Being accused of a sex crimes offense in California can be a nightmarish experience. If convicted, the offender may face fines and jail time as well as being placed on the sex offender registry list. Being on the registry can affect every aspect of your life from where you may live to what kind of job you may have in the future.
Because of the serious life-long impact of such a conviction, it is important to hire a knowledgeable lawyer who can answer the below questions to ensure that your advocate has the knowledge and experience to give you the strongest possible defense.
What is the maximum amount of jail time for a sex crime offense?
There are a number of different sex crime laws and the amount of jail time depends primarily on whether the offense is a misdemeanor or a felony. In California, a felony sex crime is punishable by up to a life sentence in prison. Examples of sex crimes that are felonies in California include:
- Spousal rape
- Statutory rape
- Child pornography
- Lewd and lascivious acts
- Sexual battery
- Sexting with a minor
If you are accused of any of the above felony crimes, it is important that you consult a qualified sex crimes defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Are plea bargains available for sex crime offenses?
Plea bargains are available for sex crime offenses in California. A plea bargain is when a defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser crime in lieu of going to trial.
If I am convicted of a sex crime will I have to be on the sex offender registry list?
Generally speaking, all defendants convicted of a sex crime will be required to have their name, addresses, photo and other identifying information on the sex offender registry list for up to a lifetime. Further, even if you are not convicted of an offense that is included the Sex Offender Registration Act, the judge may in his or her discretion require you to register if it is found that the crime you committed involved sexual compulsion or sexual gratification.
In some instances, an attorney may help you avoid sex offender registry or lessen the amount of time you must be registered. For certain sex crimes, requiring mandatory registration has been found to be a violation of the Equal Protection right under the U.S. Constitution. An attorney may also be able to have your case dismissed after completing probation: the charge and conviction will be removed from your record, but you still must register.
Another option in some cases is that you may apply for a California certificate of rehabilitation which will allow you to be removed from the registry list. The final option is to file for a California Governor’s pardon which will excuse you from the registry list if you have not committed any other crime in ten years following probation, custody or parole.
Facing charges for sex crimes in the OC? Call (888) 250-2865 to speak with a Law Offices of Randy Collins sex crime defense lawyer for a free case evaluation.