Relentless Defense for Serious Criminal Charges
Sex crimes are defined as highly inappropriate or sexually abusive actions. The consequences for these crimes are not just limited to the courtroom. If you are convicted of a sex crime, then respect from your friends and community may vanish, your job may be at stake, you may be socially (and in some cases legally) banned from certain areas, and your family could suffer torment and humiliation from neighbors, locals, and peers.
Even moving to a new home may not safeguard you or your family’s reputation and social standing. This is because of Megan’s Law, which allows the general public to access an online database of registered sex offenders–a list where your name and address will be stamped for all to see. Future opportunities are at risk if you are convicted of a sex crime, so contact a Riverside criminal defense attorney for immediate legal assistance if you are facing accusations or charges of a sexual offense.
Actions that are considered as sex crimes include:
- Sexual misconduct
- Statutory rape
- Date Rape
- Internet Sex Crimes
- Distribution of pornography
- Child pornography
- Sexual assault
- Indecent exposure
- Aggravated indecent assault
- Solicitation / Prostitution
- Child molestation
- Luring of a child
- Lewd Conduct
There are other types of sex crimes that can lead you to conviction and severe penalties as well. Do not hesitate to retain a criminal defense attorney if you are facing any of these serious criminal charges.
Sex Crimes Involving Children
Sex crimes against children are considered the most heinous of all sex crimes. As a result, prosecutors and judiciaries take them very seriously. Even though it is the job of lawyer, court systems, and law enforcement officials to keep personal feelings out of a purely objective investigation, everyone is human. This fact can lead to faulty investigations; jumping to conclusions; and the immediate acceptance of a supposed victim’s statement.
It is important to understand the innocence of a child, as well as his or her proclivity to adult leadership. A child’s testimony is liable to have radical influence from an adult, which has the power to put an innocent individual behind bars. A great attorney will fight scenarios such as this with a powerful litigation.
Contact a Riverside Sex Crime Attorney
Don’t let the conviction of a sex crime dismantle your life. Here at The Law Office of H. Charles Gorian, we work fervently to procure every shred of evidence that will aid in your path to freedom. To us, there is nothing more important than protecting our clients’ rights with their best interests in mind. Call us for a free consultation to discover the legal possibilities.
Have you been convicted of a sex crime? Contact a Riverside sex crime attorney immediately to avoid any future damage. Call (951) 395-0511!
Rape Charges in California
California is ranked number one in the United States for the most rape acts annually. In 2010, there were 8,331 forcible rapes. Due to the harm that rape inflicts and the reality that this crime is prevalent in California, few crimes are prosecuted more harshly.
All of the aspects concerning rape charges are discussed in the following sections:
- California Penal Code 290 PC- registration as a sex offender
- California Penal Code 243.4 PC- sexual battery
- California Penal Code 266c PC- oral copulation by force
- California Penal Code 261.5 PC- statutory rape
- California Penal Code 288- lewd or lascivious acts with a child
Rape has been defined as an act of sexual intercourse that involves threats, force or fraud. More specifically, rape is:
- Where a person is incapable of giving consent
- Where an act is accompanied with force, violence, duress, menace or fear
- Where a person or intoxicated or on an anesthetic substance, and therefore cannot resist
- Where a person is unconscious
- Where a person is “not aware, knowing, perceiving or cognizant of the act”
- Where the act is accomplished by threatening retaliation – kidnapping, false imprisonment, inflicting extreme pain, bodily injury or death
A prosecutor proves that a rape occurred by showing that you engaged in sexual intercourse, that you were not married to the plaintiff, that the act was against the will of the victim, and that you carried out the act using threats, force or fraud.
Statutory Rape & the Age of Consent
In California, the legal age of consent is 18. This means that any sexual contact with a minor under the age of 18 is illegal – even if the minor says it was consensual.
Statutory rape receives a lot of attention in California, due to the following statistics:
- Every 8 minutes, a teenager in California has a baby
- 3 out of 4 births to high school girls are fathered by adults
- Men over 25 account for twice as many teen births as boys under 18 years old
Penalties & the One Strike Rape Law
In the 1990s, California signed into law a bill that required life in prison for first-time violent sex offenders. While lesser sex crimes can earn a sentence of 15 years to life, cases involving “brutal sexual assault”—such as torture, mayhem, kidnapping or burglary— can earn a sentence of 25 years to life. For a lesser sex crime to warrant a life sentence, typically “aggravating factors” such as use of a weapon, more than one victim, and administering of narcotics would have to be present.
