior record as a sex offender. The result was legislation that required the establishment of a database wherein those with sex crime convictions would have to register. The purpose was to allow people to know if anyone with a sex crime history was living in their neighborhood.
How Does Being a Sex Offender Affect Your Life?
The public nature of the database can drastically hinder a defendant’s efforts to rebuild their life, even after they have served their time. Getting housing and employment can become more difficult, as can developing new friendships.
Other consequences also follow a defendant around after conviction. Depending on the nature of the crime, it’s possible that one might lose their right to vote or to own a firearm, at least for some period of time. All of this is in addition to the prison time and fines that may be handed down by a judge in the event of a conviction.
How To Defend Against Sex Crimes Charges
The defense strategy used for each defendant will depend on the unique circumstances of their case. Sex crime allegations can often involve one person’s word against another.
- The burden of proof in these situations lies on the prosecution because defendants are presumed innocent unless proven otherwise.
- Defendants might also pro-actively prove innocence by demonstrating they were somewhere else entirely at the time of the alleged crime.
- Even in cases where the prosecution’s evidence is strong, there are still opportunities for a skilled San Joaquin sex crimes lawyer to fight for reduced sentencing. While intoxication is not a defense for the crime itself, it might be introduced as a reason for a lighter sentence.
- The defendant’s prior record can be used on their behalf at sentencing. Defendants who make restitution to a victim may be able to positively influence the judge at sentencing time.
Judges have leeway, which in some cases can include probation. While the best outcome is acquittal, and that’s what is to be aimed for, there are still a wide range of outcomes that can seriously impact whether a defendant can rebuild their life when this is all over. We’re here to fight for their right to do that.
The criminal justice system isn’t perfect. Better than most, our founding partner, Attorney Phillip Krueger, knows that. Before becoming a defense lawyer, he worked as a prosecutor. He knows the system from both sides. He, and the entire team here at Krueger Legal, are determined to leverage that knowledge and experience to help defendants get the fair treatment, presumption of innocence, and second chance that the system is supposed to promise.
Contact Krueger Legal today to get started on your defense with our San Joaquin sex crimes lawyer.
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