Legal Defenses Against Sex Crimes in California
For those individuals who find themselves in the unfortunate position of being charged with a sex crime in California, they obviously 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.
Obviously, 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 really have to look at what potential defenses there are when it comes to a sex crime case in LA.
Defenses in Sex Crime Cases
One of the main 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 a physical touching, whether it was having sex or there was an 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 next morning 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 a 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 having 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, and now the person has a sex crime case against them.
Another thing that I see going on with these sex crime cases is that people are trying to gain an advantage in some sort of civil arena.
For example, I can't tell you how many times I've seen people who are engaged in a divorce or a custody battle, all of a sudden one party to gain an advantage, claims that there was some sort of sexual abuse either to them or one of the children and it couldn't be further from the truth, but they know if they can get a conviction for sex crime against the other party, they're going to have a huge advantage in a divorce or child custody case.
They stand to make thousands of dollars in a divorce settlement, so they decide they are going to drum up some sex-related offense.
Obviously, the defense to this is truth. If it's true that the person is lying about it and it's true 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 all the time is that the other party had some motive to lie. Sometimes people become angry – they have different reasons for becoming biased and angry towards another person – and now here they go making up some sex allegations.
I think a lot of people, including myself, cannot believe that some person could blame another person for some sex offense knowing how serious these offenses are treated, but 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 it be 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 sounds 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 word of the other party.
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 and I'm Going to be Convicted of Something?
Obviously, 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 is going to need to negotiate for you.
When I negotiate these cases, I get character letters, I get 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 get you a result you can live with. Contact us to review your case.