How Is A Sex Crime Defined In Arizona?
What Are The Penalties For Different Cases Of Sexual Offenses?
The state of Arizona takes sex crimes seriously. Consequences are severe, including a lifetime of probation, extended prison time, registry as a sex offender, social and employment consequences, and much more. Sex crimes also carry a social stigma that is not generally associated with other types of criminal activity, especially if the victim was a minor or if there is a significant age gap between the offender and victim.
Unfortunately for some people, sex crime allegations and conviction can occur even if the alleged offender was unaware of the law or did not intend to commit a crime. In these cases, it’s especially important to seek representation from an experienced Glendale sex crimes attorney.
How Does Arizona Define Sex Crimes?
Sex crimes are defined in Arizona law as when an individual knowingly or intentionally engages in sexual contact with another person without their consent. This can include a wide variety of behaviors and actions. Other factors, such as the alleged victim’s age and whether alcohol, drugs, or weapons were involved, will also be considered in determining the severity of the case.
If you’ve been accused of a sex crime in Arizona, it’s imperative to get immediate representation from an experienced Mesa criminal defense attorney. Ideally, get representation before speaking with law enforcement. If this has already occurred, seek legal representation right away to promote the best possible outcome in your case.
What Are Examples Of Sex Crimes In Arizona?
Sexual assault or sex crimes in Arizona include penetration of the vulva, penis, or anus with anything, without the consent of the alleged victim. This can include oral contact with any of those body parts as well. Sexual assault can also include verbal threats, intimidation, or fear. Other types of sex crimes include indecent exposure, sexual exploitation of a minor, child pornography, rape, and prostitution.
What Are The Consequences Of A Sex Crime Conviction?
Although sex crimes are considered Class 2 felonies in Arizona, the penalties for sex crimes can vary widely, depending upon which type of crime was committed, the age of the victim, whether a weapon or drugs were involved, whether it was a first or subsequent offense, and additional circumstances. Subsequent offenses will receive more severe punishments than first time offenses.
However, all sex crimes carry serious consequences that can be lifelong. In many cases, alleged offenders lose the opportunity to a plea bargain, because Arizona recognizes mandatory sentencing laws. For example, Arizona requires 5-14 of prison for those convicted of rape.
Other consequences of conviction can include:
- Long prison sentencing, often without the potential of parole or probation for at least 35 years
- Criminal fines
- Lifelong probation
- Registration on the Arizona Sex Offender Registry, which can be searched by anyone
- Loss of professional licensure
- Ineligibility for some careers and volunteer positions
- Psychological evaluation or risk assessment to determine whether the offender poses a risk to the community
- Difficulty with housing and employment
- Potential to lose child custody
- Loss of friends and family relationships
- Social stigma
Your East Valley criminal defense lawyer will work on your behalf to minimize your conviction and consequences.
What About Other Circumstances?
If a date rape drug was used when the crime was committed, the offender can expect an additional three years to their sentence. If intentional injury was caused when the person was assaulted, the prison sentence can be escalated to 25 years up to life in prison. There may be additional penalties if a weapon was involved in the crime.
What If The Alleged Victim Was A Minor?
The age of consent in Arizona is 18 years of age. There are more significant penalties for individuals who commit sex crimes against children who are 15 or younger. Mandatory sentencing laws require 13-27 years of prison time if the sexual offense involved children.
People Unable To Consent
Arizona considers any individual who is impaired by a mental condition, a mental defect, or the effects of drugs or alcohol unable to give consent to sexual acts. This can complicate situations that may otherwise have been considered innocent at the time, such as if both parties were drinking. If the alleged offender tricked the alleged victim, such as in regard to the nature of the act or led them to believe that they were their spouse, there was no consent and the act could be prosecuted as a sex crime.
Get The Representation You Need From A Trusted Criminal Defense Attorney In Phoenix
Arizona is tough on sex crimes, with lengthy prison sentences and other serious consequences that can be lifelong. If you’ve been accused of a sex crime, you need legal help immediately from a trusted Phoenix criminal defense lawyer.
The attorneys at My AZ Lawyers have extensive experience representing people who have been accused of sex crimes. We will provide legal guidance, advice, and representation throughout the entire process, and work hard to keep you informed of the details of your case. Don’t try to face sex crime allegations alone! Get the representation you need from an experienced attorney. Learn more about how we can help when you schedule a free, confidential consultation with us. We are often able to provide same-day consultations and are ready to serve you.
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