Sex Crimes Defense Attorney In California
Our Top-Rated Los Angeles sex crime lawyers have a track record of success defending clients against any state or federal sexual related offenses
When you have been defending clients charged with sex crimes cases for twenty-five years, one will hope that you have some words of wisdom to impart to them.
Of course, the best words of wisdom are those you can give before a person finds themselves charged with a crime that can destroy their life.
However, since I do not usually have that luxury, I will tell you what I can based on where you are at this point. Now is the time to evaluate your life and decide to move forward in the right direction.
You are now faced with a situation that literally can destroy every part of your life as you know it.
The prosecutors and judges have no sympathy in this area of the law. They have serious political pressure from the legislature and the public to deal with these cases in the most vicious manner possible.
So at this point, my advice to you is to take your situation seriously and find an attorney that you can trust to defend your rights, reputation, and freedom with every ounce of their legal abilities! You will only have one chance to protect yourself, so you better make it count!
The prosecutor and judge will consider all the good things you have done in your life to decide how they deal with your case. It will be up to you and your attorney to present this information to them in the most favorable light.
Further, they will look at the facts of the crime you are charged with and decide what damage you have caused and what your penalties should be.
I am willing to meet with you face to face and give you an honest assessment of your case and tell you what your chances are and what your next step should be.
There are several essential concerns that people should consider they are charged with a sex crime in Los Angeles County.
Three of the most critical concerns are registering as a sex offender, the type of crime that will end up on the person's record, and going to jail or prison.
These are all legitimate concerns and, depending on the outcome of your criminal case, can affect you for the rest of your life.
Attorney Pre-Filing If You Are Under Investigation For A Sex Crime
I have been asked this question countless times throughout defending sex crimes for more than two decades. It is a great idea to hire a seasoned attorney if you suspect or find out that you are being investigated for a sex crime. The attorney can then act as a buffer between you and law enforcement.
If the police attempt to talk to you, you can refer them to the attorney and not risk incriminating yourself. I have seen statements that the police attribute to my clients, only to be told by my client they never said that or that the police have somehow twisted what they said to make it appear that they admitted something they did not. Do not fall victim to this. This risk is gone with an attorney by your side and advising you.
Further, your attorney can often get to the bottom of what is going on through the police or prosecutors much more effectively than you can. This can give you peace of mind when your world seems to be crumbling. Experienced attorneys know precisely who to talk to and what to say to determine where you stand in a criminal investigation.
Another important thing that a skilled attorney can do is get your side of the story across to the prosecutors and police before a filing decision is made. The attorney will know what to focus on to make the most significant impact. Bottom line, with the potential for severe consequences, there is no question having a powerful advocate on your side can make the difference between prison and freedom!
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I Have To Register as a Sex Offender?
Arguably this is the most critical concern for a person charged with a sex crime. If a person pleads to an offense that requires sex registration, they will typically have to register with their local police department on their birthday for the rest of their life.
Also, their picture and information will likely be placed on the Megan's Law website. The rationale behind this is the protection of the public. Authorities want to know where people commit crimes that can potentially affect the community. Several other significant ramifications flow from the conviction of a sex offense that should be discussed at a face-to-face meeting with your attorney.
In defending these types of cases over the last 20+ years, this is one of the most brutal negotiating points with the prosecutor. They almost always want the client to register as a sex offender, and it is tough to convince them or the judge not to require a charge that requires sex registration. However, several strategies can be employed by a seasoned criminal attorney that knows the court system to attempt to avoid this requirement.
What Type Of Crime Will I Have To Plead To?
Many people do not realize that it is a crime that a person pleads guilty to that dictates whether or not they have to register as a sex offender. The prosecutors will look at several important factors when deciding what they believe a criminal defendant should plead guilty to and the appropriate charges in a criminal case.
A person's conduct can trigger several possible crimes that they can be charged with. It is up to that person's attorney to figure out what the conduct triggers and what can be done to mitigate the situation down to a crime that will be the least damaging to that person's reputation and record.
Will I Have To Go To Jail Or Prison?
The prosecutor and judge weigh several essential factors in deciding whether they believe a person charged with a sex crime should go to jail or even prison.
They will look at the person's conduct in the present offense, criminal record, and background. Indeed, the type of life a person is leading is an indicator as to whether they will be a repeat offender or not. Their job, family situation, and character will all come into play. It is up to their attorney to make the appropriate arguments and mount a defense that portrays their client in the most favorable light.
How Do Prosecutors And Judges View Sex Crimes?
This is an important question because how a person views a particular crime or issue will influence their decisions related to the outcome of a case. In my 20 plus years of defending sex crimes in Los Angeles, it is clear to me that the key concern on both the prosecutor and judge's mind is, “If I go too easy on this case, will it come back to haunt me in the future?”
They, therefore, are very cautious about what they do and the position they take regarding the resolution of a sex crime case. Because of the political nature of these types of cases, when it comes right down to it, I have seen many judges and prosecutors make irrational choices related to how they deal with a sex case, simply because they did not want to put themselves in a position to be blamed for a person charged with a sex crime going free.
Of course, this is highly unfair to a person charged with such a severe offense, but this is the reality attendant with a sex crime case.
With the harsh reality and political landscape that go hand and hand with a sex crime, your attorney must have experience with both sex crime defense and the particular jurisdiction your case is pending. A great attorney in an arena they are not familiar with will not be nearly as effective as a skilled and local attorney to the courthouse.
