Defense against a sex crime allegation requires some unique skills. Proper investigation, analysis of evidence, and the application of the law can provide the basis for a successful defense. We work closely with outside professionals, such as a private investigator who is a retired sex crimes police detective and a local therapist who specializes in sex offender evaluation and treatment.
Since 1980 the attorneys at Casciola & Galambos, LLP have represented clients accused of sex offenses and other serious crimes. We understand the law and the criminal justice system in San Luis Obispo County. In every case, we seek to build a strong and effective defense for our client.
Topics in sex crime defense law of a general nature are discussed below.
Sex Offenses – An Overview
Sex offenses include a myriad of criminal sexual behaviors, ranging from prostitution to rape. If you or one of your family members is facing a sex-offense charge, it is very important to obtain the legal representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney like one at Casciola & Galambos, LLP of San Luis Obispo, CA. The penalties for a sex offense conviction can be serious and life-changing, but many defenses are available. Contacting an attorney as soon as possible allows the evidence to be evaluated and witnesses to be questioned soon after the event.
What Is A Sex Offense?
Sex offenses include all forms of illegal sexual activity, ranging from the crime of rape, usually defined as sexual penetration without consent, to the crime of prostitution, usually defined as sex for hire. The most serious crimes involve the sexual assault of children or include physical injury. Other sex offenses include public indecency, prostitution, solicitation, lewd acts, and statutory rape.
Generally, sexual assault includes unwanted physical contact with a sexual organ. In some states, the laws also prohibit aggressive sexually suggestive statements, without requiring physical contact. Physical contact is considered unwanted if the victim refused, physically objected or was unable to give legal consent. It is not necessary to show that the accuser physically resisted. Current laws are usually gender-neutral, so they protect all sexual-assault victims.
Misdemeanor or Felony?
Most sexual-abuse and sexual-assault crimes are felonies. Lesser offenses such as public indecency are often misdemeanors. The local prosecutor will decide whether a felony or misdemeanor charge is more appropriate under the particular circumstances. A criminal defense attorney, if contacted early enough during the investigation, may be able to minimize the charges that you face. Each state’s statutes provide for different crimes, definitions, punishments and guidelines. A criminal defense attorney well versed in the laws of your state can help you evaluate your situation and prepare your defense.
Prosecution and Defenses
Many sex-offense acts have no witnesses, so prosecutorial decisions are made on the strength of other evidence and on the credibility of the parties. Because of the nature of the crime, false accusations can occur and it can be difficult to defend against such charges. If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a sex offense, the most important call you can make will be to your criminal defense lawyer so he or she can begin investigating your case and defending your rights as soon as possible. Conviction of a sex offense can bring severe penalties and change your life forever. An aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney will help craft a vigorous defense considering the law and facts of your case and may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
The prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant committed a sex offense. The available defenses vary greatly from crime to crime, but may include consent, insufficient evidence, innocence and other defenses. Your state of mind and intention, the surrounding circumstances and other factors may affect the degree of any criminal responsibility you may be found to have. A criminal defense attorney can ensure that the prosecutor has not ignored evidence that is in your favor. Your defense attorney will gather evidence to support your defenses, possibly including a psychological evaluation, evidence showing the victim has a motive not to tell the truth or a history of not telling the truth, evidence of the victim’s mental state or tendency to fantasize or to form false memories, supporting medical evidence and opinions and other evidence showing that you are innocent or committed only a lesser included offense. Therefore, you must contact a criminal defense attorney to begin the defensive investigation as soon as possible.
Speak to a Criminal Defense Lawyer
The legal consequences, as well as the natural social ramifications, of a sex-offense conviction can be severe and daunting and can last your entire life. Punishments and other negative consequences may include sex-offender registration and Internet posting; stigma and ostracism; supervised probation or parole; incarceration, including the possibility of life in prison; high costs and fees; loss of voting rights; civil institutional commitment; community supervision, electronic monitoring or home confinement; restriction on military service; limits on the right to own firearms; negative impact on employment; loss of parental and adoption rights; restitution; polygraphs; psychological or substance-abuse counseling or treatment; medical or genetic testing; placement in a community residence for sex offenders; and in some situations even the death penalty.
Given these possibilities, if you are facing sexual-offense charges in or around San Luis Obispo, CA, you need the experienced and aggressive defense of a skilled lawyer like one at Casciola & Galambos, LLP.