Sex Crime Lawyer in Los Angeles, CA
What should I do if I am under investigation for a sex crime or have been arrested for a sex crime in Los Angeles County?
Your first move is to say nothing to anyone about your case (especially law enforcement) and set up a consultation with an experienced sex crime attorney. Before you go to the meeting, take the time to write a list of questions that will assist in educating you about what will happen in your case and help you determine if this is the attorney you want representing you in front of the judge. Your going to want to know about the potential attorney’s experience in the courthouse where your case is pending. In other words, have they traveled down the road your are about to embark on and been successful?
Next, when you meet with the attorney, be honest and straight forward with them. Don’t go in there with a mentality that you are going to give the attorney your defense points and downplay what happened. The best place to start is to tell them what the police / prosecutor are claiming you did. In other words, right from the beginning tell them the good, the bad and the ugly about your case. Make sure to pull no punches in your description. Once you tell them what you are up against, they will likely have some real specific questions for you. Again, answer them straight forward without trying to twist the facts so they sound better for you. Once you have been clear with the attorney about what you are up against and answered all of their questions, now you are in a position to ask your own questions to help determine if this attorney is right for you.
WHAT SHOULD I BE CONCERNED WITH IF I AM FACING A SEX CRIME CHARGE IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY?
This is a crucial question, because most people have never been charged with a sex crime and may not realize some of the serious consequences that come along with these type of charges. You should be concerned about registering as a sex offender for the rest of your life (and being placed on the Megan’s Law website, where everyone will have access to your charges), being sent to prison for a significant period of time (versus receiving a probationary sentence and possible local time in the Los Angeles County Jail) and of course you should be concerned about the impact this type of charge can have on your family, job and future. Hence, choosing an attorney that has all of these concerns in mind from the beginning is your most important next move.
HOW IS IT DETERMINED WHETHER A PERSON WILL HAVE TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER?
There are a number of important factors that go into the determination of whether a person charged with a sex crime in Los Angeles will ultimately have to register as a sex offender or not. It depends on the charge you actually end up pleading guilty to that will determine whether you will have to register as a sex offender or not. Inexperienced attorneys unfortunately don’t realize one key element as it relates to this issue…what charge a particular defendant pleads to is negotiable. Meaning, a seasoned defense attorney can try and persuade the prosecutor or judge to permit their client to plead to an offense that does not require them to register as a sex offender. Other factors that will be discussed include, but are not limited to, the person’s age, prior criminal record, the conduct in the current case, the age of the alleged victim and the seriousness of the offense as compared to other offenses that have occurred and are occurring in Los Angeles on a daily basis.
WHAT FACTORS WILL BE CONSIDERED WHEN DETERMINING WHETHER A PERSON CHARGED WITH A SEX CRIME WILL BE SENT TO PRISON OR BE GIVEN PROBATION?
This is one of the key areas of discussion in courtrooms across Los Angeles County related to sex crime charges everyday. The prosecutors and judges will be looking at what the offender allegedly did, how much harm actually came to the alleged victim, the victim’s age, the defendants criminal record and many times a psychological report will be ordered to access the person’s likelihood of recidivism or repeating the behavior he or she is currently charged with. They will also be looking at the person’s prior criminal record. However, just because someone may have no criminal record, does not necessarily mean that they will no be sent to prison. If the conduct is bad enough and involves an underage victim or was violent then most of the time the prosecutors will be seeking many years in prison. This is why it is essential to find an attorney that know what arguments to use to counter the prosecutor’s harsh line on these cases.
WHAT CAN I DO IN ORDER TO PROTECT MY JOB, FAMILY AND FUTURE FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF BEING CHARGED WITH A SEX CRIME?
The first thing you should do is sit down with your attorney and decide exactly how the case is going to be litigated. Is it going to be fought all the way or are you going to have to work out a deal based on the evidence the police and prosecutors have gathered. Once this decision is made, then the pieces of the puzzle can be put together in such a way so that the case can be litigated quickly and decisively. This will save you the pain and anguish that is typically associated with these type of prosecutions. And, a plan can be put in place to use all the discretion possible to safe guard you family, career and future. I see all too often in decision and the client not know what is going in with their case leading to disaster! I have had to come in and pick up the pieces after the attorney client relationship has broken down and the attorney did not fulfill all the promises he or she made to the client at the beginning of the case. This is why it is imperative that you do your research, as the right questions and use your common sense when deciding who you lawyer will be.
