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Why Should You Hire an Experienced Sex Crimes Attorney?

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Apr 10, 2024

When you or someone you love is facing sex-related criminal charges in California, it's crucial that you have an experienced sex crimes defense attorney to obtain the best possible outcome

Simply put, the most important decision you will make is which sex crimes defense lawyer to hire. Some essential questions to consider are: How many years of experience does the law firm have successfully helping people facing charges of sex crimes? How much experience does the defense firm have defending people facing the specific criminal charges you face?

Experienced Sex Crimes Attorney
Hiring an experienced sex crime lawyer will give you the best chance of a favorable outcome.

The law firm you hire must be familiar with the type of criminal charges you face. Suppose you are considering hiring an attorney but are unsure how much experience that attorney has. In that case, it is appropriate to ask the lawyer how many years of experience the firm has in handling sex crimes.

It is also essential to hear from previous clients how the law firm handled their cases. You should review the law firm's website for testimonials and case results. Ask the lawyer where to find this information. Check their review sites, such as Google and Avvo, to see what past clients say about them.

The law firm you retain should have years of experience defending defendants accused of sex crimes and substantial experience in the court where your case is pending.

Every court has unique procedures and staff. Thus, your lawyer must be familiar with the local courthouse. Suppose your lawyer knows the court procedures and how the judges and prosecutors operate where your case is pending. That knowledge can give you a significant advantage in your case and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. 

If you've been accused of a sex crime in Los Angeles County or the surrounding areas, you might be in for a difficult period because California has strict laws and punishments regarding sex crimes. 

What are the Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction?

Suppose no charges are filed, the charges are dismissed, or you were acquitted. In that case, the fact that you were even accused of a sex crime could result in significant negative consequences in your life. It can also substantially damage your personal and professional reputation, job insecurity, etc.  

Suppose you are convicted of a sex crime, regardless of guilt or innocence. In that case, the consequences are much more severe, including the following:

Therefore, due to these reasons, if you're under investigation or accused of a sex offense, hiring a highly experienced California sex crimes lawyer is critical to protecting your legal rights and your future.

What are the Benefits of Having a Sex Crimes Lawyer?

California has some of the strictest sex crime laws in the United States. If you are convicted, you could face huge fines, lengthy prison sentences, and mandatory registration as a sex offender and have your name listed on the Megan's Law website.  

Benefits of Having a Sex Crimes Lawyer

This can significantly impact your ability to find employment and secure housing. You will also have to renew your registration annually and after every move. Depending on the crime, you'll have to do this for ten years, 20 years, or for life. Simply put, you will need a lawyer to possibly avoid a conviction or get the charges reduced that do not require sex registration.

A sex crimes defense attorney is typically an expert in California's unique laws and court procedures. This means they know the legal precedents being used against you and how to build the best defense strategy. Simply put, they will always seek your best interest.

Retaining a lawyer before filing can determine whether you will face criminal charges. Our law firm has successfully conducted an independent investigation of sex crime cases, prepared a mitigation package, and convinced the district attorney not to file formal criminal charges, known as a “DA reject.” 

It's not unusual for sex-related cases to be under criminal investigation for several months. Thus, during this period, when you know you are under an investigation and before criminal charges have been filed, you must hire a sex crimes lawyer to have the best chance of a favorable outcome through the prefiling intervention process.

What Is a Sex Offense in California?

Sex crime laws in California cover a wide range of offenses. Each one often carries harsh penalties and collateral repercussions, such as the following: 

  • Penal Code 261 PC Rape.  This is engaging in sexual intercourse under certain conditions, such as against a victim's will or when they are incapacitated and incapable of giving consent.
  • Penal Code 261 PC Date Rape. The crime of rape also includes date rape which occurs during a date and carries the same harsh penalties.
  • Penal Code 261.5 PC Statutory Rape. This crime means engaging in consensual sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 18.
  • Penal Code 243.4 PC Sexual Battery. This crime means touching an intimate part of someone's body against their will for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse.
  • Penal Code 288 PC Lewd Acts with a Minor. This crime involves touching a minor child under age 14 for sexual purposes, such as gratification or arousal. 
  • Penal Code 647(a) PC Lewd Conduct in Public. This law covers a range of behaviors, such as engaging in sexual acts in public places or situations where it might offend others.
  • Penal Code 647(b) PC Prostitution and Solicitation. This law refers to inviting, encouraging, or requesting someone to engage in prostitution or engage directly in prostitution. It's the exchange of sexual services for money or other compensation. Both are prosecuted the same under this law.
  • Penal Code 266 PC Enticing a Child to Prostitution. This law makes it a crime to solicit, induce, or attempt to persuade someone under 18 into engaging in prostitution. 
  • Penal Code 314 PC Indecent Exposure. This law involves someone exposing their genitals in public, often intending to alarm or offend others or for sexual gratification or arousal.
  • Penal Code 311 PC Child Pornography. This law makes it a crime to possess, distribute, or produce material depicting minors engaged in sexual activity.
  • Penal Code 266c PC Unlawful Sexual Intercourse. This law covers any act of sexual intercourse that is not entirely consensual by both parties, such as through fraudulent representation or threats invoking fear.
  • Penal Code 286 PC Sodomy. This crime involves anal intercourse without consent and is a wobbler in certain circumstances, such as when committed against a minor between 14-18 years old.
  • Penal Code 287 PC Oral Copulation.  This law covers non-consensual contact between a person's mouth and sexual organs or anus, excluding penetration. It includes using force on adults or a minor.
  • Penal Code 289 PC Forcible Sexual Penetration with a Foreign Object. This law covers forcible penetration with a foreign object that penetrates the vagina or anus of a victim using a foreign object by use of force or fear without their consent. 

How Can a Sex Crime Lawyer Help You?

Suppose you're facing criminal charges under California's sex crimes laws. In that case, you'll have a better chance of a favorable outcome by retaining a lawyer with specific experience in the sex crime for which you are charged. Some reasons why include the following: 

  • Sex crime laws are complex. The laws surrounding sex crimes in California are complex and require a clear understanding to navigate them effectively. A lawyer with experience will possess the necessary knowledge to correctly interpret these laws and apply them to your case, which can increase your legal options.
  • Experience in local court. Every jurisdiction has unique procedures. An experienced lawyer will know these procedures in the local court where your case is pending. They will know the prosecutors and judges and how to negotiate effectively. This experience can prove crucial when presenting your case before a judge or jury.
  • Relationship with district attorney. Experienced defense lawyers will have spent years building professional relationships with prosecutors. These valuable relationships can often lead to beneficial negotiations or plea deals. It might also be possible to avoid the formal filing of criminal charges through prefiling intervention. 
  • Case mitigation. Many sex crime cases carry harsh penalties and mandatory sex offender registration. An experienced lawyer will know how to present mitigating factors to reduce the charges or sentence or, in some cases, drop the charges altogether. Perhaps the lawyer may be able to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor and plea bargain for lesser crimes that do not have sex offender registration.

Suppose you are under criminal investigation or have already been charged with a sex crime. In that case, contact us for a free case evaluation. The Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles, CA. 

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About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.

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Hedding Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about state or federal sex crime issues in California and throughout the United States.

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