Legal Defenses Against Sex Crimes in California
Those individuals who find themselves unfortunate for being charged with a sex crime in California have a tough road to hoe. What I mean by that is these charges are political.
Prosecutors, judges, and even juries immediately look at a criminal defendant in a bad light just simply by the fact that they're charged with a criminal offense.
It's not fair; it's not right in the criminal justice system that someone is presumed guilty just because they're charged with a sex-related offense.
That's why it's so important to get an attorney who's been down this road before and had success. You have to look at what potential defenses there are for a sex crime case in LA.
Defenses in Sex Crime Cases
One of the primary defenses that I see utilized with success in Los Angeles when it comes to sex crimes is consent.
Meaning the other party consented to whatever the touching was. Whether it was physical touching, having sex, or oral copulation – whatever the case may be – if you can show that the other party was at least eighteen years old obviously in California and agreed to have sex, then obviously that's not a crime.
Some people get drunk, intoxicated, take pills, and they wake up the following day and all of a sudden they think they've been raped when in actuality all the circumstances that surrounded the situation – at least to the other person – whether that person was interested and then wanted to have sex, and just because both parties drank too much for example, that doesn't necessarily mean that the person who is being accused should be charged with a sex offense.
Another defense which is kind of kin to consent, is that based on the circumstances and the actions of the other party and what they said and what they did, I believed in my mind that they were consenting to have sex, and this is a lot of cases that I see because people get together, maybe alcohol is involved and the next thing you know they're having sex.
The sex appears consensual, then when the other party wakes up in the morning, that other party may have some issues.
For example, they may have a boyfriend or girlfriend, and now they feel guilty for what they did, and they're looking for somebody to blame.
And instead of accepting responsibility for their actions because they did consent and it did appear to the other person that they were interested in having sex with them, they decide to blame the other party and say there's no way I would have had sex with that person, so therefore I'm now going to say that they did something inappropriately to me, go to law enforcement. Now the person has a sex crime case against them.
Another thing I see going on with these sex crime cases is that people are trying to gain an advantage in some civil arena.
For example, I can't tell you how many times I've seen people engaged in a divorce or a custody battle, all of a sudden one party to gain an advantage, claims that there was some sexual abuse either to them or one of them the children. It couldn't be further from the truth, but they know if they can get a conviction for a sex crime against the other party, they're going to have a massive advantage in a divorce or child custody case.
They stand to make thousands of dollars in a divorce settlement, so they decide they will drum up some sex-related offense.
The defense to this is truth. If it's true that the person is lying about it and that you didn't commit any sex offense – and they don't have any evidence or the witnesses to support the allegations – then obviously, you're not going to be held accountable.
Another defense that I utilize is that the other party had some motive to lie. Sometimes people become angry – they have different reasons for becoming biased and mad towards another person – and now here they go making up some sex allegations.
I think many people, including myself, cannot believe that some person could blame another person for some sex offense knowing how serious these offenses are treated. Still, they do, and that's the sad thing about it, and obviously, you're going to need a great criminal defense attorney who's handled these types of cases before and knows how to defend them, knows what to do.
Another defense that can be used is, listen, it didn't happen that way. I've got witnesses or evidence – whether by text message or circumstantial evidence – or we have a witness that can dispute some of the facts that the alleged victim is claiming.
So, it sounds kind of simple. It says not that sophisticated, but sometimes the defense is, listen, it didn't happen that way. That person is not telling the truth. It's my word against their word. They do not have the evidence to back up the other party's word.
And again, that's where an attorney has to come in, do an investigation, get experts in line if it's relevant to your case, and then be prepared to battle it out.
What if there is no Defense to the Sex Crime?
If you have a situation where you don't have a defense in a case because the prosecutors have the evidence – whether it's by video, witnesses, or just a surrounding circumstance – then your criminal defense attorney will need to negotiate for you.
When I negotiate these cases, I get character letters, letters from your work; I get letters from people who know you and respect you. We also tell your version of events. A lot of times, the police only got half the story.
Your version of events needs to come out so that the prosecutors and judge see that there's something else going on here and it's not just what the alleged victim says.
Once we get all the evidence out, now we're in a position to sit down, to negotiate, and obviously, take into consideration your record, your rights, your freedom, your reputation and try to set things up so you can get out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible and do some damage control to bring you a result you can live with. Contact us to review your case.