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Should You Hire a Lawyer During a Sex Crime Investigation?

In the state of California, there are numerous different statutes that fall under the big umbrella of a “sex crime.” These are some of the most serious charges you could face and generally involve illegal or coerced sexual conduct against another person.

Clearly, all states within the country have their own laws that prohibit different types of sex crimes and each have their own statute of limitations, which is the time limit for a prosecutor to file formal criminal charges.

Should You Hire a Lawyer During a Sex Crime Investigation?

Anyone who is convicted of a sexual related offense often face the possibly of mandatory sex offender registration under California Penal Code 290 PC, which was recently changed to a three-tier system.

Put simply, depending on the type of sex crime conviction, you could be labeled a sex offender and have you name, picture, and address added to the state and federal sex offender registries which is available to the public.

You don't need anyone to tell you that facing allegations that you were involved in a sex crime is a very serious issue. In fact, depending on the case, it could be life-changing if you are convicted. Just an accusation can cause permanent damage to your reputation and career.

This article by our California sex crime defense lawyers is to give you a better understating of steps to take if you believe there you are under investigation.

Common California Sex Crime Charges

As noted, the state of California has numerous laws prohibiting different type of sex offenses, including the following:

  • Penal Code 220 PC - Assault with Intent to Commit Felony;
  • Penal Code 236.1 PC - Human Trafficking;
  • Penal Code 243.4 PC - Sexual Battery;
  • Penal Code 261.5 - Statutory Rape;
  • Penal Code 261 PC – Rape;
  • Penal Code 266h PC – Pimping;
  • Penal Code 266i PC – Pandering;
  • Penal Code 269 PC - Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child;
  • Penal Code 286(b) PC - Sodomy with a Minor;
  • Penal Code 287 PC – Oral Copulation by Force or Fear;
  • Penal Code 288.2 PC - Sending Harmful Matter to Seduce Minor;
  • Penal Code 288.3 PC - Contact a Minor to Commit a Felony;
  • Penal Code 288.4 PC – Arrange Meeting with Child for Lewd Purposes;
  • Penal Code 288.5 PC - Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child;
  • Penal Code 288.7 PC – Sex with a Minor under 10 years old;
  • Penal Code 288 PC - Lewd Acts with a Minor;
  • Penal Code 288a PC - Oral Copulation of a Minor;
  • Penal Code 289 PC - Sexual Penetration with a Foreign Object;
  • Penal Code 290 PC – Sex Offender Registration;
  • Penal Code 311PC - Child Pornography;
  • Penal Code 314 PC - Indecent Exposure;
  • Penal Code 647(a) PC - Lewd Conduct in Public;
  • Penal Code 647(b) PC - Solicitation of Prostitution;
  • Penal Code 647(J)(4) PC - Revenge Porn;
  • Penal Code 647.6 PC - Annoying or Molesting a Child;
  • Penal Code 653.22 PC - Loitering for Prostitution;
  • Penal Code 653.23 PC - Supervising or Aiding Prostitution;
  • Penal Code 667.61 PC – Sex Crimes with Life Sentence.

Why Retain an Attorney if You Think You're Under Investigation for a Sex Crime?

The bottom line is that attorneys who are experienced in defending sex crimes know what it takes to avoid a filing, know what it takes to help their clients not incriminate themselves.

The police and prosecutors are looking for their client to make a mistake and are looking for their client to say or do something that incriminates them. 

So, if you know that you're under investigation or you perceive that you're under investigation for a sex crime, you definitely want to hire an attorney:

  • someone that's got experience,
  • someone that's handled cases just like yours, starting from the investigation phase all the way through a trial.

Because they've traveled the road you're about to travel and they know what it takes to be successful.

Pretext Call in a Sex Offense Case

I've been doing this now for almost 30 years - defending people charged with sex crimes, so I know what the police do in the investigative phase. 

For example, the police will have the alleged victim or someone connected with the alleged victim call you, talk to you, try to get you to incriminate yourself, challenge you with what they claim that you have done, and see how you respond. 

They will tape record it. This is called a pretext call and it's basically a trap from the alleged victim to a suspect where police will record the call and coach the victim into getting the suspect to either confess or apologize for their sexual related conduct.

They can lawfully tape record it if they're investigating a crime and they will use whatever it is you said against you if they're able to. 

So, that's definitely one reason to hire an attorney. That attorney is able to advise you and tell you what will work and what's not going to work in your particular case.

Peace of Mind

Also, I think one of the most important reasons to hire an attorney in a sex crime investigation, is peace of mind.  Your attorney is going to be able to:

  • give you an idea of what you're up against,
  • what the chances are of the government filing a criminal case against you, and
  • act as a buffer between you and law enforcement.

So, when law enforcement comes, you'll be able to say, I've got an attorney.  He's hired.  He's the one you're to deal with. 

Your attorney's already going to know the backdrop of the case, be able to talk to the police and prosecutors who might be assigned to your case, and therefore, you're being protected.  You're being looked after even before a case is filed.

Prefiling Intervention

I can't tell you how many times people don't hire an attorney. They leave their head in the sand and they end up getting a criminal case filed against them.

A sex crime case where they're looking at jail, prison, sex registration, and there's things that they could have done before that case was filed to try to prevent a filing, number one and number two, there's things they shouldn't have done and wouldn't have one if they had an attorney by their side guiding them.

A process known as prefiling intervention is simply a negotiation with law enforcement detective and prosecutors in an attempt to avoid the formal filing of criminal charges before court by showing them mitigating factors.

Contact The Hedding Law Firm If Under a Sex Offense Investigation

So, the bottom line is, if you're under investigation for a sex crime and need help, you've come to the right place.

Contact The Hedding Law Firm If Under a Sex Offense Investigation

Pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I've been doing this for nearly 30 years.

I need to thoroughly review all the facts and circumstances of your case in order to determine an appropriate defense strategy.

I've worked for the District Attorneys' office, I've worked for a Superior Court Judge in Los Angeles and I've been the guiding force behind the Hedding Law Firm now since 1994. 

Make the call. Start to protect yourself right away. All is on the line. You need a champion by your side. 

Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles County and we offer a free case evaluation.

Contact Us Today

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

I'll privately discuss your case with you at your convenience. All consultations are free, discreet, and confidential. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.