Our Los Angeles sex crime attorneys are experienced in all sex crime matters. We pride ourselves on providing zealous yet affordable representation at all stages of a sex crime prosecution. No matter how cumbersome the process and serious the charges, we handle every case with a zeal, steadfastness, and creativity that strengthens our position with the prosecution and changes the posture and merits of the case in favor of our clients. We conscientiously examine and evaluate every case, and devise defenses and strategies specific to the details and nuances particular to the case. Often, prosecutors have an unrealistic assessment of their own case, which allows them to propose dispositions and outcomes that are far too draconian and unwarranted by the merits of the case. At the core of our role as sex crime criminal defense attorneys is illuminating the strengths and weaknesses of a case for the prosecution, and to then steadfastly pursue an outcome that is most lenient and favorable to our clients.
What makes our attorneys effective advocates in all sex crime cases?
Our Los Angeles Sex Crime Attorneys are skilled negotiators
When you are charged with a sex crime, hiring an attorney who understands the complexities and nuances of your case, and who can then use those nuances and complexities to negotiate a favorable outcome in your case is crucial. Whether you choose to go to trial or enter a plea bargain, our Los Angeles Sex Crime attorneys place your case in the best bargaining position possible. What that means is that, from the very beginning of the case,our sex crime attorneys carefully identify and articulate any and all factors that they can then use as leverage to negotiate the most lenient and favorable outcome on your behalf.
Our Los Angeles sex crime attorneys are masterful litigators
It is not enough for an attorney to negotiate successfully on behalf of her client. An attorney also has to creatively and zealously litigate a case should a plea bargain or negotiated disposition not be possible in a given case. Our Los Angeles sex crime attorneys conscientiously explore any and all substantive and procedural aspects of your case, and zealously litigate those aspects to safeguard your constitutional rights and preserve any and all defenses in your particular case.
Our Los Angeles sex crime attorneys are trial lawyers
Some attorneys are masterful negotiators, but reluctant to take a case to trial. Other attorneys are zealous trial lawyers but unwilling or unable to effectively negotiate. Our sex crime attorneys are excellent negotiators as well as zealous trial lawyers who will passionately fight for you at trial should they exhaust all attempts at negotiating a plea bargain that is best the possible outcome in your case.
Our Los Angeles sex crime attorneys are respected by judges and prosecutors
How your attorney is perceived by a judge or prosecutor can facilitate or curtail his or her ability to negotiate effectively on your behalf. Therefore, it is crucial that your attorney is known by judges and prosecutors as professional, zealous, and as one who conducts herself with absolute integrity. Our Los Angeles sex crime attorneys are respected by judges and prosecutors for their utmost professionalism, zealous advocacy, and steadfastness.
Our Los Angeles sex crime Attorneys take immediate charge of your case
Many attorneys have a “let’s wait and see approach,” which means that they do not engage in any substantive effort on the case until and unless new developments take place within the course of the case. This “wait and see” approach places all the power and control in the hands of the prosecution, thus placing the defendant in a compromised position. Our Los Angeles sex crime attorneys take immediate charge of your case. From the very inception of your case, our Los Angeles sex crime attorneys conduct their own investigations of the case, and uncover any and all facts and nuances that will ultimately allow for a more favorable outcome. Rather than waiting for the prosecutor to propose a deal to us, we propose to the prosecutor what we believe is the best possible outcome for our client.
Our Los Angeles sex crime attorneys are directly involved in every aspect of your case
Many law firms and lawyers use appearance attorneys to handle your matter in court. You deserve the peace of mind to know that the attorney whom you hired is the one working on your case, and that you do not need to jump through several hoops to speak with her. Our Los Angeles sex crime attorneys personally and directly handle your case. They are directly accessible to you at all times.
What are the stages of a sex crime prosecution?
Typically, sex crime cases begin with a tip or complaint to law enforcement about an alleged sexual offense. This complaint is made by either the alleged victim or his or her family. If law enforcement consider the complaint credible on its face, they will continue to investigate it, and at that point, they will begin treating you as a suspect. In most cases, law enforcement will then attempt to contact you and question you about the alleged offense. Remember that you have the constitutional right to remain silent. You are under no obligation to speak to any detectives or police officers about any matters related or unrelated to the alleged offense. Also remember that everything that you tell law enforcement can and will be used against you, and do not trust that the investigating officer will accurately memorialize what you tell him or her. Therefore, should you be contacted by law enforcement, it is absolutely crucial that you a) politely refuse to answer any questions and exercise your right to remain silent, and b) hire an attorney immediately. Your attorney can then protect you from any further questioning by law enforcement, ensure that your constitutional rights are safeguarded, and that the truth and facts of your case are preserved.
Just because a complaint or tip is made to the police about an alleged offense does not mean that the police will automatically proceed to arrest the person about whom the complain or tip is made. Law Enforcement have a duty to evaluate the credibility of that complaint or tip and other data that they have received, and to then form probable cause to believe that the suspected person has committed the alleged offense. At this point in the phase of a sex crime case, probable cause is a very low standard. So long as the police can present “articulable facts” that the crime was committed and that it was committed by you, they have probable cause to arrest you. It is imperative that you have an attorney by your side at this stage of the case. Your attorney can negotiate with law enforcement the time and location of your surrender, so that you are not arrested at an inappropriate time in your home or place of business.
