Phoenix Sex Crimes Lawyer

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Arizona takes sex crimes seriously. People convicted of sex crimes may face years in prison. They may also have to register as a sex offender on the Arizona sex offender registry. If someone has accused you of a sex crime in Phoenix, you cannot afford to take your situation lightly. You must vigorously defend yourself against these charges or face losing your freedom and reputation.

Being convicted of a sex crime can follow you forever. In addition to the criminal penalties you may face, a sex crime conviction changes how people see you, affecting your opportunities for employment, socialization, and more.

A strong defense against these charges may help you avoid jail time and other penalties while preserving your reputation. Contact a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer with Gurion Legal, PLLC today.

Being charged with a sex crime does not necessarily mean that you will be found guilty. Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt and cannot be used against you. However, some people falsely accuse others of committing sex offenses, and it is possible to be convicted of a serious offense even when you are innocent.

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Types of Sex Crimes and Penalties in Phoenix

We represent clients facing many types of sex crime charges, including:

Indecent Exposure

According to Arizona law, a person commits indecent exposure if they expose specific body parts to another person if that would offend a reasonable. The specific body parts include the genitals or anus of a man or woman or the nipples or areolas of one or more breasts of a woman. The law specifically excludes breastfeeding women from prosecution.

The penalties in Arizona for indecent exposure depend on the age of the person who saw the exposure and the number of prior convictions for the person who exposed themselves.

  • People who expose themselves to a person over the age of 15 commit a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum of six months in jail.
  • People with two or more prior convictions of indecent exposure to a person over the age of 15 commit a Class 6  felony, which is punishable by a prison sentence of six months to 15 years.
  • People who expose themselves to a minor under 15 commit a Class 6 felony, which is punishable by a prison sentence of 4 months to 2 years.
  • People convicted of felony indecent exposure and have two or more prior convictions for indecent exposure or public sexual indecency to a minor under 15 commit a Class 3 felony.

Public Sexual Indecency

Arizona law defines public sexual indecency as intentionally or knowingly engaging in the following acts in the presence of another person while being reckless about whether a reasonable person would be offended or alarmed by the act:

  • Sexual contact
  • Oral sexual contact
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Bestiality

Public sexual indecency in the presence of a person over the age of 15 is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Public sexual indecency in the presence of a person under the age of 15 is a Class 5 felony punishable by a prison sentence of six months to 2.5 years. A defendant with two or more prior felony convictions may face up to 15 years in prison.

Sexual Abuse

Arizona law defines sexual abuse as intentional sexual contact with a person over 15 without that person’s consent or sexual contact of the female breast with a person under 15. Defendants in a position of trust who made sexual contact with a person 15 to 17 cannot use the minor’s consent as a defense.

Sexual abuse is a Class 5 felony. Sexual abuse of a minor under age 15 is a Class 3 felony.

Sexual Assault

Arizona law defines sexual assault as intentionally engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with a person without their consent.

The penalties depend on the defendant’s prior convictions, whether they administered drugs to the victim without their consent, and whether they inflicted any serious injury.

  • A first offense can be punished by a prison sentence of 5.25 to 14 years.
  • Subsequent offenses can bring prison sentences of seven to 21 years.
  • Sexual assault using flunitrazepam, gamma hydroxybutyrate, or ketamine hydrochloride without the victim’s knowledge increases the prison sentence by three years.
  • Sexual assault with the intentional infliction of serious injury may be punished by life in prison with no suspension of sentence, probation, pardon, or release until 25 years have been served or specific conditions have been met.

Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

According to Arizona law, people commit sexual exploitation of a minor when they knowingly commit any of the following acts with the visual depiction of a minor engaged in exploitive exhibition or other sexual conduct:

  • Record
  • Film
  • Photograph
  • Develop
  • Duplicate
  • Distribute
  • Transport
  • Exhibit
  • Receive
  • Sell
  • Purchase
  • Electronically transmit
  • Possess
  • Exchange

Sexual exploitation of a child is a Class 2 felony and is punishable by a prison sentence of 10 years to life, depending on the defendant’s prior convictions.

Luring a Minor

Arizona law defines luring a minor as offering or soliciting sexual conduct with another person while knowing or having reason to know that the other person is a minor. It does not matter if an adult posed as a minor or a fictitious character. A defendant cannot use the fact that the other person is an adult as a defense.

Luring a minor over the age of 15 is a Class 3 felony. Per Arizona law, if the minor is under the age of 15, the penalty is a prison sentence of five to 15 years or 10 to 24 years for aggravated luring of a minor.

Child Trafficking

Child trafficking laws target people who place minors into prostitution and those who engage in prostitution with a minor.

