Phoenix Sex Crimes Defense Attorney
Frequently Asked Sex Crime Questions
As a Phoenix sex crimes defense lawyer, Joshua S. Davidson handles many different types of sex crime offenses. The clients that come to him seeking attorney representation ask many of the same questions, so he has posted the answers here for your benefit.
Do I really need a lawyer?
If you have been charged with a sex crime or are under investigation for a sex crime, you most definitely need to seek the representation of a qualified Phoenix sex crimes defense attorney. A lawyer will help make sure that your rights are not violated and can help avoid or reduce charges by negotiating with prosecutors. A sex crime conviction in Phoenix is very serious and can result in harsh penalties, so it is best to consult with an attorney who knows the best way to approach sex crime charges.
What should I do if child protective services wants to speak with me?
If you have been contacted by Phoenix child protective services, it may mean that a concern has been raised against you and you are under investigation. The best thing you can do is contact a Phoenix sex crime defense attorney immediately. Without a lawyer to protect your rights, Child protective services (CPS) staff might obtain evidence against you that could later be used if criminal charges are filed by the prosecutor. CPS could also obtain information from you without your previous knowledge or conse nt that could later be turned over to the prosecutor's office. No interview with child protective services should ever be held without first consulting an attorney.
What punishments can result from a sex offense?
Depending upon the specific sex crime you are charged with, you will either be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor sex crime conviction may result in a year or less of jail time, fines, community service, probation and counseling. A felony sex crime conviction could result in a lifetime prison term, or if not and you are later released, you might have to register as a sex offender, a label that will forever determine where you work and live.
If someone lied about their age, is it still considered to be statutory rape?
Under Arizona sex crimes law, the criminal offese of Sex Conduct with a Minor is sometimes described in general terms as statutory rape. Depending on whether the alleged victim was fifteen, sixteen or seventeen years of age at the time of the sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact, it can be a defense that the defendant could not and did not reasonably know the victim's true age.
Are all sexual conduct with a minor cases treated the same?
If the victim in a sexual conduct with a minor case is under 14 years of age, the Defendant’s mistaken belief about the child’s age is not a recognized legal defense. More importantly, a sexual conduct with a minor case involving a child under age fifteen is considered a Dangerous Crime Against Children, or a “DCAC.” These offenses carry some of the stiffest, mandatory sentences in the country. For example, if a person is convicted of sex conduct with a minor of 14 years of age, Arizona sex crimes law requires the judge to impose a lengthy prison sentence. For example, if the alleged victim is under fifteen the sentencing judge must impose a minimum sentence of 13 years in prison for each conviction. If convicted of more than one dangerous crime against children, the court must impose consecutive sentences. The sentences become even harsher if the victim is under twelve years of age.
What is the difference between rape and sexual assault?
The term “rape” has been replaced by the terms “sexual abuse” and “sexual assault,” which lawmakers now use to describe this prohibited sexual act. Sexual assault is generally defined under Arizona law as having intercourse or oral sexual contact without the consent of the other person. A common misconception of sexual assault cases is that physical force needs to be proven before charges can be filed. Nothing can be further from the truth. If the alleged victim of a Phoenix Sexual Assault or rape was drugged, heavily intoxicated, or even sleeping, sexual assault charges can, and usually will, be filed. Prison is mandatory for any sexual assault conviction in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, or Tempe – even if the defendant has no prior criminal record. The amount of time the person will have to spend in the Arizona State Prison depends on a number of factors including whether certain sedatives or other drugs were used without the victim’s knowledge prior to the rape.
What are some common defenses to sex crimes?
Because each case is unique, there are many deferent defenses which may be available in your sex crimes case. Because these cases often hinge on the statements made by the defendant after they are arrested, Joshua S. Davidson scrutinizes all alleged confessions for any "Miranda Violation" which may make your confession inadmissible against you at trial Although most legal challenges to an individuals alleged confession are based on factors such as whether the police properly advised the accused of their rights and whether they honored any request for an attorney or to terminate questioning during the interrogation. Although these classic Miranda issues are commonly seen, there are also less widely known defenses that can be raised to prevent a confession from being used against you. Even if there was no Miranda violation, the confession could be thrown out of court if the police promised you something, however small, in exchange for your statement or coerced you into talking by threatening you. If the confession was the result of any such police misconduct, the Court could find the entire confession inadmissible and prevent the prosecution from using it against you at your sex conduct with a minor, sexual assault, or child molestation trial.
As a former sex crimes prosecutor, Joshua S. Davidson knows the techniques and methods used by police and prosecutors when building a child molestation, child pornography or sexual conduct with a minor case. Joshua S. Davidson understands the clinical and forensic interviewing techniques used by police when obtaining a statement from an alleged child victim and their family members. Armed with this knowledge, Joshua S. Davidson knows how to properly question Sex Crimes Detectives and counselors who may have conducted an initial interview with the alleged victim. This initial interview is critical because the alleged victim’s statement could be completely discredited if it can be shown that the interviewer coached or lead the child into giving the desired answers.
Tainted evidence, factual innocence, mistaken identity and in some cases, consent, may all be used by a Phoenix sex crime defense attorney to defend a sex offense.
What is entrapment?
In order to catch sex offenders, Phoenix police may sometime utilize tactics that may be seen as entrapment, meaning that the police persuaded the defendant to commit a crime they did not intend to commit, or would not have committed had the police not suggested it. This includes such undercover police acts as dressing up as prostitutes to catch offenders, and pretending to be underage children seeking sexual contact on the internet. Entrapment is a hard defense to use and is an affirmative defense - meaning it must be proved by the Defendant. Essentially, the Defendant must prove that:
- The idea of committing the sex crime began with the police, not the defendant
- The police urged and induced the defendant to commit luring, prostitution or other sex crime
- The defendant was not predisposed to perpetrate the kind of sex crime before they were induced by the police to do so.
Entrapment is a complex situation, so it is best to consult with a qualified sex crime defense lawyer to discuss your case.
If you have further questions regarding a sex crime charge or need lawyer representation, contact Phoenix Sex Crime Defense Attorney Joshua S. Davidson today!