Being accused of sexual misconduct is devastating. It can carry jail or prison time, require you to register as a sex offender, and affect your career and personal life for decades. If you have been arrested, or even just accused of a sex crime, don’t face the charge alone. You need to talk to a Los Angeles sexual misconduct lawyer.
Let the Simmrin Law Group help you. We have an experienced team of leading California defense lawyers, and we know how to win cases. Our attorneys will listen to you, take your side, and fight for you—refusing to bring back anything but the best possible result. Let us give you a FREE consultation on your case. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.
What is the legal definition of sexual misconduct in Los Angeles?
Sexual misconduct is not one specific offense. It’s a general term used to refer to any kind of sex crime. While we especially hear the phrase “sexual misconduct” in regard to workplace allegations, it can include many different alleged sex crimes, such as:
- Sexual harassment
- Lewd conduct
- Rape or sexual assault
- Sexual battery (unwanted sexual contact)
- Date rape
- Spousal rape
- Statutory rape (consensual sex where one partner is under 18)
- Child molestation or child abuse
- Possessing (or selling) child pornography
- Indecent exposure
- Solicitation of a prostitute
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What should I say to the police?
Never try to talk your way out of a sexual misconduct allegation. It only makes things worse:
- The police are not your friends
- If the police are investigating you, they already believe you committed a crime
- Nothing you say will make you appear more “innocent”
- Anything you say could end up making you look more guilty
- Even innocent people can end up incriminating themselves when they talk to the police
The same applies to talking to other people involved. Don’t talk to the alleged victim. Don’t talk to their lawyer. If it’s a workplace situation, and your employer comes to you, tell them you will need to speak to a lawyer before you respond to anything.
- If police ask you to come in and talk (without arresting you), politely decline
- If police have arrested you, follow their instructions but answer only, “I need to talk to a lawyer first.”
The U.S. Constitution guarantees you the right to remain silent. Use it.
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How are sexual misconduct convictions punished in Los Angeles?
Each charge listed above has its own specific penalties. In general, however, here is what you should know about punishments for sexual misconduct:
- Felony vs. misdemeanor. This will determine how serious the charge is. A misdemeanor charge will carry a county jail sentence, often up to 1 year in jail. Felony charges carry time in state prison, and often include the option of multiple years behind bars (minimum 16 months). Both types of offenses also carry fines, often many thousands of dollars.
- Mandatory prison time. If you are convicted of sexual assault (rape), in most cases the judge is not allowed to waive prison time, and you will face a mandatory sentence.
- Life sentence. In cases where force was used, or where the alleged sexual abuse was continued over time, it is possible to face a life sentence.
- Lifetime registration as a sex offender is mandatory in many convictions. In others, you may have to register for years. This means your name, photo, address and sexual offense will be public knowledge to everyone in your community. It also comes with arduous reporting requirements, and if you fail to report even once you could face additional criminal charges.
Finally, virtually all of these offenses open you to the possibility of being sued by the alleged victim, or to being ordered to pay restitution money to the victim as part of your criminal sentence. Victims are able to sue their attackers with or without a criminal conviction, but a conviction serves as “proof” that you are liable and makes it much harder to defend against a lawsuit.
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What if I was falsely accused?
This is extremely common. So are situations where you did have sexual contact, but believed it was consensual. In some cases it is the other party changing their story later, and in other cases it is a deliberate lie to take revenge on you or make you look bad. These false accusations are often used when:
- The other person is trying to avoid blame for something (for example, they cheated on their own partner with you)
- The other person is trying to get revenge because you cheated, broke their heart, or otherwise upset them
- It’s your ex-spouse and they are using your supposed sexual misconduct as leverage in a divorce or child custody proceeding
- They are trying to get attention (this is especially common with younger accusers)
If you are falsely accused, you need a defense team that can mount their own thorough investigation. The defense must focus on finding hard evidence of the deception wherever possible, such as holes or inconsistencies in the alleged victim’s story. Often, their own past emails or texts can help show what really happened.
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How can you beat a sexual misconduct charge?
There are many ways to fight and potentially win these cases:
- Your defense team should know how to use computer evidence, psychological experts, and other highly specialized sources of information to defend your case.
- Many sexual misconduct cases lack hard evidence. If it’s a “they said/they said” situation, you can attack the evidence itself and prove that there is no case against you.
- Experienced lawyers know how to talk to the prosecutor to avoid going to court. You may be able to get the charges dropped for weak evidence, or even ask the judge the dismiss the case.
- Strong negotiation tactics could get the prosecutor to reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor, reduce or get rid of jail time, or reduce the charge to a non-sex offense.
Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. You need to talk to a lawyer.
Talk to a Los Angeles Sexual Misconduct Lawyer for Free
Even a single conviction for sexual misconduct can have effects for the rest of your life. Don’t take the chance. Let the Simmrin Law Group give you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.