According to Arizona law, a person commits child trafficking if they:

  • Permit, use, or cause a minor to engage in prostitution
  • Transport or finance the transport of a minor to engage in prostitution
  • Benefit from the minor’s prostitution
  • Assist in other ways to make the minor available for prostitution
  • Knowingly engage in prostitution with a minor under 15
  • Knowingly engage in prostitution with a minor that they know or should know is 15 to 17

Child trafficking is a felony, and the punishment depends on the age of the child prostituted and the defendant’s prior convictions. Prison sentences range from seven to 50 years.

Who Must Register With the Arizona Sex Offender Registry

The Arizona Department of Public Safety maintains a registry of sex offenders. This registry includes the name, address, and photograph of each sex offender and their history of convictions in Arizona. The department updates the register daily. The public can search this registry online to obtain information about registered offenders.

Arizona law requires you to register if you are convicted of:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Luring a minor
  • Child sex trafficking

Offenders with a single conviction for indecent exposure or public indecency do not have to register. However, the Arizona Attorney General confirms that registered sex offenders must notify the county sheriff whenever they change their address.

Registering as a sex offender will haunt you for the rest of your life. Anyone can search the registry and learn all about you. Your neighbors and community members may shun or gossip about you, preventing you from becoming a thriving community member. Defending yourself against these charges now can preserve your reputation.

How a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help With Your Sex Crime Defense

Sex crime cases are often complex and require a tailored legal approach. Attorney Gurion is a Board Certified Criminal Specialist certified by the State Bar of Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. He has represented many people charged with serious crimes, including sex crimes, and works hard to reduce or dismiss charges whenever possible.

When you choose Gurion Legal to represent you against the sex crime charges you face, our Phoenix lawyers will listen to your explanation of what really happened and give you an honest assessment of the case. Then, we will present you with your options, recommend the best course forward, and craft a defense strategy that best explains your side of the story.

Potential Defenses in a Sex Crime Case in Phoenix

There is no one-size-fits-all defense when it comes to a sex crime case. Our lawyers serving Phoenix will work to create a defense that fits your story and fights against any evidence against you.

Depending on the charges you face, we may consider possible defenses such as:

  • Alternative explanation: If you face charges of public indecency or indecent exposure, someone claims they saw your genitals, anus, nipples, or areolas, or saw you engaging in specific sexual acts. We can propose another explanation for what they think they saw. For example, you may have been massaging your inner thigh, not exposing your genitals.
  • Line of sight: Charges of public indecency or indecent exposure often rest on one party’s version of what they claim they saw. We may argue that, based on where you were in relation to the other party, they did not have an unobstructed line of sight and therefore did not have a clear view of what really happened.
  • Intent: To be convicted of many sex crimes, it is not enough that you committed the act—you must have recklessly committed it. We can argue that you did not have any reckless intent. For example, perhaps you did not know that the person could see you because you were unaware of their presence. Or perhaps you knew someone was present but genuinely believed you would not offend them.
  • Consent: Sexual assault cases require that the sexual activity was not consensual. Unfortunately, some adults consent but then claim they did not consent after the fact. We can argue that the sexual activity was indeed consensual.
  • False charges: Unfortunately, people may make malicious, false claims of sex crimes to purposely harm you. We can build a case that the charges against you are baseless.
  • Alibi: We can use evidence such as cell phone records, security camera footage, and interviews with eyewitnesses to show that you have an alibi placing you elsewhere at the time of the alleged crime.
  • Mistaken identity: We can show that the victim cannot firmly identify you as the perpetrator of the sex crime.
  • Insufficient evidence: We can examine the evidence against you and determine if there is enough evidence to prove the charges you face beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Illegal search and seizure: We may show that authorities illegally obtained the evidence against you and cannot use it against you.
  • Entrapment: If a police officer used coercion to get you to commit a crime, we may show that you would not normally have engaged in such behavior.

We can consider these defenses and others based on the specifics of your case. Whatever charges you face, we will vigorously defend you against them.

Contact a Phoenix Sex Crime Lawyer at Gurion Legal Today

State Bar of Arizona certified specialistYou face drastic consequences if you are convicted of a sex crime in Phoenix. In addition to a long—possibly lifelong—prison sentence, you may have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. With your personal and professional life at stake, you must not be cavalier when defending yourself against these allegations.

Let a lawyer with experience handling sex crimes cases like yours craft a strong defense on your behalf. If you have been charged with or are under investigation for a sex crime, contact the team at Gurion Legal today. Contact us online or call (480) 800-0020 now, so we can start working together to build your defense.

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