A single accusation is all it takes. No other evidence is needed to be charged with a sex crime, and to have your life turned upside down. Depending on the charge, you could be facing a serious felony as well as the requirement that you register as a sex offender. Often, this also means significant jail/prison time.
We know this is scary and you likely feel completely overwhelmed. We’re here to help. We fight sex crime cases on a daily basis and have proven strategies to successfully defend against them and get you the best possible resolution.
Below, you’ll find answers to many common questions related to sex crime allegations, but the best way to make sure your individual questions are answered is to simply give us a call for a free, no strings attached consultation.
Under the law, no physical evidence is needed for many sex crimes, and no corroboration is needed for the accuser’s story. If the police/prosecutor believe your accuser, charges will get filed.
A little further down on this page you can read a few brief descriptions about some of the more common sex crimes in Washington. You can also see what sex crimes require registration on this page as well. For now, here is list of some of the more common sex crimes we see in Washington:
That depends on whether you are convicted of a sex crime and what that sex crime is. Further, Washington State has the following different levels of registration: Lifetime, Indefinite, 15 years, and 10 years. The duty to register begins after you are convicted and released from custody.
Here are the lists:
The answer to this varies depending on your particular situation, but there are three universal pieces of advice:
From there, we need to hear more about your individual situation to advise your further. In the meantime, please view our video below on the subject and visit our Under Investigation page.
False allegations of rape are commonplace, and all it takes is one person pointing their finger at you and you can get charged. No corroboration of any kind is needed. No DNA, no other witnesses, nothing. Rape defenses generally fall into two main categories: (1) No sex occurred at all; or (2) the sex was consensual. These are two very distinct defenses, each requiring a skilled approach by an experienced legal team.
These are complex and delicate cases that definitely require an experienced attorney by your side. The very first thing a jury thinks in a case of this nature is, “why would a child ever lie about being molested?” Because of this, even though the burden is on the state to prove your guilt, in these cases, the reality is we often have to work to prove your innocence.
CMIP for short is one of those odd statutes in Washington where a first offense can be a gross misdemeanor, unless the alleged communication was done by electronic means, in which case it is a class C felony. Either way, if you’re convicted, you would be required to register as a sex offender. Knowledge about the the age of the person you were in communication with is often a key element in these cases and we have a lot of experience successfully challenging that element.
The crime of Indecent liberties revolves around the capacity to consent to sexual contact. In other words, was the alleged victim incapable of consent because of being mentally defective or incapacitated or physically helpless? This comes up in a number of different circumstances. A few of which are:
Prosecutors often take a hard stance on indecent liberty cases and as a result these cases have a higher likelihood of ending up in trial compared to many other cases. We always exhaust all pre-trial remedies first, but if that if trial is our only option then we will be ready to fight hard for a “got guilty” verdict.
Voyeurism arrests are on the rise in Washington. This is in part due to virtually every phone now being equipped with a camera and/or video recording capabilities. We typically see allegations of this come up where the victim was in a place where they had a reasonable expectation of privacy (a bathroom, a clothing store changing room, a locker room, a house, apartment or hotel, etc.) and they are filmed or photographed without their knowledge and consent.
The state also must prove that the filming or photographing was done for the purpose of arousing or gratify sexual desires.
We have successfully handled a number of these cases and are standing by ready to discuss the best possible defense of your voyeurism case as well.
In State Courts, this allegation is referred to as possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, while in Federal Court, it is referred to as Possession of Child Pornography. These days, we most commonly see this charge associated with electronic files/folders stored on a client’s computer or other device. In particular, it often arises in cases where there is alleged file sharing on protocols such as BitTorrent and UTorrent, which can also sometimes lead to “Dealing” charges as well.
There are varying approached to defending this allegation. For instance, many times our client does not personally know the person in the picture/video. Thus if you are not in possession of any facts that would prove you knew the age of the person, then you have a very viable defense to this charge if the person depicted in the images arguably appears as though he/she could be 18 years old. Another argument centers around the term possession itself. For example, if the image(s) were in some unallocated cache that you didn’t specifically know about or access, then this could negate the possession requirement.
Mitigation, including psychosexual evaluations, also often play an important role in these cases.
Western Washington has been cracking down on prostitution related cases recently (as of 2016), and the focus of law enforcement has been to arrest the customers, not the prostitutes. It used to be that these cases were simply referred for diversion so you didn’t have to do much of anything to avoid a conviction. Not anymore. Prosecutors now want you to have a criminal record for this charge. While this is just a simple misdemeanor (as opposed to a more serious gross misdemeanor), a conviction can have very real and dire consequences. We handle a large number of these cases and know the best approach to fight them and avoiding a conviction.
As opposed to promoting prostitution in the first degree, promoting in the second degree is not technically a sex crime. Further, it was traditionally only pursued for what people commonly refer to as “pimps.” While the law is certainly is still applied to alleged pimps, it has recently (as of 2016) been expanded to other activities. For instance, a huge bust occurred in January 2016, charging several men with felonies simply because they visited prostitutes and then went online and wrote reviews about their experiences. This is not the promotion of prostitution as far as we are concerned and if you are charged with this, let us know and we will fight the Prosecution on this every step of the way.
Stings on sex cases are very common and take several different forms. For instance, the police may post an ad online offering prostitution services, or they may be in a chatroom or on an app posing as a minor, or as the parent of a minor offering up their kid for sex. See our page on Prostitution Stings and/or our page covering Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor/Net Nanny Stings for more information.
We made our name defending clients in sting cases with our success in handling the Dateline NBC To Catch A Predator cases, and we are still vigorously fighting these cases to this day.
Court and Michelle developed a specialty representing those accused of sex crimes through their involvement with Dateline NBC’s To Catch A Predator show. Court was the first attorney in the country to take one of these cases to trial. Read about Court’s success with this first case here.