If you or someone you know is facing charges of Sexual Contact with a Minor, or you have questions about how an experienced attorney can help balance the odds back into your favor, contact Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Burges McCowan for a free consultation.

Anything that can be considered a “Sex Crime” in Arizona is subject to some of the harshest penalties in the nation. These charges can have a drastic, long-lasting effect on your life. Far reaching consequences, such as being forced to register as a Sex Offender, can drastically change the rest of your life. Having an assertive attorney in your corner throughout the process will ensure your rights are protected.

While there are several statutes dealing with Sex Crimes in Arizona, this blog post will focus on ARS 13-1405, Sexual Conduct with a Minor.  You can read more about Sex Crimes on my website, where I go into detail about several statutes.

What is Sexual Contact with a Minor?

ARS 13 1405 minor sexual conductSexual Contact with a minor is when you knowingly have sexual intercourse (through penetration) or oral sexual contact with a minor. Though it’s often referred to as statutory rape, a charge of Sexual Conduct with a Minor is one of the harshest statutes in the state of Arizona. If the victim in the case is between the ages of 15 and 17, you are looking at being charged with a Class 6 felony. If the victim is 14 or younger, you will be charged with a Class 2 felony and be subject to the Dangerous Crimes Against Children (DCAC) statute, which has stringent minimum sentencing and other legal requirements.

What are the penalties for Sexual Conduct with a Minor?

Please note that for any crime considered a DCAC, you must serve 100% of the sentence; there is no eligibility for parole.  The penalties for Sexual Conduct with a Minor vary greatly depending on the age of the victim:

Victim ages 15-17:

  • Class 6 felony

  • Probation with sex offender terms

  • Jail time of up to 1 year

  • Prison time of 4 months to 2 years

  • Sex Offender registry for life

Victim ages 12-14:

  • Class 2 felony, considered a DCAC

  • Minimum thirteen (13) years in prison

  • Up to 24 years in prison

  • Multiple charges must be served consecutively (one then the next) rather than concurrently (at the same time)

  • Sex Offender registry for life

Victim under age 12:

  • Class 2 felony, considered a DCAC

  • Life in prison (must serve at least 35 years).

  • Sexual Offender registry for life

In all cases, you will no longer be allowed to have any contact with children under the age of 18 without severe regulations and supervision, and this includes your own children.

What should you do if you are charged with Sexual Conduct with a Minor?

ars 13 1405 sexual conduct with a minorFirst and foremost, do not ever talk to the police about the charges you’re facing. You have the right to remain silent, so make sure you do so. Police officers will use your words against you, and they are under no obligation to tell you the truth. But you can avoid this risk. Instead of answering questions, politely but firmly tell the officers you are invoking your right to silence, and you want to speak to your attorney. This will immediately end your interrogation, and will ensure your rights are upheld during the process.

Be very cautious about talking to your accuser (or anyone in his/her family). Under Arizona law, someone can record your voice without your knowledge, and it is admissible as evidence in a trial. The best course is to not talk to him/her at all. When it comes to the details of your charges, only speak to your attorney.

Sex Crime charges are extremely serious, and can have lasting repercussions. You don’t have to go through this alone. Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Burges McCowan, a former prosecutor in the Maricopa County Attorney Office’s Sex Crimes Unit, can help. Contact him today for a free consultation.