In the state of California, sex crimes are taken very seriously. The state defines a sex crime as any crime of a sexual nature, and they can be prosecuted as either felonies or misdemeanors. Sex crimes in Los Angeles range from rape to certain forms of public lewdness.
If convicted, you can face:
- Prison time, in a state or county jail
- Registration as a sex offender on the Meagan’s Law website, which is permanent (Note that the failure to register is, in itself, a crime.)
- The requirement to disclose your conviction on future job applications
- The loss of certain rights, such as the right to own a gun
Sex Crimes We Defend
At the Simmrin Law Group, we are no strangers to defending those accused of sex crimes. Some of the crimes we have been retained to defend in the past have included, but are not limited to:
Some of the more common defenses to these crimes include, but are not limited to:
- The prosecution’s ability to prove the victim’s story
- A reasonable belief that you were given consent
- The lack of sexual contact
- Insufficient evidence
- False accusation
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, many of those who deserve to be punished are receiving their comeuppance. Unfortunately, though, this also means that more innocent people are getting caught in the cross-fire. Our Los Angeles sex crimes lawyers have experience helping our clients avoid the devastating consequences that can follow a sex crime conviction.
Plea Bargains for Sex Crimes
Plea bargains are deals that are offered in exchange for the defendant pleading guilty to a lesser charge. Such deals are offered so that everyone involved can avoid both the costs associated with, and the uncertainty of, going to trial.
If you accept a plea bargain, you may be able to avoid jail time and, in the case of sex crimes, you may also be able to avoid registering as a sex offender. However, it is especially important when dealing with a sex crime charge that you know what you’re getting into before you accept the deal. Make one wrong move, and you’re branded for life as a sex offender.
The downside to accepting a plea bargain is that you will still receive a conviction. You will also lose certain rights that you would have lost anyway, had you lost at trial, such as the right to vote. However, being convicted of a lesser charge can make a huge difference when, say, you’re filling out your next job application, or applying for ownership of a gun.
For sex crimes in particular, it is crucial that you have a good attorney by your side to evaluate the evidence against you, the evidence you have to support your case, and any potential deals you may be offered. This is a situation that should be handled very carefully by someone who has extensive experience in such an area.
Mitigating Circumstances in Sentencing
Individuals who are accused of a sex crime in the state of California are permitted the opportunity to present what are called “mitigating factors” during their sentencing. Mitigating factors are actually the opposite of aggravating circumstances, which are elements that will encourage a judge to issue a harsher sentence.
This is to say that the term “mitigating factors” refers to any information or evidence that may help reduce your charges and/or sentence. In a sex crimes case, such mitigating factors may include, but are not limited to:
- No prior record
- A mistaken belief that your behavior was legal
- Your voluntary admission of wrongdoing early in the case
A defendant who presents one or more of the above may be given a lesser sentence by the judge.
Unsure If You Should Take The Deal? Call Us!
It may be tempting to accept a plea bargain, especially for a charge that you want to distance yourself from as soon as possible. But how can you be sure that the deal you’re taking is in your best interests?
At the Simmrin Law Group, our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers can evaluate your deal and determine whether the deal you’ve been offered is worth taking, or if further negotiation is warranted. A sex crime is perhaps one of the most serious crimes you can be convicted of. As such, you should make sure that your case is handled carefully, and that no stone is left unturned.
Fill out the form to the right, or call us at (310) 997-4688 to speak with an experienced member of our criminal defense team. We will not judge you. We are here to help, and we offer a free consultation with no obligation to retain.