Once you are arrested, law enforcement memorialize their findings of the investigation in a police report which they will then turn over to the City Attorney or District Attorney’s Office. If law enforcement recommend only a misdemeanor based on the findings of the investigation, then the matter will proceed to the city attorney’s office. If, on the other hand, law enforcement recommend a felony, then the matter will be handled by the district attorney’s office. The filing deputy district attorney or city attorney will then decide what the appropriate charge or charges will be based on the recommendation of law enforcement and the alleged facts as gathered by the investigation. A criminal complaint will subsequently be filed against you, and you well then be charged. Your first hearing date, or arraignment, will be set.
Your first court hearing—Arraignment
At your arraignment, the judge informs you of your criminal charges, and allows you to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to those charges. Typically, at arraignment, you enter a plea of not guilty, unless your attorney and prosecution have already reached a plea bargain. At arraignment, the judge also considers whether to release you on your own recognizance—that is, to release you without bail—or require you to post bail. This decision on the part of the judge depends on the severity of the charges that you are facing, your criminal history, and whether or not you are a flight risk. Your attorney at this stage can file a bail reduction motion, enumerating for the court all the factors in favor of your release on your own recognizance.
Preliminary hearing and trial
After you enter a plea of not guilty, your case proceeds to litigation or what is commonly called “the adjudicatory phase.” In this phase, your defense counsel acquires from the prosecution any and all information or “discovery” presented by law enforcement. Your attorney also has the right to request whatever exculpatory evidence she believes is in the possession of the prosecution or law enforcement. Your attorney can then start the negotiation process with the prosecution. If you are charged with a felony, you have the right to a preliminary hearing. Thus, if you case does not resolve in a plea bargain, it will proceed to a preliminary hearing, where the prosecution must present facts sufficient to form probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that you committed the crime. If you are charged with a misdemeanor and your case does not resolve in a plea bargain, then you must proceed to trial.
Because the standard of proof placed on the prosecution is low in a preliminary hearing (it is only one of probable cause), a judge will most likely hold you to answer to the charges, which means that the judge will allow your case to proceed to trial. After your preliminary hearing, your attorney still has several opportunities to attempt to resolve your case in a plea bargain. Should this attempt fail, then you must proceed to trial, where the standard of proof placed on the prosecution is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that, for you to get convicted, a jury must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the charges against you.
Commonly asked Questions
Will I be required to register as a sex offender if I am convicted of a sex crime?
Not necessarily. Not all sex crime offenses require registration. Even if the facts of the case are not in your favor, a skilled criminal defense attorney will skillfully and steadfastly negotiate on your behalf to reduce the charges against you to an offense that will not require you to register as a sex offender. Whether your attorney can convince the prosecutor to agree to such reduction depends on the severity of your charges, the exact circumstances of the alleged offense, any substantive or procedural challenges for the prosecution, and any mitigation factors such as your lack of a criminal record, standing in the community, and overall accomplishments.
Do I go to jail if I am convicted of a sex crime?
Not necessarily. In deciding whether jail or prison time is warranted by a particular offense, the prosecution considers several factors such as the exact nature and severity of your conduct in the alleged offense, your criminal record, the type of life that you have lived, and your overall accomplishments. These factors can help a prosecutor determine whether you are likely to reoffend and whether prison or jail time will therefore serve a deterring purpose. It is up to your criminal defense attorney to garner any and all mitigation factors on your case and built a compelling mitigation packet that will present you as an excellent candidate for probation.
Does law enforcement automatically believe an alleged victim of a sex crime?
Not everybody who makes an allegation of sexual abuse or assault is telling the truth. People make false accusations for a myriad of reasons, such as exacting revenge against a former romantic partner, feeling wronged or diminished by what a sexual partner did or said, or gaining leverage in a divorce or child custody battle. People also embellish or exaggerate what actually happened to them, so that the end result is a false accusation. The job of law enforcement is to avoid jumping to a conclusion, and to thoroughly investigate an accusation for its credibility and veracity. After all, police officers are supposed to be truth seekers. Unfortunately, the mission of law enforcement officers to seek the truth has become increasingly compromised, especially in the area of sexual assault cases. In today’s social climate, it has become the norm to take at face value whatever an alleged victim of sexual assault claims. Police officers and prosecutors alike increasingly fail to apply the required level of scrutiny to allegations of sexual assault, when investigation and scrutiny are the fundamental tenets of their mission as truth seekers and ensurers of justice. For this reason, it is imperative that you have on your side a zealous criminal defense attorney who will tenaciously hold the police and prosecution to their task of seeking the truth.
Should you hire a criminal defense attorney if you are under investigation for a sex crime but no charges have yet been filed against you?
Absolutely. Without an attorney, you are completely vulnerable to the intimidating moves and tactics of law enforcement. If you are represented by an attorney, the investigating officers have to back off and refrain from communicating with you without your attorney’s permission. In essence, your attorney can serve as a layer of protection or buffer between you and law enforcement. Depending on the particulars of your case, your attorney can also start mounting a defense on your behalf. For example, there may be witnesses whose testimonies need to be immediately secured, or evidence that needs to be immediately preserved. Do not assume that law enforcement will seek and preserve any and all evidence that points to your evidence. Though that is what is required of law enforcement, only your attorney can be trusted with accomplishing it.
How can our Los Angeles Sex Crime Attorney’s help you?
Our Los Angeles sex crime attorneys have the experience, zeal, and passion to rigorously fight the charges against you, and safeguard your rights in every stage of a sex crime criminal prosecution. We offer free in-person consultations, and are here to hear your side of the story, and do everything that we can to protect you.