Sex Crime Attorneys in Tucson, AZ
Defending Sex Crime Charges
With nearly 40 years of combined experience, our Tucson criminal defense lawyers at Nesci & St. Louis have the extensive knowledge and determination necessary to present the most comprehensive defenses in:
- Sexual Abuse
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Conduct with a Minor
- Molestation of a child
- Public Sexual Indecency
- Indecent Exposure
- Failing to Register as a Sex offender, or Failing to Update Sex Offender
Romantic comedies are filled with scenes in which people meet, are attracted to each other, and spend the night together, and then comic misunderstandings ensue. However, in real life, misunderstandings about a sexual encounter are often anything but funny. If one of the parties to a sexual encounter feels taken advantage of by the other, or in some cases, does not want to explain their actions to a significant other, partner or spouse, and reports that they have been sexually assaulted or abused, the accused may be facing very serious criminal charges. Sex offenses may carry mandatory prison time, require you to register as a sex offender, require that you be placed on sex offender probation, and carry all of the consequences of having a felony conviction.
Even when a conviction of a sex crime does not result in lengthy prison sentence, individuals convicted of these offenses often suffer the lifelong requirement that they register as a sex offender with the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s online database, and may be sentenced to lifetime sex offender probation. This type of probation requires sex offender counseling, polygraph examinations, and severely restricts where you can live and work, the type of volunteer activities you can participate in, and may affect your ability to see your children and other minor family members. If you are accused of sex offense, call Nesci & St. Louis right away, to begin your aggressive defense against these serious charges.
Putting aside the harsh requirements of sex offender probation, having any type of a felony conviction can have serious consequences on your life. It can:
- Affect your rights to your children
- Limit the jobs you can hold
- Limit your rights to own or possess a firearm
- Limit where you can live
- Affect your relationships
At Nesci & St. Louis, we know that people are falsely accused of horrendous crimes. We will fight for you, to demonstrate that the alleged encounter did not occur or was consensual, and to obtain justice in the criminal courts throughout Arizona. Call Nesci & St. Louis today at (520) 999-2441 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.
Forensic Evidence in Sex Offense Cases
Law enforcement agencies often rely on forensic evidence to solve crimes. Frequently prosecutions in sex offense cases are based on the examination of physical evidence — such as semen, hairs, clothing fibers, fingerprints, and bite marks. The results of the tests performed on this evidence may determine whether the accused is convicted or acquitted. The lawyers at Nesci & St. Louis know not to trust forensic laboratory test results at face value. They know that there are often serious questions about whether forensic test results are reliable.
Our lawyers know the limitations of forensic science and have made a career of challenging and exposing the issues with accuracy and reliability that are present in forensic test results. We are recognized nationally for our expertise in challenging scientific testing and are sought-after lecturers to train other defense attorneys how to challenge this complicated area of the law. We frequently work with the top forensic science experts in the country to challenge and refute the government’s evidence based on our own investigation of your case. Call Nesci & St. Louis today to put our wealth of experience challenging laboratory test results to work for you.
The Role of Technology in Sex Crime Cases
Smartphones, the Internet, and social media sites have changed the nature of how we exchange information. Communication is instantaneous and often anonymous.
An innocent flirtation on Facebook or Twitter can evolve into a charge of soliciting a minor to commit a sex act. Not only does the internet offer anonymity, many forums let you be whoever you want to be – a person of a different height, weight, gender, or age, if you so choose. Many adults enjoy innocent role playing and pretending to be someone or something they are not, and we all know to question the accuracy of profile pictures posted online. There are chat rooms on different dating sites that require all participants to be over 18. Occasionally, an individual looking for companionship will enter one of these chat rooms and strike up a conversation with someone who claims to be a minor. One or both parties to this conversation may be role-playing, believing that a minor would not actually be present because of the requirement that the chatroom is for adults only. The conversation may become sexual in nature, and the parties may make plans to meet, or share photographs of genitals – “sexting.” However, if even a well-intentioned person makes plans to meet an individual holding themselves out to be a minor for sexual purposes, or sends photos of genitalia or pornography to a person who turns out to be a minor, they may be charged with a serious crime.
