Oakland Sex Crimes Lawyer
Sex crimes may be classified as misdemeanors or felonies, but all of them are serious offenses with consequences that could haunt you for years to come. So, if you are facing charges—potential or realized—for any sex crime in California, it may be wise to talk to an attorney who understands these offenses and knows how to handle them in court.
An Oakland sex crimes lawyer could explain your charge’s legal implications, advise you on how to protect your rights, and devise a strategy to protect your reputation and your future. Experienced criminal attorneys know that allegations can sometimes lead to unwarranted charges, so the aggressive defense may be of critical importance.
Sex Crimes Frequently Charged in Oakland
Defense attorneys see certain sex crimes charged more than others in Oakland. Some of the more common offenses include:
- Rape, including spousal and statutory rape
- Possession or distribution of child pornography
- Sexual battery
- Lewd and/or sex acts with a child
- Indecent exposure and/or lewd conduct in public
While a few of these offenses are considered misdemeanors, most are felonies. As a result, ensuing punishments may be very severe.
Misdemeanor Sex Crimes
Engaging in lewd conduct in a public place or soliciting or engaging in prostitution are acts considered “disorderly conduct” under California Penal Code §647. These crimes are misdemeanors in Oakland and elsewhere in the state.
Many sex crimes may be treated as a misdemeanor in certain circumstances and a felony in others. For example, depending on the circumstances, sexual battery—which consists of touching the intimate body parts of another for sexual gratification when the person being touched either does not or cannot legally consent—may be considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail or a felony offense punishable by a prison sentence or two or more years.
In the same vein, statutory rape—which occurs when an adult has sexual relations with a minor under the age of 18—is treated as a misdemeanor if the adult is no more than three years older than the minor, but as a felony if the age disparity is greater.
Finally, indecent exposure—which consists of exposing private body parts either in public or in any place where there are people who could be annoyed or offended—is generally considered a misdemeanor punishable by no more than one year in jail unless the individual involved has prior convictions, in which case the offense could be considered a felony.
Felony Sex Crimes
Rape is arguably the most notorious sex offense in the state of California. As defined in Cal. Pen. Code §261, an individual commits this offense by having sexual intercourse by force—or by threat of force or retaliation—under false pretenses, with someone who does not consent or is physically or mentally incapable of giving consent, or with someone who is intoxicated, drugged, or unconscious. If this offense is perpetrated against a spouse, the crime is governed by Cal. Pen. Code §262.
Sex offenses involving children are considered especially egregious. Possession, distribution, and production of child pornography are all felony offenses, as is touching a child under age 15 for purposes of sexual gratification. Committing a sex act with a child is an offense with a lengthy minimum prison sentence and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Let an Oakland Sex Crimes Attorney Help
Given the severity of sex crimes, you may need a legal advocate who understands the laws and knows the best defensive strategy to employ based on the unique circumstances of your case. If you are facing any criminal charges involving sexual offenses, consult an Oakland sex crimes lawyer now to protect your rights and your future.