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Sex Crimes Lawyer for Charges of Sexual Assault or Rape

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Hiring An Experienced Sexual Assault Lawyer in Arizona

Criminal sexual assault is a very serious crime in Arizona. Also known as rape, a conviction for this offense can result in decades in prison and other severe penalties.

If you are convicted of rape, you will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life after you complete your prison sentence. Being accused of a rape offense will also result in substantial public stigma.

Even though you are supposed to be presumed innocent until and unless the prosecutor proves your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, many people assume that someone accused of rape is guilty. This can result in severe reputation damage, job loss, and other problems.

If you have been charged with rape, you will need to retain an experienced and competent sexual assault lawyer as soon as possible to fight for your freedom and your reputation.

Your attorney at Colburn Hintze Maletta is prepared to vigorously defend you against these types of charges. Below is an overview of this charge so that you can gain a better understanding of what you might be facing and the defenses that might be available to you.

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Charges of Sexual Assault or Rape

What is Sexual Assault in Arizona?

Typically, people call the crime of sexual assault “rape.” When people think about a sex assault, they typically envision a situation when a perpetrator threatens violence or uses violence to force victims to submit to sexual intercourse.

Under ARS 13-1406, however, there are multiple ways that this offense can occur. For example, rape can happen when someone administers a victim drugs to keep them from resisting or could also include oral sex without intercourse.

To prove that a defendant committed rape, a prosecutor will have to prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant;
  • On the date and at the location charged;
  • Intentionally or knowingly;
  • Had sexual intercourse or oral sex with someone else;
  • Without that person’s consent

The prosecutor must prove each of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot prove any one of the elements, the defendant cannot be convicted of the crime.

When you hire an experienced sex assault lawyer at Colburn Hintze Maletta, they will carefully examine the evidence for each element to identify potential defenses to the charge.

Not consenting can include more than saying no or attempting to resist rape. A victim will be considered to have not consented if the defendant coerced the victim into engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sex because the person suffered from a mental defect or disorder.

Another way that consent would not be intentionally given could be if the victim was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the person’s impaired condition prevented him or her from consenting, and the defendant knew that the person was impaired or reasonably should have known.

According to Arizona laws, a person will be deemed to have not consented if the defendant intentionally deceived him or her about the act’s nature or deceived him or her into believing erroneously that the defendant was his or her spouse.

 

Penalties & Prison/Jail Time for Sex Assault or Rape

If you are charged with sex assault/rape, it is a Class 2 felony in Arizona. The penalties you might face will depend on the victim’s age, the circumstances, and your criminal record.

If the alleged victim is age 15 or older, you will face the following penalties for a first offense:

  • Minimum 5.25 years in prison
  • Presumptive 7 years in prison
  • Maximum 14 years of prison
  • Fines of up to $150,000
  • Lifetime sex offender registration

For a felony conviction of rape with one previous allegeable felony, you will face the following penalties:

  • Minimum 7-year prison sentence
  • Presumptive 10.5-year prison sentence
  • Maximum 21-year prison sentence
  • Fines up to $150,000
  • Lifetime sex offender registration

For a rape conviction with two prior felony convictions that can be alleged, you will face the following penalties:

  • Minimum 14-year prison sentence
  • Presumptive 15.75-year prison sentence
  • Maximum 28-year prison sentence
  • Fines up to $150,000
  • Lifetime sex offender registration

If the victim is between the ages of 12 and 14, it is a dangerous crime against a child under ARS 13-705. Under this statute, you will face a minimum prison sentence of 13 years up to a maximum prison sentence of 27 years for a first offense.

If the victim is younger than age 12, you can be sentenced to spend the rest of your life in prison for a first offense.

Ways a Sex Assault could become an Aggravated Charge

If you administered “date rape drugs” to the victim to prevent the victim from resisting, your prison sentence would be increased by three years. These drugs include substances like “GHB,” “Rohypnol,” and ketamine, which is also known as “Special K.”

If you knowingly or intentionally caused the victim to suffer serious bodily injury when committing rape, you can be sentenced to serve life in prison.

Required Sex Offender Registration

Under ARS 13-3821, you will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life if you are convicted of rape. If you fail to comply with your registration requirements, you can face a new felony charge and additional penalties.

