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Sex crimes with a minor are among the most devastating of all criminal charges. In addition to lengthy prison sentences, sex offender registration, and court fines and fees, defendants face the social stigma associated with a sexual offense against a child. This stigma can result in significant non-legal consequences, including the following:
An experienced California criminal defense lawyer can begin protecting a person’s constitutional rights even before formal criminal charges are filed in court. Law enforcement investigators, members of the news media, and others can impair a defendant's right to a fair trial. With the advice of a Los Angeles defense attorney, defendants will be in the best possible position to protect their legal rights.
The guidance of a defense attorney in California can protect defendants from false accusations, unfair portrayals in the media, illegal investigation techniques, abuse of a prosecutor's discretion in charging, unfair trial procedures, or abuse of judicial discretion in sentencing. There are many steps in the prosecution of a sex crime. An experienced defense lawyer in Los Angeles be able to anticipate and effectively counteract unfairness throughout the case process. To schedule a free consultation with a lawyer, call the Law Offices of David S. Chesley today at 800-755-5174 or contact us online.
Lewd or lascivious acts are prohibited by Section 288(a) of the California Penal Code. A lewd or lascivious act is one which arouses, appeals to, or gratifies the lust, passion or sexual desires of either the perpetrator or the child. This broad definition covers a wide variety of behaviors, including
Such acts committed on a child under the age of fourteen years will subject a defendant to a prison term of three, six, or eight years. If the victim is aged fourteen or fifteen and the defendant is at least ten years older than the child, the prison term is one to three years. Longer prison terms are provided when the acts are committed by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate bodily injury. These circumstances can expose a defendant to a sentence of five, eight, or ten years in prison. These lewd and lascivious acts against children are felony offenses.
In addition to the prison sentences imposed for lewd acts convictions, defendants also face mandatory sex offender registration. Section 290 of the California Penal Code requires those convicted under Section 288 to register as sex offenders. Unlike some states, which leave sex offender registration to the discretion of a criminal court judge, the California Legislature has elected to require sex offender registration of all persons convicted of lewd and lascivious acts. Sex offender registrations records are public.
This means that neighbors, friends, co-workers, and anyone else can learn the details of a conviction for a lewd or lascivious act. It also means that a registrant may be required to attend group therapy sessions, court hearings, or even distribute notices in the neighborhood where he or she lives. For many persons convicted of sex crimes, sex offender registration is an even more painful consequence than prison.
There are many ways in which a California defense attorney can help to mitigate the consequences of allegations of sex crimes. When false allegations are made, it is important to vigorously defend against them and help a jury to see inconsistencies in the alleged victim's testimony or to point out weaknesses in the prosecutor's case. Some common defense tactics include:
In many cases, the defense focuses less on denying the allegations made, but rather finding ways to keep particularly damaging evidence from being used in court. Typically, this involves determining whether the police violated the defendant’s constitutional rights during the investigation. If they did, it can result in the evidence they gathered being suppressed.
When a prosecutor has strong evidence against a defendant, an effective defense of the case will focus on getting a fair plea offer, rather than attempting to discredit evidence which is persuasive to a jury. Under these circumstances, an attorney will know how to solicit a fair plea offer from a prosecutor.
For example, many perpetrators of sexual crimes were victimized themselves. This is a mitigating factor which indicates the need for mental health treatment - not a lengthy prison sentence. In other circumstances, an LA defense attorney may be able to negotiate a plea offer on lesser charges which do not require mandatory sex offender registration. The defendant must still plead guilty to an offense, but by doing so, he or she has the opportunity to avoid the devastating collateral consequences of registering as a sex offender. A plea offer can also thus be used to mitigate the consequences of a conviction, rather than avoiding the conviction altogether.
Mitigation can also be an important strategy at the sentencing phase of a criminal case. Many convictions or plea agreements result in a prison sentence whose length is determined by the judge. In these situations, a defense attorney has the opportunity to make a case for a shorter sentence. Here, again, the lawyer can mitigate the consequences of a conviction by fighting for a shorter prison sentence, rather than allowing the prosecutor to overwhelm a judge or jury with strong evidence against the defendant. This also allows a defense attorney to appeal to a third party who is more neutral than the prosecutor. While the prosecutor may want a long sentence, the opportunity to make a case for a shorter sentence to a judge allows the defendant to escape the prosecutor's drastic view of the case, and appeal directly to the court for fairness in sentencing.