A single rape incident is punishable by eight years in prison, however many defendants are able to be released in less than five years. What makes the One Strike Rape Law so severe? In the words of the Seattle Times:
“Currently [before the bill was passed], a knife-wielding rapist typically ends up serving 6 ½ years with good behavior. The same perpetrator sentenced under the one-strike formula would spend nearly 13 years behind bars, and then be freed only by a decision of a parole board. Those sentenced to a maximum term of 25 years to life wouldn’t be eligible for parole for more than 21 years.”
Possible defenses for individuals accused of rape can include: false accusations, consent, insufficient evidence and mistaken identity. Our firm specializes in a wide range of sex crime cases and can provide you with the aggressive legal representation you are looking for!
If you are facing rape charges or other sex crime charges, you should contact The Law Office of H. Charles Gorian today.
Child Exploitation and Obscenity
According to the United States Department of Justice, images of child pornography (also called child sexual abuse images) are not protected under First Amendment rights. In other words, they are illegal. Federal law defines child pornography as “any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor.” In the United States, any sexually explicit images that involve someone under the age of 18 are considered child pornography. This includes photographs, videos, computer-generated images and images that have been modified to depict children. Under federal law, undeveloped film and video tape that child sexual abuse images are illegal as well.
According to the Department of Justice, the legal definition of child pornography does not take into consideration the age of consent in each state. Any explicit image depicting an individual under the age of 18 is illegal. Also, the images do need to depict a child engaging in sexual activity; nude images may qualify as pornographic, too. In the United States, it is illegal to produce, buy, or distribute child pornography. However, the consequences of production, distribution, and possession may vary depending on the circumstances surrounding a specific case. For example, manufacturing child pornography may be considered more offensive than possessing or purchasing it.
The Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the Department of Justice is dedicated to eradicating child sexual abuse images from the United States. With the help of the High Technology Investigative Unit (HTIU), CEOS attorneys fight against child pornography. According to CEOS, child pornography is a growing problem in the United States. Since the 1980’s, the Department of Justice has noticed an increase in the amount of child sexual abuse images due to the development of the internet. Through the internet, individuals are able to distribute images more easily and in larger quantities.
CEOS is also works with law enforcement across the United States to identify, find, and rescue children who have been coerced into participating in child pornography. This way, CEOS can help past victims and keep them from suffering continued abuse. With the help of HITU, CEOS works with computer forensic specialists to travel across the globe conducting investigations and training investigators to help end child sexual abuse. These investigations target child pornography offenders with the intention of prosecuting them. The CEOS works with other countries and supports their legislative proposals and policy that are involved with federal child pornography laws.
Call (951) 395-0511 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with our criminal defense attorney.
What Are the Penalties?
According to federal law, crimes involving child sexual abuse images are extremely serious. Individuals found guilty of a child pornography crime are subject to severe statutory penalties. Under 18 U.S.C. § 2251, individuals convicted of producing child pornography face exorbitant fines and a minimum of 15 years in prison for their first offense. At most, first time offenders will serve 30 years in prison. Individuals convicted of transporting pornographic images involving a minor will serve between five and 20 years in prison. Aggravated circumstances may elevate any of these penalties to a lifetime sentence.
According to the Department of Justice, aggravated circumstances include prior child pornography or child sexual exploitation convictions. If the child was sexually abused during the making of the image, the crime may be punishable by life imprisonment. Also, child pornography that is in any way violent, sadistic or masochistic is considered particularly offensive and punishable by a lifetime of incarceration in a federal prison. Although child sexual abuse images are illegal under federal law, offenders may be prosecuted under state law as well.
Child pornography is taken very seriously. Because of this, parents and legal guardians of children in child sexual abuse material may be held liable for the crime. For instance, a parent or legal guardian that sells their child or transfers custody of a minor with the intention of producing child abuse images may be subject to child pornography allegations. Also, U.S. citizens outside of the United States are not allowed to produce, receive, transport, ship, or distribute child abuse images. These crimes are punishable under United States federal law.
State or Federal Jurisdiction?
If the child abuse image offense occurs in the interstate or foreign commerce, it may fall under federal jurisdiction. Individuals who use the postal service or common carriers to move explicit images from one place to another will be prosecuted under federal jurisdiction. Additionally, any images distributed via the internet almost always fall under federal jurisdiction. In other certain situations, the images may fall under federal jurisdiction. For example, they may not fall under state jurisdiction if they were downloaded from a computer that traveled in foreign or interstate commerce.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is committed to investigating matters related to child pornography. With the help of law enforcement, they fight aggressively to find and prosecute individuals guilty of manufacturing, distributing or purchasing child sexual abuse images. Inspectors are trained to investigate crimes related to child pornography and actively participate in efforts to end child pornography in the United States.
