Crucial Factor of Intent in Sex Crime Cases
Can a Defense of Accident of Mistake be Used in a Sex Crime Prosecution in Los Angeles? Many people somehow get themselves into a circumstance where they're either being investigated or prosecuted for a sex crime, and they're coming in and indicating to me that they had no intent to commit the sex crime that they're being charged with.
It can be as simple as somebody who accidentally touches another person in a crowded space, and the touch ends up being in a private location on that person.
That person gets the authorities involved, and the next thing you know, the person is either being investigated, or they have a City Attorney hearing, or they have a criminal case.
They indicated they didn't touch the person on purpose and had a story about how the touch occurred.
So, the answer is yes. That could be a defense in a sex crime case. You have to have the intent to touch the person sexually.
Now, of course, in assessing whether or not that defense might be successful, the police and the prosecutors are going to be:
- evaluating the circumstances, what you did, and
- your criminal record.
In other words, if the circumstances are such that it appears that you intentionally touched the person and you're just claiming that it was an accident or a mistake. The prosecutors are going to file the case.
They will argue that your defense doesn't hold water and makes sense under the circumstances. But, if, on the other hand, you have:
- no criminal record,
- there's no reason for you to touch the person,
- you don't know the person, and
- circumstances are such that it could have been an accident.
Often, you'll get the benefit of the doubt, either from the police, the prosecutors, or a jury if they hear the evidence on the case.
Circumstances of the Sex Crime Case
So, there are a lot of factors that go into whether or not you could utilize a mistake or an accident as a defense in a sex crime case. But the simple answer is absolutely.
You could say it was a mistake or an accident, again, though, depending on the circumstances. Sometimes I've had people and lewd conduct or expose themselves publicly, claiming that whatever happened was a mistake.
And under the right circumstances, of course, that could be true. But again, they're going to look at what happened, who was involved, whether you have any other convictions or allegations related to this type of conduct.
If someone's done inappropriate conduct before and now, they're doing it again claiming that it was a mistake, they're going to have a tough road to follow that the same mistake keeps happening repeatedly.
Criminal Defense For California Sex Crimes
A lot of this stuff is common sense, but I'm going to tell you right now, the biggest thing is you have to get a great criminal defense attorney on your side. I've been doing this now for 27 years.
I've worked for the DA's office. I've worked for a Superior Court Judge in Los Angeles. I've been a criminal defense attorney defending sex crime cases and sometimes utilize this defense of accident or mistake to represent my clients successfully.
Because many of these cases are sitting in a gray area, or maybe the prosecutors have the evidence and the goods on you.
However, having that great criminal defense attorney can keep you out of prison and can save you from registering as a sex offender, and can keep you from some of the horrible ramifications that can come with a sex crime case in Los Angeles.
So, if you or a loved one is charged with a sex crime and you want to look into the defense of accident or mistake, you've come to the right place.
Pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you.
We serve people in all Southern California courts, including LA County, Orange County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, Long Beach, Anaheim, Hollywood, Riverside, and San Bernardino.