In fact, under the Arizona state statutes, it is not a defense that the “victim” is not actually a minor. The “victim” can be a police officer, or even a news reporter, pretending to be a minor. The state must still prove beyond a reasonable doubt, however, that you knew (or that you should have known) that the person you were going to meet was a minor, and that you were meeting this person in order to engage in sexual conduct with a minor.
Our tech-savvy lawyers will apply our knowledge about computer forensics and technology laws to help build a strong defense, using the experts in the field at our disposal. We will challenge the state’s evidence and fight to get you the best result possible.
Arizona Sex Offender Registry
The Arizona Department of Public Safety maintains an online database of sex offenders that discloses vital information — such as the names, location, photographs, and a list of the crimes the person was convicted of committing— of convicted sex offenders.
Pursuant to A.R.S. §13-3821, a judge must sentence you to register as a sex offender for life if you have been convicted of:
- Unlawful imprisonment of a minor who is not your child.
- Kidnapping of a minor who is not your child.
- Sexual abuse of a minor.
- Sexual assault
- Molestation of a child
- Continuous sexual abuse of a child.
- Taking a child for purposes of prostitution.
- Child prostitution.
- Child sex trafficking.
- Commercial exploitation of a minor.
- Luring a minor for sexual exploitation.
- A second conviction for indecent exposure to a minor under 15.
- A second conviction for public sexual indecency to a minor under 15.
- A third conviction for indecent exposure.
- A third conviction for public sexual indecency.
- Failing to register as a sex offender.
- Unlawful age misrepresentation.
- Aggravated luring a minor for sexual purposes.
- Sexual extortion.
There are two other circumstances where a judge can require a person convicted of a crime to register as a sex offender, for life. The state, pursuant to A.R.S. §13-118, can allege that a crime not on this list – and one that doesn’t even have to be a sex crime – was sexually motivated, and a jury can make that finding. A judge can also determine that any crime listed in the sex crimes or sexual exploitation of children sections of the criminal code not listed above was sexually motivated. In either of these circumstances, a judge can require the person convicted to register as a sex offender, even though the offense that the person was convicted of committing does not require registration.
Once you have been ordered to register as a sex offender, a risk assessment, determining the level of risk you present to the community, will be performed at the direction of the agency supervising your release. If you are assessed to be a level two or three offender, your information, including your photograph, address, and a summary of your status and criminal background must be provided, in a “non-electronic format” to “surrounding neighborhood, area schools, appropriate community groups and prospective employers” and a press release containing this information must be provided to local electronic and print media. If you go to school or attend college, the administration at your school will also be notified. The information will also be included on an Arizona Department of Public Safety sex offender website. You will be required to either have a driver’s license or a non-driving license, and that will only be good for one year at a time.
If you move within a County, or change your name, you must notify the Sheriff in the County “in person and in writing” that you have moved or changed your name within 72 hours of doing so. If you move to a different County, you must notify the Sheriff in the County you moved from, and the one in the County you have moved to “in person and in writing” that you have moved within 72 hours of doing so. In both cases you must also update your information on the Arizona Department of Public Safety website.
Failing to register as a sex offender is a class four felony. If you are required to register as a sex offender because the offense you were convicted of committing that requires you to register was a felony, you will face 2.25 to 7.5 years in prison. Failing to update your information on the DPS website is a class six felony. If the offense you were convicted of committing that requires you to register was a felony, you will face .75 to 2.75 years in prison.
The public has access to this online registry, with potentially disastrous consequences to your relationships, job prospects and reputation in the community. You cannot move to make a fresh start because you must provide law enforcement notice and register in any new location where you move. Whether or not you served any time in jail or prison, the registry imposes a type of life sentence. Keeping you off this registry is a priority for our lawyers. We will also aggressively defend you against accusations that you have violated the registry requirements.
Don’t face charges that can destroy your future without having our experienced sex crime attorneys on your side. Call Nesci & St. Louis today at (520) 999-2441 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.
National Leaders in the Field of Criminal Defense
The Only Attorney Certified in Both Criminal Law and DUI Defense in Arizona
Aggressive Representation Delivered Every Time
Exclusively Focusing on DUI, Criminal Defense Law and Civil Rights Violations and Injuries by Government Employees
Backed by Nearly Forty Years of Combined Experience