Sexual offenses are taken very seriously in Arizona and, because of this, they are very aggressively prosecuted and to the fullest extent of the law. If a person is convicted of a sex offense, the consequences are very steep. Not only are the penalties jail time and fines, but the effects are lasting in the way of a tainted name. Any individual convicted of a sex offense must register as a sex offender. This can have an impact on getting a job and even place residency restrictions on that person. We represent persons throughout Arizona including Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, Scottsdale, and more.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a sexual offense or you are being investigated for one, you need a Phoenix sexual offenses lawyer to help you navigate the legal system and find a more satisfactory conclusion in your case, such as dismissal or acquittal. In the meantime, it is a must for your rights to be upheld, while also providing you with a strategy for fighting the charges.
There are many types of sexual offenses and they can involve adults and they can involve minors. They include:
- Sexual assault
- Child pornography
- Sexual conduct with a minor
- Sexual exploitation of a minor
- Sex abuse
- Date and spousal rape
- Child molestation
- Indecent exposure
There are many cases in which a person is properly charged with the crime, but there are also instances in which a person may be falsely accused. Such is the case in custody disputes or when a person wants to retaliate against another. If the allegations are found to be false, then the person making the allegation could be punished for that action.
Consequences of a Conviction for a Sex Crime
There are several different collateral consequences that can affect you for a long time after you serve your sentence. Collateral consequences are the consequences that impact your ability to engage politically, economically, and socially upon your reentry to society.
These consequences include the barriers to housing, employment, education, and the ability to receive public benefits. Predatory Offender Registration requires you to stay registered for at least a 10 year period. These consequences that come with this registration is the notification of the community that you live in, and the inability to work within a 1,000 foot radius of a school while registered. In addition ,employers and housing lenders/ landlords can see your conviction on your record. This could limit your opportunities to find a good home and meaningful employment. Please read the following:
The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act of 1994 sets up basic standards for sex-offender registration, requiring states to track sex offenders and confirm their residence every year for 10 years after they are released. It also requires those convicted of sexually violent acts to verify their residences quarterly for life.
Congress enacted Megan’s Law in 1996. It made sex-offender registration information public and created guidelines for community notification.
The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 established the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), which is the current federal standard. Arizona does not comply with SORNA’s registration and notification requirements, so it does not receive related federal grant funding. | SORNA
Once a sex offender is released from prison, state law requires the Arizona Department of Public Safety to determine if the offender is registered. DPS must send information about the sex offender to the sheriff’s office in the county where the offender is registered. The convicted sex offender also must register with the county sheriff within 10 days and must be fingerprinted. | ARS 13-3825, B
The county sheriff’s office must send information to the police agency for the city where the offender lives. The local law-enforcement agency enforces the registration requirement, assigning the sex offender to a notification risk level ranging from a low of 1 to a high of 3. Local police also must notify residents within 45 days of a sex offender’s registration within their area. | ARS 13-3825, C
If the sex offender is under community supervision, the county probation department or the Arizona Department of Corrections may be responsible for all or some of the notification process for those offenders. | ARS 13-3825, F
The state DPS maintains an online database of Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders. The Corrections Department also helps update registration information maintained by the sheriff’s office. | ARS 13-3827
If the sex offender is homeless or does not have a permanent residence, the offender must register as transient every 90 days with the sheriff’s office, providing a “description and physical location of any temporary residence.” | ARS 13-3821, I | ARS 13-3821, A
Sex offenders must update their registration every year with the state Motor Vehicle Division, which is supposed to send daily address updates to DPS. Those who do not comply with this requirement are guilty of a Class 6 felony. | ARS 13-3824, B
Sex offenders convicted of dangerous crimes against children are prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a private or public school (kindergarten through 12th grade) or a child-care facility. Violators are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. This does not apply to sex offenders on probation, minors or offenders living at an address before the school or child-care facility was established. | ARS 13-3727
Apartment owners are prohibited from renting more than 10 percent of units to convicted sex offenders. Only one of the renters among that 10 percent can be a Level 3 offender. The limitation does not apply to certain probationers, including offenders in treatment facilities, in supervised transitional programs where they receive services, or multifamily residences in industrial or commercial areas. | ARS 13-3825 | ARS 13-3826
The Phoenix Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program discourages landlords from renting to convicted felons. Through the program, landlords work with police to ensure there is no drug-related or criminal activity on their properties. | Program
Phoenix and other local police are responsible for enforcing registration requirements. Officers who encounter sex offenders on patrol must determine if they are living at their registered address. Police agencies also must notify local residents about sex offenders who have registered in their neighborhood and track offenders whose registrations have expired.
Phoenix city ordinances bar trespassing, loitering and camping on city streets. Sex offenders registered to street corners and sleeping there are in technical violation of these ordinances. However, if they are under state or county supervision, not sleeping at a designated street corner could violate terms of their supervision, making the ordinances largely unenforced.
Dangerous Crimes Against Children
Unfortunately, there are many sexual crimes that are committed against children and they are defined as follows:
- Sexual conduct with a minor – Some penetration or what is referred to as “manual masturbatory conduct.
- Molestation of a child – This is the indirect or direct touching of a child under the age of 15 in a sexual manner. The touching usually occurs over the clothing and includes an adult forcing a child to touch them over their clothing in a sexual way.
- Sexual exploitation of a minor – This can be the possession or distribution of child porn.
The penalties are very stiff for crimes against children, so if falsely accused or the degree of the crime should not be as harsh as what has been charged, it is important to have an Arizona sexual offenses lawyer represent you and show the facts. If convicted, the minimum prison sentence is 13 years with the maximum being 20 years. An aggravated term could be 27 years.
Contact A Arizona Sexual Offenses Attorney
If you or a loved one has been accused of a sexual offense, it is important to obtain legal representation as soon as possible. Whether it is prostitution or child molestation, you do have rights that need to be upheld. To find out how we can help you, call us 24/7 at 602-926-7373 or fill out the contact form for your free initial consultation.
Have you been charged with a crime? Get in touch with a qualified and professional Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case! Our legal experts will fight for your rights and you will get you justice you deserve.