Being arrested or even investigated for any sex crime is a frightening and embarrassing experience. Not only is your freedom at stake, you can also face the loss of your family, your career, and your reputation. Because an allegation of sexual misconduct should never be taken lightly, you need to enlist the help of a qualified attorney who can defend you against a sex crimes charge at the earliest possible stage. Amy Chapman has successfully defended people accused of child molestation, rape, date rape, statutory rape, sexual battery, prostitution, pimping, indecent exposure, lewd conduct, child pornography, Internet sex crimes, and failing to register as a sex offender. You can be assured that the Law Office of Amy Chapman has the resources, knowledge, and experience to defend you against any type of sex offense.
Consequences of a sex offense conviction
For the most serious sexual offenses, you can be sentenced to life in prison, even if you have no criminal history. Many sex offenses are considered strikes under California’s Three Strikes Law, which can result in mandatory state prison and increased penalties if you are ever convicted of another felony. Convictions for certain sex crimes could lead to your being civilly committed in a state hospital for the rest of your life, even after you have served your full sentence. Even less serious sex crimes can lead to incarceration, mandatory sex offender counseling, mandatory AIDS testing, and hefty fines. A conviction for many sex related offenses, even some misdemeanors, will result in mandatory registration as a sex offender for the rest of your life. Your name and address could end up in a public database for anyone to see. If you are required to register as a sex offender, you must update your registration at least once a year and within five days of changing your address.
Defense of sex crimes
The Law Office of Amy Chapman understands that not everyone accused of a sex offense is actually guilty. Everyone suspected of a sex crime deserves a full and vigorous defense. Your defense will start with a thorough investigation to examine the motivation of the accuser. These claims often hinge on the statement of just one person, sometimes made days or even years after the alleged conduct took place. If your case needs to go to jury trial, we can have expert witnesses in forensics and psychology available to assist in your defense. Let us help you avoid the devastating consequences that come with a sex offense conviction.
What Is The First Thing To Do After A Sex Crime Arrest?
The most important thing is to remain silent and not give a statement to law enforcement and to contact an attorney as soon as possible. It’s also important to have no contact at all with the accused or their family.
Are People Involved in Sex Crime Cases Generally Strangers or Do they Know Each Other?
It’s almost always between people who know each other; in a child case, it can often be a relative or close family friend. Many rape cases are date rape cases, not stranger rape cases, and it’s more likely than not that most sex cases involve parties that know each other.
I also defend newer types of cases, especially digital forms of sex crimes known as “revenge porn.” These can be harder to defend against because typically the evidence is there in digital form, which means it can be retrieved and it can be seen; often, there’s corroborating evidence in the form of the digital photos or videos that can back up the accused’s claim. That makes it unlike other sex crimes, for which there are typically no witnesses and it’s one person’s word against the other.
Who Can Find Out About My Arrest or Prosecution for a Sex Crime Case?
All arrests and prosecutions are a matter of public record; whether or not they’re publicized in the local press depends on the particular interest in that case, but anything is public record. On the other hand, your employer won’t be automatically notified unless you’re unfortunate enough to be arrested at work. If your friends, family or even your employer are potential witnesses in the case, they may be contacted by law enforcement to be interviewed.
What Common Mistakes do People Commit in Sex Crime Cases?
The biggest mistake people make is talking too much, especially to law enforcement, where they can be tripped up by a skilled interrogator; their words can be twisted and they can also succumb to what’s called the Pretext Phone Call in which they’ll have the alleged victim make a phone call to the accused and record it, in an attempt to get them to admit or apologize for the conduct; those phone calls can be very damaging. Contacting the victim in any way, especially if it’s to either beg them to not go to law enforcement or threaten them against going to law enforcement should never happen.
What About the Stigma Attached to Sex Crime Allegations?
