What to do if you're a suspect for a sex crime
Do not talk to the police
People often worry that if they get an attorney it will make them look guilty. However, if the police are asking to talk to you about accusations, they already think you are guilty. Even if they do not intend to, an officer will twist your words against you and often you will end up arrested at the end of the talk, regardless of what you say to the police. Do not talk to the police without consulting with an attorney first.
Do not talk over the phone with your accuser
In Arizona it is not illegal to secretly record your phone conversation. The police will often have the accuser call you and record what you say. Even if you are not admitting to anything, what you say can be twisted around and used against you. Do not talk to your accuser over the phone. Indeed, do not talk to your accuser at all.
Hire an attorney ASAP
If you think you are being investigated for a sex crime, it is always worth it to hire an attorney. An attorney can reach out to the police and prosecutor and try to stop the charges from being filed, or reduce the charges that are filed and arrange for your arrest with minimal embarrassment. Just hoping it will go away is not a winning strategy. Hire an attorney who can start to balance out the odds back to your favor.
Arizona has some of the toughest penalties in the country for sex offenses. A one time consensual act can put you in prison from a decade or more. Even if you get probation, it could be for the rest of your life and you may have to register as a sex offender. On top of the penalties from the state, the general stigma from society is severe and can drastically alter your entire life. Do not face these allegations alone. Contact Burges McCowan, a former prosecutor in the Maricopa County Attorney Office’s Sex Crimes Unit, to help balance the odds in your favor.
Sexual Assault / Rape (ARS 13-1406)
Sexual Assault is commonly known as “Rape,” but Arizona law does not use the word “Rape” anymore. In simple terms, sexual assault is having sex with an adult (over 18) without that person’s consent. To be sexual assault the sex has to be vaginal, anal, or oral sex. (ARS 13-1406) Click here for an in-depth explanation of the ARS 13-1406 statute. If the sexual act does not involve one of those forms, then it falls under Sexual Abuse (see ARS 13-1404). Click here for an in-depth explanation of ARS 13-1404. Call today if you've been accused of violating or charged with either statute.
Molestation (ARS 13-1410)
Child molestation carries a serious stigma in our society. A person accused of molestation faces a rush to judgment and an assumption of guilt. And in Arizona a person convicted of child molestation faces a minimum of 10 years in prison. If you are accused of molestation, you need experienced help on your side. Call Burges today and begin building your defense. Click here for a more in-depth explanation of ARS 13-1410.
Indecent Exposure (ARS 13-1402) & Public Sexual Indecency (ARS 13-1403)
These offenses can vary from misdemeanors to felonies but the stigma they carry is severe regardless of the punishment from the state. In some instances you might even have to register as a sex offender despite no physical contact. Indecent Exposure is typically considered “flashing,’ but it could also be something more benign like relieving yourself in an alleyway behind the bar. Public Sexual Indecency means engaging is a sex act where another person could see and be offended. This could be something like the backseat of a vehicle in a park at night. In the movies getting caught is slightly embarrassing. In Arizona, it could mean registering as a sex offender. Don't let this happen to you without a fight - call today if you've been charged under these statutes. Click here for a more in-depth explanation for ARS 13-1402 & ARS 13-1403.
Sexual Conduct with a Minor (ARS 13-1405)
This is commonly known as “Statutory Rape” In Arizona, the consequences are dire and can affect the rest of your life. In addition to many years in prison, a conviction requires registering as a sex offender. There are many variations of this crime under Arizona law. Call today to consult with an attorney experienced in defending these types of crimes as soon as you learn that you may be a suspect.
Online Sex Crimes
Law enforcement is increasingly aggressive in prosecuting these crimes, which can vary from viewing images of child pornography (ARS 13-3553) to luring a minor for sex (ARS 13-3554). In Arizona, the punishment for these crimes is severe. For instance, possessing a single image of child pornography carries a minimum of 10 years in prison. Given that these crimes involves computers, it is important to have an attorney that is well versed in computer forensics. Burges McCowan understands this technology as well as any defense attorney in Arizona. For years he was one of the very few prosecutors for Maricopa County that handled cases involving computer forensics. If you are facing charges for this type of crime, give Burges a call now. He can help. Click here for an in-depth explanation of ARS 13-3554.
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