Santa Barbara Sex Crimes Lawyer
Defending Clients in Santa Barbara, Venture, San Luis Obispo & Santa Maria
Sex offenses are among the most despicable of all crimes in the eyes of the public. Just being accused can result in unwanted media attention and extreme damage to one’s reputation, and it is not unusual for families to be torn apart and for marriages to fail under the strain. If you are under investigation for a sex crime, we urge you to do everything you can to hold on to your reputation and your way of life.
Invoke your right to an attorney and contact our experienced criminal defense attorney at Sanford Horowitz Criminal Defense as soon as possible. Mr. Horowitz will gladly sit down with you during a free consultation, thoroughly evaluate the evidence against you, and recommend your next steps in seeking the best possible results. As a former Santa Barbara prosecutor, he brings a unique insider’s perspective to criminal charges along with crucial trial experience that can be invaluable to your defense.
Request a free consultation with our Santa Barbara sex crimes attorney. Contact us online or at (805) 749-5670 today.
Understanding California Sex Crimes
The term “sex crimes” covers a wide range of criminal behavior. These crimes are generally based on the victim’s lack of consent. Lack of consent can include the alleged victim’s inability to say “no” due to the effects of drugs or alcohol, physical or mental disability, or being underage.
In California, sex crimes can include but are not limited to:
- Rape: This crime is committed by engaging in sexual intercourse with another person under specific circumstances, such as without consent or being unable to consent due to intoxication. The sentence depends on the number of prior convictions the defendant received.
- Lewd Acts with a Minor Child: This involves engaging in lewd or lascivious activities with a minor child below 14, such as unwanted touching done for sex purposes.
- Oral Copulation by Force: Engaging in oral copulation is based on violence, fear, or threat because the alleged victim cannot consent due to alcohol, drugs, or age.
- Sodomy refers to engaging in anal or oral sex with someone else without their consent or with a minor.
- Sexual Battery: Also called sexual assault, this consists of non-consensual touching of another’s private parts for sexual arousal, abuse, or gratification. It can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor. No age requirement is required for this charge.
- Child Molestation: This crime involves inappropriate sexual behavior or conduct with a minor.
- Indecent Exposure: California defines indecent exposure as the willful act of exposing one's genitals in public, causing others to be alarmed or offended.
- Lewd Conduct: In California, lewd conduct typically involves engaging in sexual activity or displaying sexual arousal in a public place.
- Possession of Child Pornography: Under California law, it is illegal to knowingly possess or control any matter, production of which involves the use of a person under 18 years of age, knowing that the matter depicts a minor engaged in sexual conduct.
- Prostitution/Solicitation: Prostitution and solicitation, governed by Penal Code 647(b), refer to the act of engaging in, or offering to engage in, sexual intercourse or a lewd act with someone else in exchange for money or other compensation.
Sex Offense Penalties
Penalties for sex crimes vary depending on the case's specific circumstances, including the crime's nature, whether the victim is a minor, and one’s prior criminal history. Charges can include both misdemeanors and felonies. Felony sex charges can range up to 16 years to life in a state prison.
Fines can also be imposed. For instance, misdemeanor sexual battery penalties include six to 12 months in county jail and a $2,000 maximum fine.
Sex Offender Registration
Another consequence of a sex crime conviction can include mandatory sex offender registration. This requires people convicted of certain sex crimes to register as sex offenders. The state has a three-tiered system for its sex offenders: Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3, each with different registration periods. Under the law, Tier 1 offenders must register for a minimum of 10 years, Tier 2 offenders for a minimum of 20 years, and Tier 3 offenders are subject to lifetime registration.
Being on the registry can significantly affect your life, impacting employment opportunities, housing options, and even personal relationships due to public access to the registry data. Some registered offenders are not subject to public disclosure depending upon the nature of their offenses.
Failing to register as a sex offender when required is a crime in itself, which can result in additional fines, imprisonment, or both. It can also potentially lead to more extended periods of mandatory registration. However, mandatory lifetime sex offender registration has been reformed, allowing specific qualifying individuals to be removed from the registry.
Call Sanford Horowitz Criminal Defense Today
Being investigated for, arrested, or charged with a sex crime is one of the most challenging events you will ever face. Ensure you have aggressive and tough representation to match the high stakes. At our firm, you can work with a proven defense lawyer backed by the experience and skills you need at this critical time.
You can reach us online or at (805) 749-5670 24/7. Call today.
You are our number one priority in and out of the courtroom.
Work with an experienced former prosecutor who knows both sides.
Criminal defense provided by a Spanish-speaking team.
Talk through all of your legal options during a free consultation.
A former prosecutor, Sandy is a skilled litigator who understands both sides of the criminal justice system, which is a tremendous asset. While we hope never to be in a similar situation again, we can recommend Sandy without hesitation.- Ann S.
A great relief and reassurance to anyone potentially facing criminal charges.- S.A.
To say that Horowitz is a great lawyer is an understatement. I would highly recommend him to anyone dealing with a legal issue.- Haley S.
In addition to being highly intelligent and professional, he is incredibly empathetic and kind, which helps when dealing with life’s unpleasant situations.- Eli S.