Finally, a defense attorney's mitigation strategy may also focus on appeals. Rather than attempting to overcome an unfair ruling from a judge (who is generally disinclined to admit that he or she was wrong), it is often a better strategy to challenge that ruling to an appellate court. This can be a risky strategy. Because it occurs so late in the case process, there is a chance that the defendant will be left without other options in the event the appellate court rules against him (or her). It can also present a defendant with the undesirable choice of losing a good plea agreement in order to challenge legal issues in sentencing. The decision to appeal is based on many different factors which are unique and specific to each individual case. Nonetheless, an appeal can be an effective legal strategy for protecting a defendant's constitutional rights. It can also help protect defendants from unfairness in the investigation, charging, litigation, and sentencing of the criminal charges against them.
The consequences of any sex crime conviction can change a defendant's life forever. It is absolutely vital that defendants have good legal representation as soon as any sex crime investigation is commenced against them. Even before charges are filed, constitutional rights can be invoked to protect a defendant from unlawful acts by investigators and prosecutors.
Contact us online or call (800) 755-5174 today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced California sex crimes defense lawyer. Defendants have important rights under California and federal law. It is essential to have the advice of an experienced attorney who knows how to protect these rights.
According to the Penal Code 647(b), any person who solicits accepts to engage in or engages in any act of prostitution in return to receive money or anything of value from the other person commits the crime of disorderly conduct.
Soliciting or engaging in lewd acts in public place or a place in public view is a crime in California and the deviants are dealt harshly with punishments including jail time and monetary fines.
Rape is one of the worst crime, and a citation for rape means that you are in the row for severe punishments. California has one of the strictest stances against rape and severely punishes the victim.
Child molestation laws are one of the strictest criminal laws in California and carry prison sentences for convicts.
If you have been convicted of a sex crime in California, you are required to register yourself as a sex offender even after completing your sentence.
Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!
Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!
Client's estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.
Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client's glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!
Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!
Rodrigo L. San Fernando, CA (Sherman Oaks Yelp Review)
I am truly pleased with my experience with the Law Offices Of David S Chesley. They answered all my questions and provided me with great advice and legal services. My case resolved quickly. Thank you!
Ricardo Esteves Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Google Places Review)
I left court yesterday with my last case being wrapped up. Two court appearances and that's it. He represented me in a couple of different cases and was impressive to say the least. Always a phone call or text message away. Confident and aggressive when he needed to be. Calming and thorough when meeting with me. Attorney Chesley did exactly what he said he would and I got the results I needed. He seemed to know all the right people at the Temple Street courthouse. You can always get in contact with him quickly and he is a great lawyer. I highly recommend his legal services.
Erica Geller Ontario, CA (Ontario Facebook review)
My brother was given a very caring attorney that was assigned to his case and we had very helpful case managers throughout the process. I strongly recommend David Chesley to anyone who is in trouble. I called in to get help on my brothers case and right away I liked their service. My brothers charges were eventually dismissed after the attorney got him into a program, now he could go on without the trouble of having anything on his record
Elizabeth F. San Diego, CA (San Diego Google Places Review)
I retained Mr. Chesley and his firm and from the beginning they were extremely professional both in communicating the status of my case to me, explaining the situation as a whole, and just downright taking care of business. It was money well spent for a job well done. Thanks again to David and Melissa others that worked on my case. I recommend this firm to anyone in need of legal representation. Don’t just accept things the courts force on you, call this firm and protect yourself.
Leon Hanley Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Avvo review)
I contacted Mr. Chesley and his firm because some unfortunate events had left me in a jam. Detectives were demanding I testify or be prosecuted for a crime I didn’t commit. (I wasn’t involved or even at the scene of the alleged crime when it supposedly took place.) Mr. Chesley explained to me that he had been through similar situations with his clients before and understood exactly what was going on. His response to what took place was nothing short of amazing. No matter how small my concern, Mr. Chesley addressed it in a timely manner. He advocated for what is right and empathized with me in dealing with the Court system. After meeting with the supervising D.A. and providing alibi evidence he was able to get me out the situation. I’m very grateful to have found him.
Britanny Givens Newport Beach, CA (Newport Beach Google Places)
I hired David Chesley for my criminal defense in 2012. he was recommended to us for is success results and his low fees. David is very smart and his professional legal advice was honest & much appreciated during these stressful time. David's knowledge, advice, and communication about what we were to expect was reassuring and beneficial to me. He charged me a reasonable flat rate and didn't charge me any surprise fees. In my case David Chesley was able to negotiate with the prosecution attorney for the best result I could hope for. He had success at getting my criminal charges dismissed with the judges approval. You will not be disappointed if you hire The Law Offices of David S. Chesley.
Andrew A. North Hollywood, CA (Better Business Bureau review)
David is very professional, yet very casual. Although it is typically not easy to speak straight up with an attorney, he is very easy to talk to. He replied to my questions quickly and was available all hours. Not only did he get my case resolved with a dismissal, he went above and beyond and got me an expungement without me even requesting it. He never beats around the bush and tells you like it is. At the same time is willing to work overtime to get the results you request. I would use David's services again in the future.