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Experience with a Variety of Sex Crime Cases

Oakland Sex Crime Allegations

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 a rigorous defense strategy may be critical.

Sex Crimes Frequently Charged in Oakland

Defense attorneys see certain sex crimes get charged more frequently than other offenses in Oakland. Some of the more common offenses include:

  • Forcible Rape, including spousal and statutory rape
  • Possession or distribution of child pornography
  • Sexual battery
  • Lewd conduct with a child
  • Human Trafficking
  • Prostitution
  • 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. If you are facing a sex crime charge, contact an Oakland sex crime lawyer on our team today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

The Timeline of a Sex Crime Investigation

  • Reporting

    Typically, the first thing that starts a sex crime investigation is when the alleged crime is reported. Although the event may have occurred months or years ago, the investigation really begins once the complaint has been made by the alleged victim.

  • Gathering Medical Evidence

    Once the complaint has been made, the ensuing investigation process begins. A detective will be in contact with the special units that work with the prosecution and law enforcement agencies. These SART Teams (Sexual Assault Response Teams) will try to gather as much evidence as they can from the alleged victim about the complaint before the evidence goes stale.

  • Getting a Statement from the Complainant

    After the initial round of evidence collection, law enforcement will contact the alleged victim to get a statement they can use to prosecute the alleged perpetrator. The statement will explain what happened on the date of the alleged crime. If possible, the alleged victim will also identify the perpetrator in their statement.

  • Gathering More Evidence

    After receiving the statement, law enforcement will begin collecting more evidence. Some common types of evidence that is collected includes:

    • DNA
    • Photographs
    • Text Messages
    • Direct Messages
    • Snapchats
    • Social Media Posts
    • Witnesses
    • Voicemails
    • Emails
    • Letters
    • Documentation of Injuries

    Law enforcement will try to get as much evidence as possible as soon as they can to prevent the evidence they need to prosecute the case from being destroyed.

  • Questioning the Alleged Perpetrator

    At this point in the investigation, law enforcement is more than likely going to reach out to the person who has been accused of the crime to bring them in for questioning. They may say to the suspect that the statement the suspect is making is not part of an interrogation, the suspect is not under arrest, or that they are just trying get a better idea of what happened during the alleged crime. It is very important to understand at this stage in the investigation, anything the suspect says during their questioning can and will be held against them in the court of law. You should also know that law enforcement can lie during the course of an investigation or interrogation. If you are asked to come in for questioning, it is paramount that you talk to or hire an attorney prior to speaking with law enforcement.

  • Referring the Investigation to the District Attorney (DA) for Charging

    At this point in the investigation process, the investigation team is going to refer the case over to the District Attorney (DA) for charging and review. The DA’s office could decide not to pursue charges based on the evidence, send it back to the investigating officer for more information, or file criminal charges against the accused. If they do file charges, then the court process will begin. If you are under investigation for a sex crime or if you are facing sex crime charges, you should contact an Oakland sex crime attorney as soon as possible. Contact a member of our team to schedule a free 30-minute consultation and learn more about your options.

Our Mission

At The Nieves Law Firm, we believe in compassion, forgiveness, and rehabilitation. That people are beautiful and change just like seasons. We believe in thoughtful communication and plans for a brighter future. We believe in restoring reputations and dreams. That we aren’t defined by our worst mistake and obstacles are meant to get over. We believe in taking the “criminal” out of criminal defense.

Tom S. (Google)

“As a former federal prosecutor, I can speak to the value of a top-notch criminal defense attorney. If you find yourself charged with a crime in California, do yourself a favor and call this law firm.”

- Tom S. (Google) Google
Ching-Li (Yelp)

“I was looking for a lawyer to help me with a case that should never have been filed in the first place. She wrote a motion that got 6 of 10 charges dismissed before trial and at trial Jo-Anna won the rest of the case. I was found NOT GUILTY of everything.”

- Ching-Li (Yelp) Google
Kathy (Yelp)

“There comes a time in every mother’s life where their child has to be left in the hands of strangers, and we pray they will be ok. I had to do that with you… and she’s better than ok. She has her future back again. Thank you so much!!!”

- Kathy (Yelp) Google

What are the Penalties for Sex Crimes in California?

The consequences of a sex crime are dependent upon the facts and circumstances of the case. Specifically, the exact charge you are convicted of will determine what penalties you may face. Whether or not the crime of conviction is a felony or a misdemeanor plays a large role in the severity of the consequences you will face. Due to the serious nature of the offenses, most sex crimes are considered felonies.

Individuals convicted of most misdemeanor sex offenses, such as solicitation or prostitution, will be subject to up to 1 year in county jail on top of fines imposed by the court. Some misdemeanor sex offenses carry the requirement to register as a sex offender such as misdemeanor sexual battery (Penal Code 243.4). Individuals convicted of a felony sex offense are often facing state prison time in addition to fines and the requirement to register as a sex offender. For instance, if someone is convicted of rape by force or fear (Penal Code 261), they will be facing 3-8 years in state prison, formal supervision, and registration as a sex offender.

When determining whether or not your case will be filed as a felony or a misdemeanor, you need to look at the exact circumstances that led to the complaint. We talk to many different individuals who contact our firm prior to the criminal charges being filed, while they are still in the investigative stage of the process. At this point, we can look at all the details to make a projection about whether the case will be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. This allows us to begin building our defense as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.

Contact an Oakland sex crime lawyer on our team today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the exact penalties you are facing and how we can help you navigate the criminal process from the investigation to questioning and, if needed, all the way through trial.

How We Help with Your Sex Crime Allegations

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Real Cases. Real Results.