HOW DO I CHOOSE MY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY?
This question is on the mind of just about every person that comes to see me at my office. This is a crucial question, because not all criminal defense attorneys are created equally. With the Internet being such a powerful tool to market, there are many attorneys that are able to catch a potential client’s attention who do not have the skill, experience or connections to properly litigate a sex crime in Los Angeles. You should meet the prospective attorney face to face and bare in mind that they will be the one representing your interests in court. If you do not like them, then obviously a judge, jury or prosecutor will probably feel the same way. Find an attorney who is not only battle tested, but who knows the players in the courthouse and can explain his or her strategy in these type of cases in a clear and concise manner. You do not want an arrogant bloated attorney that will not come across as sincere in the eyes of the critical people they will have to deal with in the court system…unfortunately, there are many attorneys that are all talk but simply can not produce for their clients. Make the decision on who to hire very carefully, because the outcome of your case will affect you the rest of your life.
WHEN SHOULD YOU TAKE A SEX CRIME TO TRIAL VERSUS WORKING OUT A PLEA BARGAIN WITH THE PROSECUTORS?
This is one of the most important decision that must be made in a sex crime case in one of the 40 courthouses in Los Angeles. If if is not made early enough then the client can suffer the consequences of an angry prosecutor and frustrated judge. Prosecutors do not like to have to bring their victim witnesses in to testify and be grilled over by a defense attorney. If the defendant makes them do that and then later tries to work out a deal, the defendant will feel the wrath of the prosecutor in the offer that is made. This is why the right decision must be made at the right time. The wisdom of your seasoned defense attorney should prevail on this issue. On the other hand, if the case against a defendant is weak, over filed or simply false, then it is time to fight and bring all the evidence to bare that shows that the client is innocent or that the prosecutors are operating under the wrong factual scenario. Again, this is where the experience of a battle tested defense attorney is invaluable regarding making the right decisions at the right time.
THE BASICS ABOUT SEX CRIMES AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP…
Being charged with a sex crime can put a person’s reputation and freedom on the line. Our firm prides itself on representing persons in a confidential and professional fashion. When you meet with us the consultation in a private setting and is protected under the cloak of the attorney client privilege. We will go over your case in a discreet manner and design a solution to your specific problem. Call us and set up a free face to face consultation. Of key importance when you meet with me is that you tell the complete detailed truth about what happened. You should go so far as to tell the story from the police’s perspective, so that I really have an idea of what they are claiming that you did. If someone comes in with a defense mind and decides to only tell me what they want me to hear, they are really just short changing themselves and their potential defense. Honesty and transparency is the best approach to achieve the best result.
SOME LANGUAGE AND LAW RELATED TO SEX CRIMES IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY…
A sex crime is a form or act of sexual behavior that is illegal. Many sex crimes, like rape, involve force, coercion, and/or violence. Any person who is convicted of a sex crime is considered a sex offender and must submit his/her name to the California Sex Offender Registry. There are a variety of sex crimes, the most common include: rape, statutory rape, sexual assault, child molestation, prostitution, lewd conduct, indecent exposure, and internet pornography.
Sex Crime Legal Consequences and Megan’s Law
Since the passing of Megan’s Law, people who have been charged with sex crimes involving a minor (person below the legal age of consent) have been aggressively prosecuted by law enforcement and California District Attorneys. Of all crimes, sex crimes tend to be the most vigorously investigated. Any person who is charged with or accused of a sex crime faces serious legal penalties such as imprisonment, restitution, fines, probation, and court ordered treatment. Additionally, people who are charged with sex crimes must deal with personal bias from family, friends, neighbors, peers, and society as a whole.
If you have been charged with or accused of a sex crime, you need to retain the services of a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. Without the aid of a skilled sex crimes attorney, your rights may be violated during investigations, or you may make critical errors that could negatively impact your case outcome.
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys
The Hedding Law Firm has successfully represented a vast array of clients who have been charged with sex crimes. Our attorneys know that crimes of this nature demand aggressive defense tactics. We also understand the emotional turmoil our clients and their families face when sex crime charges are involved. That is why we place every effort into protecting every clients rights and best interests.