Registering as a sex offender means that your information and pictures will be posted on the state’s sex offender registry website and will be publicly viewable.

You may also be restricted on where you can live, be required to report to the sheriff’s office anytime you move and at least once per year, and have to get a new driver’s license each year at a substantial cost. Registered sex offenders also commonly deal with stigma from others in public.

Effective Defenses to Rape Charges

When you are facing rape charges, you might worry that you will not be able to defend against the allegations against you. However, there are several defenses that your attorney might be able to raise, depending on the facts of your case.

Some of the common defenses that might apply include the following:

  • Any confession you made was coerced by the police.
  • The police did not have probable cause to collect evidence.
  • The alleged victim fabricated the story.
  • You were somewhere else when the alleged attack occurred.
  • You were misidentified.
  • You were not read your Miranda Rights when arrested.
  • You were denied the right to legal counsel at the time of the arrest.
  • Inconclusive or improperly gathered DNA evidence
  • There are technical issues with the charges.

Often in rape cases, the police interrogate the defendants to try to secure confessions. However, if the police coerced you into falsely confessing to the offense, your attorney might be able to get your statements thrown out. If the state’s case against you is largely based on your confession with no physical evidence, your case might be dismissed.

The police must have probable cause before they can search your home or collect evidence from your person. Police officers normally submit affidavits to judges to secure search warrants allowing them to conduct searches.

If the police conducted a warrantless search or included false statements in the affidavit, your attorney might challenge the admissibility of the evidence gathered against you. If successful, the evidence will be suppressed, and the prosecutor might have no other choice than to dismiss your case.

In some cases, people will falsely accuse others of rape. This might happen during a divorce or when the alleged victims have some other motivation to try to get revenge for some past wrong. If you have been falsely accused of rape, your attorney will carefully investigate the allegation to uncover the alleged victim’s underlying motivation to lie and work to gather evidence showing your innocence.

Some people are charged with sex crimes when they could not possibly have committed the crimes because they were not present. If you were somewhere else at the time the alleged rape occurred, your attorney might raise an alibi defense. Your attorney will need to present evidence showing that you were elsewhere. This might include cell phone data showing your phone pinging off of distant cell towers, hotel receipts in different cities, plane tickets, witnesses, or video from stores you visited.

If you do not know the victim but were picked out of a lineup, your attorney will carefully review the lineup procedure used by the police. Eyewitness identifications are known to be problematic and have led to many wrongful convictions.

Your attorney will look at how the lineup was conducted to determine whether it was proper and might file a motion to challenge the procedure used.

Many rape cases also include technical deficiencies in how they were charged. For example, the prosecutor might file charges under the wrong statute or with inaccurate aggravators or allegations. A good sex crimes lawyer will look for technical problems to raise in your defense.

Rape vs. Statutory Rape

Statutory rape is known as sexual conduct with a minor and is found in ARS 13-1405. While the term “rape” refers to engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sex by use of force, threats, or occurs when the victim is unconscious and cannot consent, statutory rape can be charged when an adult engages in sex with someone who is younger than age 18. Minors are deemed to not be able to consent because of their age.

We Will Fight for Your Freedom!

If you are facing accusations of rape, you need to get legal help immediately. A conviction for this type of offense can permanently harm your life and result in a lengthy prison sentence.

If you are being contacted by a detective wanting to speak with you regarding sexual assault allegations, you should consult with an experience sexual assault lawyer immediately. It is never recommended that you speak with a detective without first seeking the assistance of an attorney.

Contact Colburn Hintze Maletta today at (602) 825-2500 to schedule a confidential consultation.

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What People Say

Client Testimonials

Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“The calm in the middle of my storm…”

I, recently, consulted with Darin after my wife filed for divorce. He was referred to me by a friend whom I very much trust. Darin was the antithesis of the first two attorneys I consulted (who were matter-of-fact and had very little empathy about the fact that I was struggling emotionally with what was transpiring). From the first few minutes of speaking with Darin, it was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and skilled with divorce and family matters. While that was most important to me, the thing that made the difference was his calming, logical, and empathetic approach. He took the time to listen and empathize with me. He took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve through this process and laid out my options. After the consultation, I knew he would be my attorney if I had to pull the trigger. I, ultimately, didn’t have to engage Darin’s services due to a reconciliation with my wife. I hope I never have to go through that process again, however, if I do, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt who I will be hiring to represent me…Darin R. Colburn. Darin, thank you for caring and being more than an attorney.