It’s a huge stigma to be accused of a sex crime; whether you have been charged yet or not, the connotation that accompanies that spreads among your family, your friends, your workplace, possibly even the community at large, depending on how well-publicized it is. Even if you’re ultimately exonerated and found to be innocent or acquitted, people will always remember that accusation.
When clients start to despair, I tell them to not give up, that there are a number of possible outcomes in any type of case and even people who are ultimately convicted of a sex crime can still lead happy lives. That said, people accused of sex crimes are often terrified of what can happen; they’re shocked, angry and often depressed, they’re incredulous and their minds are usually spinning with all of the possible repercussions of what could happen if they are convicted of a sex offense.
How Can You Help in My Sex Crime Case?
I can help you and your family get through this type of horrible accusation and I can provide personalized service and the time you won’t get from a public defender. I have access to experts and investigators that will help me best take care of your case and I have the experience of having tried the most serious types of sex crimes in front of juries. I am not afraid to take on any type of case and I understand that good people can be accused of awful things; I never cast judgment on my clients.
Everyone has to realize that there will be lasting effects in terms of the stigma and the shockwaves a case like this can cause, and that it can affect your friends and family. The record of your arrest and your prosecution will always be public, even if you’re ultimately acquitted or the case is dropped. However, I can help lessen the negative effects.
What Should I Do if Contacted by the Police for a Sex Crime Investigation?
You always have the right to remain silent, and the right to an attorney, so you should always call an attorney immediately and never talk to law enforcement without that attorney present. If police show up at your house and want to speak to you, you do not have to speak to them; if they have probable cause or a warrant to arrest you, they will arrest you and book you, but you’re never under any obligation to speak with them.
Sex Crime Cases Successfully Defended
I had a client who was here from another country on a work visa and he was out one night drinking and dancing with a group of friends. Later that night, he had a sexual encounter with a longtime friend of his who he had a crush on for quite some time. He felt guilty about the encounter afterward, not because it wasn’t consensual, but because her boyfriend, who was also a friend of his, was in the other room.
The next day she told her boyfriend that she was unable to fend off my client’s advances; she claimed she was asleep and had been drinking. They went to the police and my client was arrested and charged with rape.
The case went all the way to jury trial and my client was found not guilty by the jury. I’ll never forget the relief on his face when the verdict was announced because so much was at stake; he could have been sent to prison, he would have had to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and he would have been deported from the U.S. and not allowed to remain here on his visa. None of that happened and he was so grateful that he trusted the system and took his case to trial.
Why Do You Handle Sex Crime Cases?
I’ve been doing criminal defense exclusively for the past 16 years, starting in the public defender’s office, so when I was first assigned the misdemeanor cases, I immediately dealt with sex crimes cases, such as indecent exposure, unlawful sex with a minor (more commonly known as statutory rape) lewd acts, sexual battery and child pornography.
When I transitioned into felony cases in 2003, I was assigned the most serious child molestation and forcible rape cases as well as sexually violent predator cases. In my private practice, I’ve continued to represent people on child molestation cases, as well as cases involving rape, pimping, indecent exposure and child pornography, as well as representing people under investigation for sex crimes. Sex crimes can be loosely defined as those involving sexually lewd intent; anything from a misdemeanor, like indecent exposure, all the way up to the worst forcible rape or child molestation.
Misdemeanor sex crimes can be indecent exposure, lewd acts, sexual battery, unlawful sex with the minor if you are close in age with the minor, and some child pornography. Felonies can be anything from rape, child molestation, pimping, kidnapping with the intent to rape and internet sex crimes.
The most common cases I deal with come from accusations of child molestation and rape. Child molestation can be anything from an improper touching all the way up to an allegation of sexual intercourse with the child.
Do You Get a Typical Client in Sex Crime Cases?
All ages, races, walks of life can be accused of sex crimes, and it’s not the boogeyman that some people picture; often, a relative or an acquaintance is accused. Most people accused of a sex offense are male, but I have represented women accused of sexual offenses as well.