Some of the hardest crimes to defend are sex crimes. Even though sex crimes often include very little evidence, juries are often impacted by the so-called “ick” factor. Not long ago, I was talking to a client who had been charged with a serious felony which was not a sex crime. In the course of the conversation, we happened to discuss a story about someone accused of a sex crime. My client’s response was interesting: “Ick!” and he immediately wanted to hurt the person who allegedly did the crime. Now, mind you, this client to whom I was speaking believed he was innocent of his charges and thought jurors should not automatically assume he was guilty just because he was accused, but here he was with this reaction. I pointed out to him that his was a perfect case demonstrating that just because someone is accused of a crime doesn’t mean they did it. “Yeah, but…ick!,” he said.
Juries will often react the same way. And, unlike the client mentioned above, they won’t even have the fact of being accused of a crime themselves to be able to compare it to.
For these same reasons, some criminal defense attorneys refuse to accept cases where sex crimes are charged. This is especially true when the crimes alleged include children, such as child molestation, child pornography, etc. I don’t shy away from such clients accused of such crimes for one very good reason: an accusation is not a conviction. That’s why you should consider hiring me as your criminal defense lawyer. Unless someone arrives in my office already convicted of a sex crime, they are in fact not guilty of any sex crimes.
Even if they do arrive with a conviction, there may be a reason for me to want to fight for them. I remember one particular person who was convicted of an alleged “sex crime” in another state for apparently swatting someone’s behind in a bar while flirting. You might find this behavior offensive—the person who’s behind was swatted certainly did—but do you think that justifies charging someone with a felony, and forcing them to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life, making it virtually impossible to get a job, or find a decent place to live? Because that’s exactly what happened to this gentleman.
Just because someone has been accused of a “sex crime” does not mean they should not be allowed to have a defense attorney who is willing to fight for them. Accusations of “sex” crimes can, after all, include such things as:
- Peeing in public
- Walking around your house naked, and forgetting windows are open
- Stopping to pick up a hitchhiker, who turns out to be a cop on a prostitution sting
- An angry girlfriend, or soon-to-be-ex-wife, who needs a little leverage in family court
- A child of a girlfriend who wants you to stop seeing his or her mom (or dad)
- Someone who wants to get even for some other reason, including school kids mad at a teacher, or janitor, because the teacher, or janitor, got them in trouble for doing something wrong
Just as there can be a variety of false accusations, there are varieties of “sex” crimes. You may be guilty of something like a sexual assault for grabbing a woman’s breast, but charged with attempted rape. Sex crimes include:
- Rape, including rape by force
- Statutory rape, which might be “consensual,” but still a crime
- Manufacturing child porn for taking a picture of yourself in the nude when you are under the age of 18
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Kidnapping with intent to rape
- Oral copulation by force
- Lewd behavior with a child
- Annoying a child
- Failure to register as a sex offender
You need a criminal defense attorney with experience handling sex cases and who isn’t afraid to take them on. I’ve defended people accused of sexual molestation, forcible oral copulation, rape, and other sex crimes in Tulare and Fresno County. (I will take cases in other counties, as well, but I practice primarily in Fresno, and these two counties are the ones where I’ve defended sex cases at the time of this writing.)
My representation in sex cases includes not only defending against sex allegations in the courtroom, but in assisting individuals with Sex Offender registration problems.
One thing I’ve learned is that sex crimes are not just complicated by the so-called “ick” factor, but also by the fact that legislators routinely pander to people by routinely tinkering with criminal laws pertaining to sex crimes. In one case in which I was involved, the biggest question—because the client had admitted the crimes before hiring me—had to do with sentencing factors. The probation department, the prosecutor, the judge, and even me (at the beginning) were having problems understanding what the proper sentence would be. This was because the client was accused of crimes over a long period of time. The laws had changed significantly between the first incident for which he was accused, to the last. Finally, I sat down and meticulously mapped out all the accusations, went back through the various versions of the laws, and noted when they changed. By cross-referencing the timelines that I created, I was able to arrive at a proper sentence, which was significantly less than anyone else had thought was the correct sentence.
Judges and prosecutors respect him because he knows the law and fights for his clients. — Fresno area attorney Phillip Billington [read full endorsement on Avvo.com]
In another case involving accusations of statutory rape, the prosecution supposedly had “rock solid” DNA evidence, plus witnesses willing to testify. The client did not want to go to trial, but the Deputy District Attorney was insisting on a plea agreement that required sex offender registration, which would have essentially ruined my client’s life. Ultimately, I was able to convince the prosecution to drop the request for sex offender registration.
This shows that even if you have already admitted to guilt, or you feel that there is “too much evidence” against you to win, I can still help.
Have worked with Rick on several cases. Works well with clients and very interested in fighting for them. Willing to do the extra work at the front end of cases to get the case dismissed. — Fresno area attorney Gerald Schwab [read full endorsement on Avvo.com]
This is why, when you are accused of sex crimes, you need a good sexual crimes defense attorney who stays knowledgeable on the law, including sentencing provisions, and is not afraid to go to bat for you, even when things seem “cut and dry.”
If you find yourself needing a sex crimes defense attorney in Fresno, Hanford, Madera, Visalia, Porterville, Tulare, Merced, Mariposa, or any other area of Central California, call (559) 233-8886 now!