UNDERSTANDING SEX CRIME CHARGES IN WASHINGTON
Sex crimes include a broad array of criminal offenses involving or related to sexual contact and sexual motivation, such as rape, molestation, sex with a minor, incest, child pornography, prostitution, and filming or photographing people in places where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy in order to gratify a sexual desire. These are serious crimes that typically come with harsh penalties. Third-degree rape, for example, is a Class C felony under state law. It is punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines. First-degree rape – or forcible sex with the use of a deadly weapon or the threat of serious physical harm, among other circumstances – is a Class A felony. It may lead to a life sentence in prison.
It is also important to be aware that all sex crime convictions carry a significant social stigma. Most people convicted of a sex crime must register as a sex offender. You will need to keep law enforcement authorities up to date on your whereabouts, and you may be among the first people questioned at any time that a possible sex offense occurs in the vicinity. More generally, you will also have a criminal record, which may make it difficult to find and keep a job.
There are a variety of defenses that may be available to people charged with sex crimes, many of which relate to the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense. In some cases, the outcome may come down to the question of whether the sexual contact was consensual. Additionally, a person charged with a crime may also be able to fight off a conviction by showing that they could not have done it because they were somewhere else at the time that the crime occurred. Finally, cases such as these often involve witnesses with ulterior motives or who lack credibility for a variety of reasons.
A seasoned criminal defense attorney can start exploring these issues before charges are even filed. The pre-charge investigation process is a crucial stage, during which a lawyer can gather witness testimony, police reports, and other evidence to support your innocence. It is important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as possible if you are suspected of a crime.
SEEK REPRESENTATION FROM A SEX CRIME ATTORNEY IN THE SEATTLE AREA
We have successfully represented many clients in sex crime prosecutions and a wide range of other cases. Our Seattle sex crime lawyers take a comprehensive approach to legal representation, fully investigating each case and exploring all of the options for fighting the charges. We can help defendants in Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Kent, and Bellevue, as well as other cities in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties. We can also arrange translation services for clients who speak Amharic, Arabic, French, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tigrinya, Somali, Vietnamese, and many other languages. To set up a free appointment, call (206) 623-1604 or contact us online. We can also assist you if you need a drug crime attorney or representation in another criminal matter.