Arizona Sex Crimes Overview
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Arizona Sex Crimes Overview
Sex crimes in Arizona are considered some of the most severe in terms of punishments and can be difficult to prove innocent without the right kind of defense.
If you are facing these types of charges, your life could be negatively and permanently altered.
A sex offense conviction can expose you to severe penalties and collateral consequences that can continue causing harm in your life for decades, including prison, substantial fines, community service, probation, sex offender registration, and other consequences.
Being charged with a sex crime does not mean that you are automatically guilty. It is not unheard of for someone else to make false accusations and get away with doing so.
The defense attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta are experienced in handling sex offense cases and understanding how to build strong defenses for their clients when facing these types of charges.
Understanding the Different Types of Sex Crimes in Arizona
Many sex crime convictions will carry lengthy prison sentences followed by lifetime Arizona sex offender registration and sex offender probation. Being registered as a sex offender can mean being restricted from living in certain places, having trouble finding employment, and struggling with interpersonal relationships. The collateral consequences of a sex offense conviction can stay with you for the rest of your life.
You need to talk to an experienced sex crime lawyer as soon as possible if you are facing sex crime allegations. Retaining an attorney is one of the most important steps you should take if you are being investigated or have already been charged.
Read below about the many different types of sex crimes in Arizona that someone can be charged with and how our experienced Arizona sex crimes defense attorneys can help.
Sexual Assault – ARS 13-1406
Sexual assault is found in ARS 13-1406 and is commonly referred to as rape. This crime occurs when you intentionally or knowingly have sexual intercourse or oral sex with someone else without consent.
Sex assault is a Class 2 felony carrying a mandatory prison sentence that ranges from a minimum of 5.25 years up to a maximum of 14 years for a first offense.
If you have prior felonies that can be alleged, the penalties can be much more severe.
A second offense can expose you to a maximum of 21 years, and a third offense can result in a maximum sentence of 28 years.
People who are convicted of sexual assaults will also have to register as sex offenders for life and may face fines of up to $150,000, among other penalties.
Sexual Conduct with a Minor / Statutory Rape – ARS 13-1405
Sexual conduct with a minor is found in ARS 13-1405 and is also known as statutory rape. This offense can be charged when you engage in sex with someone younger than age 18. Sexual conduct with a minor is a Class 6 felony if the person is between the ages of 15 and 17.
A conviction for sexual conduct with a minor could lead to a sentence of life in prison, depending on the age of the minor.
A DCAC sexual conduct with a minor charge can also result in lifetime sex offender probation and lifetime sex offender registration after you are released from prison, and you will be required to serve your complete prison sentence before you are eligible for release.
Sexual Exploitation of a Minor / Child Pornography – ARS 13-3553
Sexual exploitation of a minor is codified in ARS 13-3553 and is also known as child pornography. This offense includes producing, possessing, distributing, sending, receiving, and other actions involved with visual depictions of minors engaged in sex acts or sexual exhibitions.
Sexual exploitation of a minor is a class 2 felony and a dangerous crime against children that is punishable under the special sentencing guidelines found in ARS 13-705 if the minor depicted in the images is under 15 years old.
A first offense conviction for sexual exploitation of a minor under the age of 15 carries a mandatory prison term of 10 to 24 years.
Additionally, if convicted of multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a minor under the age of 15, the prison terms for each conviction must be served consecutively. This means that a person could receive no less than 10 years in prison for each image of child pornography if convicted.
In Arizona, it is a common practice for prosecutors to charge a person with 10 separate counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, which would carry a minimum sentence of 100 years in prison if convicted.
Child Molestation – ARS 13-1410
The sexual contact involved includes touching, manipulating, or fondling the victim’s anus or genitals but does not include offenses only involving a female’s breasts. This offense can also be charged if you cause someone else to engage in this type of conduct.
Child molestation is a Class 2 felony punishable as a Dangerous Crime Against Children under ARS 13-705.
Sexual Abuse – ARS 13-1404
Sexual abuse is found in ARS 13-1404 and involves sexually contacting someone who is 15 or older without consent, male or female. If the victim is younger than age 15, this offense can be charged when the contact only involved the breasts of a female.
Sexual abuse involving someone who is 15 or older is not a dangerous crime against children and is charged as a Class 5 felony. However, if the victim is under the age of 15, it is a Class 3 felony and classified as a dangerous crime against children and is punishable under ARS 13-705.
Sexual Extortion – ARS 13-1428
Sexual extortion is defined in ARS 13-1428 and occurs when you threaten or coerce someone else into engaging in sexual conduct, including sexual intercourse, explicit photographs or videos, sexual contact, or sexual exhibitions.