If you have been charged with a child pornography crime, call The Law Office of H. Charles Gorian today. We understand the severity of the allegations you face and are ready to do everything in our power to make sure that your rights are protected. Child pornography is never okay, but convicting an innocent person of a crime they didn’t commit is wrong, too.
If you’re under investigation or facing charges for child sexual abuse images, contact us to discuss your case with a Riverside sex crime attorney.
Indecent Exposure Law in California
Indecent exposure is defined as a crime by the California Penal Code. It is the exposure of one’s body or genitals in a public place or in front of any other person who would be offended or annoyed by it. It may also include nakedness for the purpose of sexual arousal, solicitation or any other lewdness. Typically, this is a misdemeanor charge in California, but in some cases it may be considered a felony offense. And although this is most often considered a misdemeanor, the consequences are incredibly serious. Anyone convicted of indecent exposure will be required to register as a sex offender for life. They will then appear in the national sex offender registry, which could significantly harm a person’s ability to gain employment, move neighborhoods, or even come within a certain distance of schools.
Sometimes, people get charged with indecent exposure simply because they were changing their clothes at the beach, having sex in their car, or relieving themselves while outside. In most of these cases, the perpetrator did not intend for anyone else to see them. Their exposure was not intentional, or for any other purpose that would offend. If you were not trying to exhibit yourself or gain sexual pleasure, then it is important that you gain the help of an attorney because you may have a strong defense. Intent is a large determining factor in these cases. The prosecution will have to prove your guilt based upon a number of different factors listed in the penal code.
California Penal Code § 314
California Penal Code § 314 details the crime of indecent exposure. Being naked in public can be characterized as indecent exposure if the individual did so “willfully” and “lewdly.” You must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of intentionally revealing your nakedness or genitals in public or where other people could see. It must also be taken into consideration whether or not the individual knew the act of being naked in public would be insulting and did it anyway. Another determination for indecent exposure is whether or not the individual exposed themselves for the purpose of sexual arousal, either for themselves or for another person.
One example scenario in which individuals have been charged with indecent exposure is in cases of bathroom solicitation. Public restrooms are a fairly common place for individuals to solicit sex. One individual might expose him or herself in a public restroom to another person for the purpose of arousal. If a witness sees this and reports it, or if undercover officers set up a sting in that particular bathroom, then the individual would likely be charged with a sex crime.
Consider another scenario. If a woman was at the beach and her bathing suit fell off in front of other people. She may very well be charged with indecent exposure, but the woman would have a strong defense. If this exposure was an accident, then it would be difficult to prove intent. On the other hand, if an individual was caught purposefully swimming naked in a public place that was not considered a nude beach or clothing optional, they may incur a fine and a misdemeanor charge. There are a variety of factors that can affect this type of charge.
The most important thing to remember is that simply because this sex crime is a misdemeanor (in most cases) does not mean that it should be taken lightly. Only a skilled criminal defense attorney like Chuck Gorian can gather the evidence, prepare a strong defense, and take a stand for your rights so that you are not required to face the consequences of being registered as a sex offender.
If you were arrested and charged with indecent exposure in Riverside or a surrounding area, or with any other sex crimes, then please do not hesitate to contact The Law Office of H. Charles Gorian today for a no-obligation, no risk, private and confidential consultation.
California’s law on prostitution and solicitation is covered by Penal Code 647b. This code section makes it a criminal offense for anyone 18 or older to pay or accept money or other considerations in exchange for a sexual act, to offer to engage in an act of prostitution, or to agree to engage in an act of prostitution. This law pertains to both the prostitute and the customer. Prostitution and solicitation are filed as misdemeanors in California.
A prostitution or solicitation conviction does not automatically trigger registration as a California sex offender. But a defendant can be ordered to register as such by the judge, depending on the circumstances.
If you have been charged with prostitution or solicitation, contact the law office of H. Charles Gorian. We have years of experience dealing with these charges and we know the California laws that affect your situation. Our law firm has helped men and women throughout Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and San Diego County, and we may be able to help you.
One phone call could be the difference between harsh criminal penalties and freedom. Call our lawyer today at (951) 395-0511 or fill out our online form for a free, no-risk, no-obligation case evaluation