How Does A Defense Attorney Handle A Sex Crime In A Jury Trial?
There is a stigma attached to anyone charged with a sex crime, even if they are innocent! When I do jury trials, one of the critical things I have to deal with is that the jury already thinks my client is guilty before the case starts, just because they are charged with such a severe crime.
I constantly confront these types of issues head-on and ask the jurors if any of them believes that my client is guilty just because he is here in court and being charged, regardless of whether they have heard any of the evidence yet. I would say that almost 100% of the time, people raise their hands and say they think they are guilty.
Instead of being angry that the jury is judging my client before they hear any evidence, I take this built-in prejudice and use it to my client's advantage. At that point, I have the opportunity to educate them on how the system works and the fact that my client is presumed innocent in the eyes of the law. I take it a step further and let them know that they must listen to all the evidence before making any decisions.
This allows me to find out who we do not want on the jury and to make it crystal clear to the jury that if they were on trial or one of their loved ones, they would not want anyone on the jury that did not follow the law and bias before the case starts.
I also remind them that people are found not guilty all of the time. And that people are wrongly accused of crimes every day. Last, I let them know that in America, we have the best system in the world, but that it does not work if the jurors do not follow the rules and make the prosecutor prove their case before jumping to the conclusion that someone is guilty without hearing all of the evidence.
Do Alleged Victim's Lie To Law Enforcement About A Sex Crime Case?
Having litigated sex crimes for over two decades, I can tell you without a doubt that people lie to the police every day about alleged sex crimes. I see numerous reasons that will spawn a lie about a sex case.
Just a few examples are – there is a divorce case pending or a custody battle, and one side is trying to gain a tactical advantage over another, the alleged victim feels wronged by something the other party did or said (which would typically not be illegal) and they embellish what happens when they go to the police.
One of the most significant single factors I see that causes an inaccurate or exaggerated story is when alcohol or drugs are involved. I have spoken to law enforcement officers on many occasions who have confirmed that in investigating a particular case, they have come across evidence that establishes that they are being lied to. The list of reasons that I have seen that people lie is endless.
The thing that gets me is how the person just completely ignores the fact that they are placing a massive stigma around an innocent person's neck that is extremely difficult to get off! In my opinion, this is unforgivable and must be guarded against at all costs. That is why it is so important to do your homework and make sure that you get the right attorney to represent you for your case.
How Is Bail Handled In A Los Angeles Sex Crime Case?
Over the past twenty-five years of dealing with sex crime cases in Los Angeles County, I have noticed that in recent years the prosecutor's and judges' mentalities and policies regarding these cases have become more and more extreme.
Recently judges are setting unheard-of bails for people charged with sex crimes. The legislature and appellant courts have given them free rein to stack bails based on the number of charges filed. Sex crimes are one of the few areas of criminal defense where this is permitted. Further, I see clients post bail and then appearing for their arraignment, and the prosecutors request the judge raise the bail higher.
Your best defense in a sex crime is to find a defense attorney that has been around the block and knows who to talk to and what to say to get you the result you need to save your reputation, freedom, and career.
When you come and sit down with me for a face-to-face consultation, I will educate you on what factors the judge will look at regarding setting bail. We will discuss what you will need before the hearing to give you the best chance of not going back into custody.
We will also assess whether your best strategy is to fight the case all the way or negotiate the case to a resolution that considers your life and the essential things that you stand to lose with this type of charge/conviction hanging over your head. Clarity on how to proceed and what you can do to help yourself is a phone call away!
Our Practice Areas
Experience Sex Crime Lawyer In All Los Angeles Courthouses
Our sex crime defense attorneys in Los Angeles have a combined 75 years of experience and our unmatched credentials in all Los Angeles Criminal Courts, which qualify us to defend your sex crime case competently and efficiently. We offer a free face-to-face consultation, and we are here to hear your side of the story and do everything we can to get your charges ultimately dismissed or get you the minimal amount of penalties possible.
Credentials That Make A Difference When All Of The Marbles Are On The Line
Deciding which Los Angeles criminal defense attorney to choose for your matter could mean the difference between incarceration and freedom. A wrong decision could ruin a person's life. So below, I give you some of the credentials that I believe set us apart from other law firms. The following are hard facts that few attorneys can match:
- One of the longest-running criminal defense firms in Los Angeles?
- Former Commissioner for the State Bar of California
- Research Attorney for a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge
- Author of The Art of the Perfect Defense “Your Essential Guide to Criminal Defense in Los Angeles?
- Recognized by the Los Angeles Times among the Top 5% of Attorneys in L.A.
- Named to the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
- Southern California Super Lawyers
- Presidential Pardon by George Bush
- Named Top 100 Trial Lawyers
- Awarded 2014 Ten Best Attorneys Client Satisfaction Award
- Nearly 25 years of litigating and learning about criminal cases
- Respected member of the Association of Trial Lawyers for nearly 20 years
- Superb Rating by AVVO
- Named Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year
- Worked for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
- A+ Rating by the Better Business Bureau
Hedding Law Firm In Media
Valley Lawyer magazine recognizes Ronald Hedding's contribution to the legal community
Featured in Playboy – Ronald Hedding declared Ace Criminal Defense Attorney
Los Angeles Times Declares Ronald Hedding top 2% criminal attorney
Criminal defense attorney Ronald Hedding selected as top Los Angeles Lawyer
Murder charges were dismissed against Ronald Hedding's client in a shootout in Glendale, CA
United States President pardons Hedding Law Firm client