Indecent Exposure – ARS 13-1402
Indecent exposure is found in ARS 13-1402. This offense can be charged if you expose your genitals, anus, or female nipples in someone else’s presence with recklessness regarding whether the other person might be offended.
If the victim is 15 or older, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor for a first or second offense. However, if it is a third offense or if the victim is younger than 15, you can be charged with a Class 6 felony.
Public Sexual Indecency – ARS 13-1403
Public sexual indecency is found in ARS 13-1403. This crime can be charged when you engage in sex acts with someone else in the presence of another person without regard to whether the witness would be offended.
Prostitution – ARS 13-3214
Prostitution is found in ARS 13-3214 and is charged when someone offers to engage in sex acts or accepts them for pay. This offense is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor with a minimum jail sentence for the first three convictions.
A fourth conviction for prostitution is a Class 5 felony carrying a sentence of no less than 180 days of jail or a potential prison sentence of up to 2.5 years if the person does not have any prior felony convictions.
Unlawful Disclosure of Sexual Pictures or Videos – ARS 13-1425
Also known as revenge porn, unlawfully disclosing sexual pictures or videos of another person without his or her consent is a crime under ARS 13-1425. You can be charged with this offense if the person can be identified from the visual depiction, the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, and you intended to harass, intimidate, coerce, harm, or threaten the person depicted.
Being charged with this crime is a Class 5 felony. If you transmit the image electronically, it then becomes a Class 4 felony. If you threaten to publish the images but do not actually do so, you can still be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation – ARS 13-3554
Luring a minor for sexual exploitation is found in ARS 13-3554. You can be charged with this offense if you offer or solicit sexual conduct with someone younger than age 18. This offense is often charged following a sex sting operation conducted by the police and is a Class 3 felony.
If the minor or the purported minor is 14 or younger, it is a dangerous crime against children punishable by 5 to 15 years in prison.
Aggravated luring a minor for sexual exploitation can be charged under ARS 13-3560 if a person uses an electronic communication device, such as a cellphone or computer, to transmit a visual depiction that is harmful to minors in an effort to offer or solicit sexual conduct with a minor.
You cannot defend against these charges based on the fact that the person you solicited was actually an adult police officer posing as a minor.
Kidnapping a Child for Prostitution / Sex Trafficking – ARS 13-3206
Taking a child for purposes of child prostitution or sex trafficking is found in ARS 13-3206 and is a Class 4 felony if the victim is 15 to 17. If the victim is under age 15, it is a Class 2 felony and is a dangerous crime against children.
Other sex crimes in Arizona include the following:
- Continuous sexual abuse of a child
- Surreptitious recording
- Police or probation officers engaging in sexual conduct with inmates or probationers
- For a full list of other sex crimes, contact our offices
Why it is Essential for Legal Help when Charged with a Sex Crime
If you are charged with a sex crime, it is crucial for you to hire an experienced sex crime lawyer as soon as possible. Technological advancements have led to new investigatory techniques, including DNA testing, IP tracing, and others.
Police officers frequently try to interrogate people who are accused of committing these types of offenses without the presence of a sex crime lawyer.
You should never agree to answer questions or believe that you can talk your way out of this type of charge. Instead, assert your rights to remain silent and to have an attorney represent you.
Sex offenses are harshly punished in Arizona. Most sex offense convictions are felonies and can permanently impact your life. An attorney at Colburn Hintze Maletta might help you to secure a reduction of charges or penalties. In some cases, we might be able to secure an outright dismissal of the charges against you. Without the help of an experienced attorney, your likelihood of being convicted is much higher.
What Defenses Can Be Used Against Sex Crime Allegations?
Being charged with a sex offense can lead to substantial stigma. You might feel that you cannot possibly defend against this type of case. However, a good attorney can review the evidence against you and identify different defenses that might be available.
Your sex crime lawyer might challenge DNA evidence when it was collected, stored, transported, or analyzed incorrectly. The victim’s credibility might also be at issue, depending on the circumstances and your relationship with him or her.
Several statutory defenses are listed in ARS 13-1407 to specific types of sex offenses, including sexual abuse or sexual conduct with a minor. You can defend against these charges if the victim was between the ages of 15 and 17, otherwise consented, and you did not know or reasonably could not have known that he or she was a minor.
You also can defend against this charge if the sexual contact was done in the furtherance of legal, medical practice or if the alleged victim was your spouse when the alleged offense occurred.
There are many other defenses that might be available. An experienced attorney at Colburn Hintze Maletta can analyze the evidence and talk to you about your options for defending against your charges.
Speak to our Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers and get Immediate Help
Arizona does not take accusations of a sex crime lightly. These charges can have a very long-lasting and life-altering effect. Anyone that is either in the pre-charge phase and being questioned by police – or has already been arrested and charged with a sex crime – needs to speak to an attorney at Colburn Hintze and Maletta immediately.
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