Riverside Sex Crimes Lawyer

Sex offenses are widely regarded as some of the most heinous crimes, and being wrongfully accused of such a crime can haunt you for the rest of your life. A conviction impacts your criminal record and carries various penalties, from expensive fines to lengthy jail sentences. You will also be forced to register with the California Sex Offender Registry, which can have devasting effects on nearly every aspect of your life, such as preventing you from enrolling in college, securing a job, or maintaining relationships with friends and family members. Thankfully, you do have options for legal recourse to fight these charges.
 
Learn more about sex offenses in California by consulting the information below, then contact Exum Law today to discover how we can help you navigate this sensitive, challenging situation and achieve the best outcome in your case.

Sex Crimes in California

California law considers a sex crime to be any misdemeanor or felony offense of a sexual nature.One act may involve numerous offenses, meaning an offender can be charged with multiple crimes and face cumulative penalties. Some of the most common sex crimes and their penalties are described below.
 
  • Indecent exposure—This charge involves the offender willfully exposing their naked body or genitals to another person who becomes offended or annoyed by the offense. This crime is typically a misdemeanor punishable by six months in county jail.
  • Rape—Using force, threats of force, or fraud to engage in non-consensual sexual intercourse with another person is a felony offense punishable by three to eight years in state prison. If the alleged victim sustained great bodily harm during the crime, this sentence could include an additional three to five years in prison. The prison term could be increased up to 11 years if the alleged victim were under 18 years of age or up to 13 years if they were under 14 years of age.
  • Statutory rape—The legal age of consent in California is 18 years old. Sexual intercourse with a minor under 18 is statutory rape, regardless of whether the act was consensual or who initiated it. This crime is classified as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the ages of the two parties. An age difference of fewer than three years is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by one year in county jail, summary probation, and/or a $1,000 fine. A difference of more than three years can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony charge is punishable by one year in county jail and probation or 16 months, two years, or three years in custody. If the offender is 21 years old or older and the alleged victim is under 16 years old, the potential sentence extends to two, three, or four years in custody.
  • Sexual battery—Sexual battery refers to touching another person’s intimate parts against their will to achieve arousal or sexual gratification or perpetrate abuse against them. This
    offense can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. A misdemeanor charge is punishable by either six months or one year in jail and a fine of $2,000 (this is increased to $3,000 if the alleged victim was your employee). A felony charge carries a penalty of two, three, orfour years in state prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
  • Solicitation of a minor—An offender can be charged with solicitation of a minor by engaging in a conversation with a minor under 18 years of age during which they solicit or ask the minor to meet in person to engage in sexual intercourse or activity. This charge can be brought regardless of whether the two parties meet or engage in sexual conduct and is typically charged as a felony punishable by a minimum of four years in state prison. The judge could impose harsher penalties if the solicitation occurred online or via an electronic device, if two parties did meet in person, or if the sexual activity did occur.

Proposition 83—Jessica’s Law

In 2006, the state passed Proposition 83 after it received approval from over 70% of voters. Also referred to as Jessica’s Law, this initiative imposed new requirements and restrictions on registered sex offenders. Proposition 83 broadens the definition of specific sexual offenses, increases court fees, prohibits good time credits for certain offenders working toward early release, increases mandatory minimum sentences for habitual or violent sex offenders and those whose crimes involved children, and prohibits probation or extended parole for certain offenses. It also prevents registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park and requires felony sex offenders to submit to lifetime GPS monitoring.

California Sex Offender Registry

In 1947, California led the rest of the country as the first state in the US to require anyone convicted of certain sex crimes to register as a sex offender. This information includes every sex crime committed by the perpetrator and is available online for public review. Convicted sex offenders must register within five days of sentencing, release from jail or prison, or discharge from a health care facility. Neglecting to do so can incur a separate charge for failing to register.
 
To maintain compliance, registered sex offenders must update their information every year with the California Department of Justice and immediately inform the authorities if they change their name or move to a new address. If they decide to move out of the state, they must personally inform law enforcement of their intention to move within five days of this move and explain where they will be going and whether they have any plans to return to California. If they becometransient, they must check in every 30 days to inform law enforcement of their physical location.
 
If an offender works at a public or private school, their employer will be immediately notified after their arrest. To apply for or accept a position working with minor children, they must disclose their sex offender status with the employer, group, or organization. If the sex crime involved a minor under 16 years of age, they would be prohibited from such a position. Offenders employed at a college or university must also register with campus police or local police if they do not have their own police department.
 
A registered sex offender who committed a violent sexual crime and has been diagnosed with a mental health disorder that causes them to become a threat to the community will be labeled as a “sexually violent predator” and be required to update their information every 90 days. Additionally, a judge may order an individual convicted of any crime not outlined in the Sex Offender Registration Act if they believe your crime occurred out of sexual compulsion or for sexual gratification.

Registration was formerly a lifetime obligation, but Senate Bill 348, passed in 2021, changed the law to categorize sex offenders into three separate tiers with different requirements based on the specific crimes.

  • Tier one consists of the lowest level sex offenses, such as indecent exposure and misdemeanor sexual battery, and requires registration for a minimum of 10 years.
  • Tier two concerns mid-level sex offenses, such as lewdness with a minor under the age of14 and requires registration for a minimum of 20 years.
  • Tier three encompasses the most serious sex offenses, including rape, sex crimes committed against children 10 years of age or younger, and sex trafficking children. Crimes within this tier continue to require lifetime registration as a sex offender.

Rights of the Accused Party

Individuals who have been accused of a sex crime are considered innocent until proven guilty and have certain rights before and during the process of being charged with a crime. Different sex crimes feature specific statutes of limitations, meaning a prosecutor cannot bring a charge against them if the offense occurred outside this predetermined time frame. After being charged with a crime that did occur within the statutes of limitation, they have the right to remain silent, the right to contact a lawyer, and the right to refuse to provide potentially incriminating information.

Confront These Charges With Expert Legal Representation

If you have been accused of a sex crime, you cannot afford to delay in seeking expert legal representation. Even when your loved ones assume the worst and it seems that the entire world isagainst you, you have the right to legal representation to fight these charges. Prosecutors and judges take sex offenses very seriously compared to other crimes, rarely upholding the presumption of innocence, and often pursuing the maximum penalties. The only way to guarantee you have the best chance of reaching an optimal outcome is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney with a background in sex crimes.

Exum Law Offices has over 25 years of experience defending clients against the most serious criminal charges and has helped more than 1,000 clients with cases in both state and federal courts. We will comprehensively examine every component of the prosecution’s case to create a strong defense strategy or negotiate reduced charges and alternative penalties to keep you out of prison. Contact Exum Law Offices today to learn how we can protect your rights and preserve your freedom.