Sex Crime Defense Lawyers in Los Angeles
An Accusation Can Destroy Your Life – Take Action Today
Everyone deserves to be treated fairly under the law. This applies to people accused of sexual assault and other related offenses as well. Yet, in the current climate, people are quick to believe an accusation before a thorough investigation can be made. You can be tried and found guilty in the realm of public opinion before a trial has even begun.
At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, we believe it is the responsibility of the government to prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. We work diligently to make sure our clients are fairly represented. If you have been accused of a sex-related crime, contact us today at (213) 688-0460 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
What Is a Sex Crime?
In California, the term "sex crime" is a broad description that includes a range of offenses. Crimes such as rape, sexual assault, and prostitution are all examples of sex crimes. The following is a list of offenses that can fall under the umbrella of sex crimes:
- Lewd acts with a minor
- Child molestation
- Lewd conduct
- Failure to register as a sex offender
- Indecent exposure
- Possession of child pornography
- Pimping and pandering
- Revenge porn
- Human trafficking
- Distribution of child pornography
- Soliciting a prostitute
- Sexual battery
- Statutory rape (sexual intercourse with a minor)
- Sexual abuse of a minor
- Oral copulation by force
While most of the above charges would be prosecuted in local or state courts, certain sex crimes come under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Child pornography is handled by the federal authorities, and most sex crimes involving children are federal offenses. Violent sex crimes, including rape, will often include federal charges such as kidnapping. Finally, if the crimes were committed across state lines, the federal courts will likely be involved.
Federal cases are more complicated and costlier to try in court. The first task we will attempt is ensuring that your case stays at the state level.
What Is the Sex Offender Registry?
Sex offender registries are an overlapping network of federal and state systems that gather information on convicted sex offenders on behalf of law enforcement and the public. As of 2019, there were an estimated 752,000 registered sex offenders in the United States.
People who have been convicted of a sex crime will typically have to register as sex offenders, which will require them to supply their personal information, including a photograph, fingerprints, address, and place of employment. This information will be publicly available, and inclusion on the registry can have a negative impact on a person’s ability to find employment.
In many jurisdictions, registrants are subject to restrictions that bar them from certain zones, such as near schools and parks. This means they are forbidden to live, work, or even enter particular areas of a city.
Being charged with a sex crime also carries a stigma that will adversely affect your personal and professional reputation and may linger long after you have served time.
Different New Tiers for Sex Offenders
Starting January 1, 2021, California made significant changes to how its sex offender registry operates by implementing a three-tiered system. Senate Bill (SB) 384 discontinued the enforcement of lifetime registration for most types of offenses. The new system works as follows:
- Tier 1: Defendants convicted of the lowest level of sex offenses, such as indecent exposure, must register as sex offenders for 10 years.
- Tier 2: Defendants convicted of mid-level sex offenses must register for a minimum of 20 years. These offenses include lewdness with a minor under the age of 14.
- Tier 3: Defendants will most likely spend the rest of their lives on the sex offender registry, since this tier encompasses the most severe sex crimes, including rape, sexual assault on a child, and sex trafficking.
Juveniles convicted of sex crimes will be forced to register for 5 years or 10 years, depending on their sentencing.
Removing Your Name from the Sex Offender Registry
As of July 1, 2021, individuals who fall under Tier 1 and Tier 2 have the right to petition the superior court in their county of residence to have themselves removed from the sex offender registry, if they’ve met the minimum number of years as determined by their crime.
Removing your name from the registry before your time is up can prove difficult. But with a highly skilled team of attorneys on your side, you may be successful. One option would be a dismissal of your case after you have finished a probation or jail/prison sentence. This may get the conviction off your record, but still require registration as a sex offender.
The second possible way to have your name removed is to obtain a California certificate of rehabilitation. While this may not take your conviction off the record, it would allow you to be removed from the sex offender registry.
Tier 3 offenders, however, are required to stay on the registry for life. Tier 3 offenders may only be removed in very rare exceptions, such as after receiving a governor’s pardon, and doing so can prove quite difficult.
It’s Important to Fight Your Charges Aggressively
Registering as a sex offender can impact your life for decades. It is important to understand your rights and get the best defense possible. When you come to Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, our highly skilled team of Los Angeles sex defense attorneys will provide you with the best legal counsel available.
While we can work with you to secure a certificate of rehabilitation, which will allow you to end your obligation to register as a sex offender, the best way to avoid the registry is to avoid being convicted of a crime in the first place. Our goal is to get your charges reduced, or to avoid charges altogether. But if need be, we will see your case all the way through to appeal.
If you or a loved one is facing sex crime charges in the Los Angeles area, contact us immediately. The sooner Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP can review your case, the more quickly we can build an effective and thorough defense. Call us today at (213) 688-0460 to schedule a free consultation.
- When Does Sexual Harassment Become Sexual Abuse?
- What You Need to Know About the Sex Offender Registry
Contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP Today
Phone: (213) 688-0460
Fax: (213) 624-1942
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.