Let’s face the facts: society views sex crime convictions as more heinous than other crimes—a DUI, for example. If you’re facing charges of a sexual nature, it’s imperative that you defend yourself now. The consequences of a conviction are almost certainly significant and long-ranging.
A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer will fight to clear your name. Even if the dismissal of your charges is unlikely, a lawyer may achieve a reduction of charges, significantly mitigating the consequences that you face.
Criminal Penalties for Sex Crimes in California
The specific crime you’re charged with will determine the criminal sanctions you face. Legal consequences you may currently face include:
- Jail time
- Prison time
- Significant fines
- Required registration as a sex offender, which may create a public record of your
- Restrictions on where you can live, which may be part of probation or parole
- Other legal consequences
California § 243.4 and other statutes provide additional insight into sex crime sentencing. A criminal defense lawyer serving California can explain the specific sentencing ranges for your alleged offense(s).
You must know that the consequences of a sex crime conviction will not end with your legal consequences.
Long-Term Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction
The legal consequences of a sex crime conviction can be long-term. The non-legal consequences of a sex crime conviction may last even longer. Being convicted of a sex crime in California may:
- Cause extreme harm to your interpersonal relationships—lost friendships, fractured family bonds, difficulty dating, and other types of harm.
- Prevent you from obtaining the employment that you seek
- Limit your earning power because of restricted employment opportunities
- Restrict your parental rights
- Prevent you from obtaining loans and other forms of financial assistance
- Cause landlords to reject your rental application
- Affect your immigration or citizenship status
- Cause severe mental health problems
The stigma of a sex crime conviction is immense. No aspect of your life will be spared from this stigma.
The negative effects of a conviction can have a compounding effect. Having few employment opportunities may cause financial strain. Financial strain may only add to the stress caused by a criminal conviction. As you face sexual criminal charges, understand the essential nature of an effective defense. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer could spare you immeasurable hardship in the future.
Recent changes in California’s criminal code only increase the importance of a capable criminal defense lawyer.
California Has Changed the Sex Offender Registration Process
California Senate Bill 384 (SB 384) enacted significant changes to the sex offender registration process. It imposes a three-tiered system based on the severity of the offense in question. Per the California Department of Justice (DOJ), those tiers are:
- Tier One: The lowest level for qualifying sexual offenses, those convicted of a Tier One sexual offense must register as a sexual offender for at least ten years.
- Tier Two: Those convicted of a Tier Two sexual offense must register as a sexual offender for at least 20 years.
- Tier Three: The most serious tier of sexual offense, those convicted of a Tier Three sexual offense must register as a sexual offender for at least 20 years or for life, depending on certain criteria.
A California criminal defense lawyer will explain how your charges fall within this tiered system. SB 384 took effect in January 2021, and recent changes to the sex offender registration process may directly affect you.
What do these changes mean for you? It only heightens the value of an effective criminal defense. If your lawyer is able to reduce the charges against you, then this could reduce the amount of time for which you’re registered as a sex offender.
What Should You Do if You’re Facing Criminal Charges?
First, hire a criminal defense attorney who serves the Los Angeles area. Your attorney should have experience with sex crime cases. Ideally, your lawyer will have handled cases involving your specific charges.
Complete a free case review. You should be comfortable with your lawyer. Your attorney will be the one standing between you and a possible conviction. It is important that you make a careful decision, but do not wait to hire a lawyer. The sooner you retain a capable attorney in California, the more time they will have to prepare your defense.
Call the Law Offices of David S. Chesley for a Free Case Review
The Law Offices of David S. Chesley defends the rights of individuals facing allegations of sex crimes. A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer from our team will provide the defense that you’re entitled to. Call the Law Offices of David S. Chesley today at 800-755-5174 for a free case review. You may also submit your case online.