In the state of Arizona, sex crimes are some of the most severely punished crimes. Even offenses that don’t involve bodily injury or harm can get up to 1.5 years of jail time. A conviction may also mean getting lifetime probation and mandatory registration as a sex offender.
If you’ve been accused of or charged with an alleged sex crime in AZ, an experienced sex crime attorney can investigate your case and aggressively defend your rights. You don’t have to face these charges alone.
At Goldman Law, we are committed to making sure that our clients are fairly and equally represented in court. Our criminal defense attorney Howard Dworman has the skills and experience to combat the allegations against you. Mr. Dworman has achieved many case dismissals and acquittals, and has even prevented certain sex crime charges for clients through his immense pre-charge work.
Contact Goldman Law today at (602) 698-5520 to protect your rights.
Types of Sex Crimes
There are several classifications of sexual offenses in the state. These charges depend on the nature of the act and the age of the victim.
- Indecent Exposure, as defined in Arizona Revised Statutes 13-402, refers to the intentional act of exposing one’s genitals, anus, or female breasts (with the exception of breastfeeding) in a public place, knowing that someone else may be alarmed or offended by such action. Indecent exposure is a class 1 misdemeanor if the victim is 15 years or older. It’s a class 6 felony if the victim is below 15 years old, or if the offender has two or more priors.
- Public Sexual Indecency, under ARS 13-403, refers to the act of intentionally engaging in sexual contact, intercourse, or bestiality in a public place, with someone present who may be alarmed or offended by such behavior.
- Child Pornography involves the intentional act of filming, photographing, recording, displaying, or distributing materials where a minor is engaged in sexual conduct. This is a class 2 felony if the victim is below 15 years old. This crime may be prosecuted under various Arizona laws, depending on the specific offense. For instance, sexual exploitation of a minor is prosecuted under ARS 13-3553, commercial sexual exploitation of a minor is under ARS 13-3552, and dangerous crimes under children fall under ARS 13-705.
- Prostitution means agreeing to, engaging in, or offering to exchange in sexual conduct or intercourse with another person in exchange for monetary or other valuable considerations. The main law against prostitution in Arizona is ARS 13-3214.
- Child Molestation under ARS 13-1410, involves intentionally engaging in sexual contact with a child under the age of 15.
- Sexual Abuse is defined in ARS 13-1404 as the knowing or intentional sexual engagement with someone without their consent. This is a class 3 felony if the victim is under 15 years of age, and a class 5 felony if the victim is older than that.
- Sexual Assault involves intentionally engaging in sexual intercourse or in oral sexual contact with another person, without their consent. Pursuant to ARS 13-1406, this is a class 2 felony in the state. However, there are more severe penalties if the act involves administering a drug or if the accused has one or more priors.
- Violent Sexual Assault is an aggravated form of the previous type of sex crime, prosecuted under ARS 13 14-23. It involves the use or threatened use of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon.
Arizona Sex Offender Registration
Some sex crimes in the Arizona Revised Statute have harsher sentencing than those for second-degree murder. Some of the mandatory minimum sentences may even tie a person in prison for life if convicted.
On top of these harsh sentencing ranges and penalties, a convicted person is required to add their name to the list of registered sex offenders in the state. The list of registered sexual offenders is accessible to many different parties who can easily search and find that person’s name at will. This also almost always guarantees that the person will be unemployable for a lot of jobs for the rest of their life.
Once a person is released from prison or jail, the state will assess and assign their risk level on a scale of one to three:
- Level 1 Offender: Accessible to law enforcement agencies only
- Level 2 Offender: Accessible to all community organizations that are involved with children
- Level 3 Offender: Accessible to the above, plus your neighbors
Registration is required within 10 days after conviction, or within 10 days after entering the state. Level 3 offenders are prohibited from residing within 1000 feet of a daycare center or a school.
Legal Defenses for a Sex Crimes Charge
Your criminal defense attorney will help protect your rights and ensure the best outcomes for the charges brought against you. To do this, they’ll work out the best defense tactics and strategies to use for your case. Here are some of them:
- Suppression of evidence because of the following:
- Forced confessions
- Right to counsel violations
- Police bias or coercion
- Miranda violations
- Illegal searches
- Tainted evidence because of mishandling
- Proving an alibi that the defendant could not possibly have been at the scene at the time the crime was committed
- Proving that the plaintiff consented to the alleged sexual act or intercourse
- Establishing the lack of evidence provided by the prosecution to proceed with a conviction
- Discrediting the statements provided by the plaintiff or the witnesses, or identifying the plaintiff’s motivation for making a false accusation
- Working with expert witnesses to establish mistaken conclusions or faulty computer crime analysis
- Proving insanity or mental incapacity which precludes the defendant’s liability
These strategies can help the accused reduce the charges, get the case dismissed, obtain an acquittal, or receive lighter penalties.
Contact a Phoenix Sex Crimes Defense Attorney
An experienced defense attorney will promptly investigate and analyze your case, doing everything possible to find you the best possible outcome. They’ll effectively represent you in court through innovative defense tactics, work with experts who can testify to strengthen your case, and relentlessly combat the prosecution’s strategy.
Howard Dworman has years of experience defending clients and protecting their rights. Contact us at (602) 698-5520 today.