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Sex Abuse Charges, Laws, Penalties and Defenses in Arizona

Charges for sex abuse can vary from state to state, however, each state carries serious consequences for sex abuse convictions.

Arizona Revised Statute (ARS 13-1404) is where a person intentionally engages in any kind of sexual contact with a person who is the age of 15 or more who does not consent. This also includes any person under 15 where the sexual contact only involves the breast of a female. This may also end up with the charge of sexual conduct with a minor. 

What Constitutes Sexual Contact?

You can be charged with sexual contact if you have directly or indirectly touched, manipulated, or fondled the genitals, female breast, or anus against the will of the other person. Causing a person to unwillingly touch another person can also constitute as sexual contact. These cases may also be known as “fondling cases”.

If you have been charged with a sex crime in Arizona, you will want to call a well experienced sexual abuse lawyer. Contact DM Cantor today 24/7 at 602-307-0808. You will be able to set up a free consultation where we can help you build a defense for your charges.

What are Arizona Penalties for Sex Abuse

There are several different punishments in the state of Arizona for sex crimes. The punishment will depend on several different actors, as well as your past criminal history.

Under 15 years old

If the victim is under the age of 15, the crime is charged as a class three (3) felony. It is also known to be a Dangerous Crime Against a Child. The charges for this include:

  • 5 years minimum in prison.
  • 5 years presumptive in prison.
  • 5 years for the maximum incarceration.

If you have previous charges of sex abuse, or any other felonies, the punishment range can increase. You will serve a minimum of 8 years, a presumptive 15 years, and a maximum of 22 years in prison. Since this charge is a dangerous crime against the child, you will be required to serve 100% of your prison term before you can be released.

Over 15 years old

If the victim is 15 or over, the crime is a class 5 felony. The punishment for this is:

  • First offense. The punishment can be zero incarceration if there is probation. Or 1 year in jail, 6 months in prison, or 6 months to 205 years.
  • Second offense. If you have previously been convicted, your punishment will be more severe. It will include a prison only range of 3 years to 7.5 years of incarceration.
  • Sex offender register. You will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
  • Being around children. If you have been convicted of a sex crime with a child under the age of 18, you may not be around other children, including your own children without supervision, and multiple tests. You will only be allowed to be around children if your probation officer thinks that it is safe.

What are some Defenses for Sexual Abuse Charges

There are a couple of defenses that are outlined in the Defense statue of ARS 13-1407. These apply when the victim is at the ages of 15, 16, and 17 years old.

The First Defense

The first defense is that the person charged with the crime did not know the age of the victim, and the victim did consent to the sexual activity. Under Arizona law, when you are under the age of 18, you are not able to consent to any kind of sexual activity. There is no way that any kind of sexual activity was sexual according to the laws of Arizona.

However, an exception can be made if the sexual contact was un-consensual only because the victim was under 18. These cases are often seen when the victim lies with the defendant about how old they are.

The Second Defense

The second defense is only allowed when the victim is ages 15-17 years old and under 19 or is attending high school. Also required is that the defendant can be no more than 24 months older than the victim, and the sexual activity was in fact consensual. This defense was put in place to protect a young couple that is close in age.

A defense that is allowed in the Defenses Statue, is that the defendant had no sexual interest when the supposed contact happened. Your defense lawyer would argue that any touching was accidental and was not for the purpose of any kind of sexual arousal. Your defense against sex abuse would show that you had no sexual interest, and that no sexual abuse occurred.

Unfortunately, we have seen charges for sexual abuse when a divorce is in the process of going through. An angry teenager, or angry ex-spouse may feel the need to have their father or stepfather charged with sexual abuse, even though they know that these are false allegations of sex abuse. They see it as a way to get back at the father or soon to be ex-husband. If you have been charged with this, it is important to address this situation immediately. You will need to make sure that cross-examination, interviews, and even a polygraph take place to help build your defenses up against these charges. If you try to go through this process alone, you may not be able to build up the defense enough to stay out of jail and clear your name.

Here at DM Cantor, we process a large number of sex crimes involving consent in Arizona. We have a large library that is dedicated to challenging the accusations brought forth by anyone accusing someone of sex crimes, including victories of dismissing sexual abuse charges. Our staff has been well trained in both forensic and clinical techniques of interviewing sexual assault victims. We can also properly question mental health professionals as well as detectives that have interviewed the victim. In some cases, the interviewing process was not done the correct way. We have even shown where detectives have led the victim to give the wrong answer, incriminating the defendant.

Having the Right Team of Sex Crime Attorneys on Your Side

At our law firm, we believe in fighting convictions from all angles. We will be able to assert many different defenses as well as challenges to any constitutional violations. We can also make sure that procedures were not flawed. Things like blood testing, urine testing, DNA testing and more. We will also expose any sloppy police reports, and we will make sure that we follow up on every single aspect of your case. It is important that you hire an Arizona sexual abuse lawyer that has experience in the defense of sex crimes. If you do not have a skilled lawyer, you may find yourself facing prison time for something you did not do.

If you want to make sure that you hire the best Arizona defense law firm, you will want to make sure that you hire an AV-rated law firm. You will also want to make sure that you hire a lawyer that is Board Certified in Criminal Law. At DM Cantor, you will find all that an above. Our attorneys are well experienced in sex crimes, and will know the system extremely well. We will help you to build a strong case that shows that you were not involved in sex crime.

If you have been charged with a sex crime in the state of Arizona, please give DM Cantor a call today at 602-307-0808. We will answer the phone no matter what time you call, or what day. We are happy to offer a free consultation and review your case and tell you what possible defenses you could have and get started on helping you to prove your innocence.

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