Frank - AVVO Review

Divorce / Reconciliation Client
Attorney David Maletta

“There is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David”

I hired David Maletta and it was the best decision of my life. His knowledge, genuine interest, overall attitude, and ability to connect with people is incomparable. I could talk about all of this at length. I COULD do all of that, but that wouldn’t do David justice. He first and foremost demonstrates his interest and genuine care for his client. Being in uncharted territory with a criminal charge and nowhere to turn, David’s presence and personality put all nerves at ease. I went through a jury trial with David beside me. The trial ran for 3 days and I spent a significant amount of time with David one-on-one. During this stressful time, he wanted to hear my input and thoughts on everything. David was incredible from the first day I met him. Not only is he a great attorney, but he is also a great person who cares about people and finding justice for his clients. He connects to the human side of people. I can’t put into words how much David cares about the individual in a case. When it comes to the courtroom, there is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David.

Jacob - AVVO Review

DUI Defense Client
Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“Because of Darin I got my daughter back”

Before I hired Darin I went through a total of 3 different attorneys in two different states fighting a jurisdiction battle, when my daughter was taken to a different state. It was a very difficult decision to switch attorneys at one of the most difficult, time sensitive and important times in my case, but I’m very glad I did. Upon receiving my file from previous attorneys Darin came very familiar with my case quickly. Like other people have explained he took the time to lay everything out and explain how the process was going to proceed and what to expect and continued to do this as new issues arrived. He is also very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. My case was getting close to trial as told by my previous attorneys, I did not want to go to trial as I know this is very costly (most attorneys will convince you that you need to.) Darin knew my situation, fought for what was right and got the results I wanted while avoiding a costly trial. He is extremely knowledgeable in the Child Support Guidelines as well. Because of Darin I got my daughter back. I would highly recommend him and would hire again for any future issues. Thanks Darin!

Chris - AVVO Review

Child Custody & Support Client
Attorney David Maletta

“I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.”

Dave stayed with me while he pushed back and forth with Covid-19 and the delays with court. Once cited, the state basically decides that you’re guilty through the automatic suspension of your drivers license. Dave immediately took care of that problem and I never lost the privilege of driving. Dave took notes like crazy and was upfront about our uphill battle. I was also well aware that the plea deal that was given to us, was unacceptable and through Dave’s knowledge and experience I had put my trust in him to guide me to make the right decision on how to proceed. With Dave’s guidance I had decided that we needed to fight for something better than what the prosecutor was offering and Dave was 100 percent behind me on that decision. We knew the risks, be we also knew we had very little to lose based on the prosecutions stance. We decided to go to trialWatching the prosecution and then watching Dave was night and day!! It was clear to the jury that the prosecution didn’t have their facts straight and were not addressing the facts that they could not address…There was a lot at stake for my personal life and my work life. I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.

Gregory - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently”

I had an incident and was Given the catch-all charge. There wasn’t really anything I could do by myself to get out of it. Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently to ensure that I would have the best possible outcome from my case. Which he successfully achieved! As of right now I am on the path to having my case fully dismissed. A couple things that really helped me through this process was that Tim did an amazing job at was answering my questions. He was available almost anytime and would respond promptly when he got my emails. He was also very approachable and comforting to be around while we had in person meetings and especially when I was at the court house. I would trust him and the company he works for with any other cases in the future and as of right now they will be my first choice if I need a lawyer in the future.

Dylan - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Listens to every request that you make on a case”

I honestly just want to let it be known to any and everyone looking for an attorney on a case. Whether it be DUI, possession, or your every day to day traffic violations where you need representation attorney Tim Hintze is your man. You have to respect a man that listens to every request that you make on a case and he gets in there and gets it done. Tim has my respect as an attorney and being a well-rounded representer. From him being honest on the possibility and options for your case to him being easy to work and communicate with via over the phone or face to face Mr. Hintze is working it out.

Ben - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
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