Arizona lawmakers punish sex crimes harshly. Criminal consequences for a sex crime conviction are severe and can include life imprisonment. These crimes also come with a variety of social, employment and financial consequences. Sex crimes encompass a range of offenses that relate to sexual conduct and activity.
Unfortunately, individuals can be accused and convicted of sex crimes without being aware of the law or intending to commit a crime. If you have been arrested for an alleged sex crime in Arizona, contact a Phoenix sex crimes defense lawyer at Snader Law Group right away for a free and confidential case consultation.
Arizona has numerous statutes that define acts constituting sex crimes. The state’s sexual assault law, Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-1406, gives a general definition that can apply to many other sex crime violations. It states that it is unlawful to intentionally or knowingly engage in sexual conduct with any person without that person’s consent.
Consent refers to voluntary, clear and enthusiastic agreement to engage in sexual conduct without undue influence by coercion, misrepresentation, force or threat of force, duress, incapacitation, or intoxication. In Arizona, an individual under the age of 18 cannot legally consent to engage in sexual activity.
Arizona law lists many types of sex crimes and gives specific definitions for each. A wide variety of actions, behaviors and misconduct involving sexual contact with another person go against state law. If you are being accused of any type of sex crime, it is important to know the exact language of the law that describes the charges against you, as well as the elements that must be proven by the prosecution to obtain a conviction.
Examples of sex crimes in Arizona include:
Sex crimes in Arizona can involve communicating with a minor for the purpose of sexual exploitation, observing or photographing someone who has a reasonable expectation of privacy, exposing one’s private parts in public, producing or distributing sexually explicit material involving a minor, and engaging in sexual activity with someone who is under the age of 18. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand the nuances of the law involved in your specific case.
Being convicted of certain types of sex crimes in Arizona will result in a requirement for the defendant to register as a sex offender. The sex offender registration system is designed to protect the public by making information about convicted sex offenders in the area openly available.
Arizona’s sex offender registration framework has three tiers:
To determine the correct tier, a designated agency will conduct a sex offender assessment that evaluates risk across 19 areas. Sex offender registration lasts for life and requires the individual to notify law enforcement if he or she travels or moves into a new neighborhood. It also restricts where the individual can live, such as a certain distance away from schools.
The penalties against someone convicted of a sex crime in Arizona depend on the specific facts, such as the age of the victim and the nature of the offense. If there are aggravating factors, such as a victim who is under the age of 15 or the use of drugs or weapons, this can lead to heightened charges and penalties. Prior convictions on the defendant’s record can also enhance the penalties imposed.
Potential penalties for a sex crime conviction in Arizona include:
Individuals who are convicted of sex crimes also face negative social stigmas, particularly when the case involves a minor or a large age gap between the parties. A defendant may lose relationships with friends and family members even if sex crime allegations do not result in a conviction. Finally, a sex crime conviction can impact family law matters, such as child custody.
Sex crime charges can have severe and long-lasting consequences. If you are facing charges for any type of sex crime in Arizona, it is crucial to get help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer may be able to help you avoid a conviction or negotiate a plea agreement for reduced charges and penalties. It may be possible to protect you from having to register as a sex offender, as well.
Defenses to sex crime charges may include:
The most appropriate defense for a sex crime charge will be based on the unique circumstances of the case, such as the type of crime allegedly committed and the defendant’s criminal background. If you have been arrested for an alleged sex crime in Phoenix, an attorney from Snader Law Group can help you explore your defense options during a free and confidential case review. Call (602) 825-3031 or contact us online to schedule your consultation.