DVRO + Sexual Battery
Outcome: Dismissed
Client was accused of felony sexual battery and was served with a summons for a Restraining Order by client's ex-partner. The Restraining Order was ultimately dismissed after we filed a detailed response to counter each of Petitioner's accusations and criminal charges were rejected.
Rape and 22 Other Felony Charges
Outcome: Client Pled Guilty to One Count of Accessory After the Fact
Client was arrested and arraigned on 23 felony charges ranging from assault, battery, and rape after an intimate partner claimed that consensual intercourse was not consensual. The Nieves Law Firm was able to secure a dismissal of 22 of the 23 charges at a preliminary hearing, resulting in the client pleading no contest to one charge of PC 32 (Accessory After the Fact) which is not sexual or violent in nature. Client was also immediately released from custody.
Sexual Assault
Outcome: Dismissed
Client, a juvenile, was accused of sexual assault by another minor. The client and client's family were distraught at the seriousness of these charges and how a conviction would affect the client's future. We defended client against a Restraining Order by the parents of the alleged "victim", which was ultimately dismissed. Thus, our client's reputation was saved, the client's future was unobstructed, and no expulsion from school took place.  Criminal charges were not filed and matter was certified as detention only.
Felony Sexual Battery & Restraining Order
Client was accused of felony sexual battery and was served with a summons for a Restraining Order by the client's ex-partner. The Restraining Order was ultimately dismissed after our team filed a forceful response countering the Petitioner's accusations. The criminal charges were ultimately rejected and the client no longer had to face the threat of criminal prosecution or the requirement to register as a sex offender.
23 Felony Counts Ranging from Sodomy, Oral Copulation, Rape, and Domestic Violence
Client was arrested and arraigned on 23 felony charges ranging from various allegations of forcible rape, sodomy, oral copulation, and domestic violence (corporal injury) after an intimate partner claimed that ongoing consensual intercourse was not consensual. Our attorneys successfully defeated all 23 charged allegations and resolved the matter as a PC 32 (accessory after the fact) that secured the client’s immediate release from custody. The client was not required to register as a sex offender, serve further jail time, and the PC 32 was reduced to a misdemeanor.
3 Misdemeanor Charges Related to Child Molestation and Contempt
Client was facing 3 misdemeanor charges, including 2 counts of PC 647.3(a)(1) – Child Molestation and one count of PC 166(a)(4) – Contempt. Client was accused of making inappropriate advance against a minor and violating a pending restraining order. Client was facing several years in county jail and mandatory sex offender registration. Our team was able to secure a resolution that not only dismissed the sex offenses and the contempt action but resulted in a no contest plea to a petty misdemeanor offense of PC 653m(a), annoying telephone calls. The client did serve jail time and was not required to register as a sex offender.

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.

Some sex crimes may be treated as a misdemeanor in certain circumstances and a felony in others. These are known as “Wobblers” because they can “wobble” up to a felony or “wobble” down to a misdemeanor. 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 of 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.

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.
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 the age 14 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.

One of the most pervasive penalties associated with a sex crime conviction is the requirement to register as a sex offender. Individuals convicted of specific sex crimes are required to register with local law enforcement every year within 5 days of their birthday or, if they move, within 5 days of moving. At one point, all sex crime convictions in California required a person to register as a sex offender for life. California’s sex offender registration is now broken down into three tiers based on severity:

  • Tier 1 – The first tier is applicable to people convicted of the least severe sex crimes, such as indecent exposure or any misdemeanor sex offense. Individuals in this tier are required to register as a sex offender for at least 10 years from the date of conviction (5 years if they were a minor when convicted). Individuals in this tier can petition to be removed from the sex offender registry if they have been on the list for the required 10 years. These individuals are not posted on the Megan’s Law website.
  • Tier 2 – Individuals convicted of moderately severe sex offenses will be required to register as a sex offender for at least 20 years (10 years if they were a minor when convicted). An example of a Tier 2 offense includes incest. Similar to tier 1, individuals in this tier can petition to be removed from the sex offender registry if they have been on the list for the required 20 years or they can petition after 10 years if they qualify for the Tier 2 10-year exception. These individuals are posted on the Megan’s Law website.
  • Tier 3 – Individuals convicted of the most severe sex offenses will be required to register as a sex offender for life. Some examples of tier 3 offenses include felony possession of child pornography and most rape offense. These individuals do not have the ability to petition to be removed from the sex offender registry and their information will be posted on the Megan’s Law website.

The sex offender registry is a major consequence for individuals convicted of a sex crime. Not only will they be required to register as a sex offender, but their information will be shared publicly due to what is known as Megan’s Law.

Megan’s Law, enacted in 1996 by Penal Code 290.46, requires the California justice department to notify the general public about registered sex offenders. It also requires local law enforcement agencies to notify the public about violent registered sex offenders who may be a risk to the safety of the public. Megan’s Law is prevalent in every state in some form or fashion.

Typically, the information listed on this website includes names, aliases, height, weight, date of birth, photos, and addresses in specific circumstances. Click Here to Visit California’s Megan’s Law Website.

Get Help from an Oakland Sex Crimes Attorney Today

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. Call The Nieves Law Firm today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with a member of our legal team.

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Client Reviews

By: Ovo K

Title: Very Helpful

The Nieves law firm was super helpful with my case. I spoke with Nadia she was very helpful and provided comfort in period of uncertainty for me, very responsive and easy to talk to she made me feel at ease. They were also very understanding to my financial situation and worked with me.

Rating: ★★★★★ 5 / 5 stars
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