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Being accused of a sex crime in Los Angeles can have enormous implications for your future. Those implications become dire if you are convicted. Convictions for sexual assault, rape, lewd conduct and related charges can lead to years spent in prison. Just as bad, many people who are convicted of sex crimes are required to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives. This affects where you live, the jobs you may be able to obtain and many other facets of your life. You’ll have to endure the fact that the public has access to records that brand you as a sex offender, and this knowledge is crippling for many people who are just trying to live their lives. If you’re being investigated for a sex crime, you need an experienced Los Angeles sexual assault attorney to work in your defense.
Registration as a Sex Offender in California
While being sentenced to prison is certainly a difficult reality to deal with, many people struggle even more with being required to register as a sex offender. California law requires that offenders register themselves at their local police department each year on their birthday. Also, because of Megan’s Law, photographs of the offender and their personal data will likely be available to the public via a website. The argument is that such efforts keep the public safe. While this may be true in some cases, it does not make the registration requirement any easier for people who were wrongfully convicted or who were forced to plead to a crime they feel they didn’t commit.
Prosecutors like to push for registration on nearly every sex crime. However, an experienced California sex crime defense lawyer may be able to negotiate a different deal for you. The key may be to get a defense attorney involved on your behalf as early as you can. It’s possible to hire an attorney before you are charged. This way, your lawyer may be able to prevent charges from being filed. If this does not work out, your attorney will already be familiar with many of the pertinent facts of your case and can quickly begin to work toward resolving the situation.
Many Sex Crime Accusations in Los Angeles Are Based on Lies
Any seasoned sex crimes attorney will tell you that many of these cases begin with a lie. Whether it is a divorcing couple that is battling over child custody issues or a pair of college kids who got really drunk one night, many of these cases begin with one party trying to take revenge on the other. Stories get embellished and exaggerated. What was actually consensual becomes forced or even violent when the story is related to the police. Charges are filed. Before you know it, the other party is being arrested. Law enforcement considers sex crimes to be very serious offenses. This means that they aggressively pursue those who are accused of these crimes. Many of these situations become a case of “he said, she said,” with little concrete evidence to back up either side. Police tend to believe the accuser in these situations, and that is bad news for the suspect.
Judges can also be quite cautious and conservative when it comes to trying sex crimes. Like the police, they see these offenses as being among the most serious. Many of them are mindful of the fact that people who are convicted of a sex crime sometimes become repeat offenders. They don’t want to be the judge who let an offender off with a light sentence, especially when that offender commits a more heinous crime later. It’s completely unfair, but some judges tend to throw the book at Los Angeles sex crime defendants just because they don’t want a decision to come back to haunt them.
Criminal defense lawyers who lack experience with sex crimes may not be able to adequately protect their client from overzealous police, prosecutors and judges. The case is quite different when you choose a seasoned sex crimes attorney. Contact one of the practitioners at this Los Angeles criminal defense firm today so you can begin to protect yourself.
Penalties for Sex Crimes in Los Angeles
People may be accused of a wide variety of sex crimes in Los Angeles. These may range from lewd conduct and solicitation to child molestation, rape and sexual battery. The law takes all of these charges very seriously. Accordingly, a person accused of a sex crime in California may be looking at several years in prison. The worst of these crimes may even result in a sentence of life in prison. The nightmare doesn’t end for people who do eventually get released from incarceration. They still face a lifetime of annual registration as a sex offender. They’ll find it incredibly difficult to find any employment, which makes it problematic to pay for rent, buy food or provide other necessities. A sex crimes conviction is just the beginning of a long and arduous journey.
Hire an Experienced Los Angeles Sex Crimes Defense Attorney
Don’t put your future in the hands of an inexperienced lawyer. When so much is at stake, you need the assistance of a seasoned, qualified criminal defense attorney. Schedule a consultation today so your story can be heard. It may be possible to have the charges against you reduced or dropped so you can move on with your life.