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Any allegation of a sex crime can be devastating. Not only are you facing severe penalties from the courts if you are found guilty, but a simple allegation can wreak havoc on your life. We’re here to help. Contact us to defend your rights, your reputation, and your future.

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


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.

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.

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.


Top-Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving the Bay Area

The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.

We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.

As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.

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Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a track record of successful cases, our lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

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Our Criminal Defense Attorneys: How to Take Back Control of Your Life, And Your Future.

When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.

From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.

We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.

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FAQs: Oakland Sex Crimes Lawyer

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.

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.

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.
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.

Sex Offender Registration

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.


What is 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.

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