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Being implicated in a sex crime in Huntington Beach, CA can be devastating to your reputation, your career, your family life, your standing in the community, and every other aspect of your existence in society. When the unimaginable happens and you’re accused of an unspeakable violation, it will be in your best interests to obtain the services of a skilled defense attorney as quickly as possible.
While everyone convicted of a crime in the United States has the right to be presumed innocent until guilt is proven, sex crimes often carry such a heavy social stigma that cases are tried in the so-called "court of public opinion" long before they ever reach a judge. Additionally, prosecutors will paint you in the worst possible light, which can be nearly traumatic when doing so involves sexual misconduct. They also have the full power and authority of the state behind them as they do so. Judges and juries, while technically bound by law to act in an impartial way, are also often predisposed to dislike anyone accused of a sex crime due to the heinous nature of the crime. It can be easy for a good prosecutor to convince them of your guilt, even if you are innocent of the crime.
While we all wish to believe that innocence and guilt, right and wrong, and fact and fiction are the only concepts that matter in a courtroom, this isn’t always the case. Your innocence alone may not be able to protect you when you are accused of sexual misconduct. The facts alone simply may not be enough for a case to reach its proper conclusion. DNA evidence has now proven significant numbers of false convictions in the history of California and other states. A quality legal defense may have greatly helped some of these people.
To overcome these issues, it is absolutely vital to have a highly skilled attorney who can persuade a jury to overcome their preconceptions and achieve justice. Jacqueline Goodman is the Huntington Beach criminal defense lawyer who will analyze your case in an empathetic and non-judgmental way. She will then develop a completely personalized strategy to get you and your family through this extremely stressful and embarrassing situation to achieve the best possible outcome.
Sex Crimes the Defense Attorneys at The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman can help with:
There are many other types of sex offenses, ranging from violent assaults to crimes conducted entirely through the internet. Attorney Jacqueline Goodman and her criminal defense team have the tools and experience to craft a defense for your case.
While determining whether any particular crime is truly sexual in nature can sometimes be a subjective matter for judges and juries, the California Penal Code provides a fairly solid and robust framework for these cases. One of the most important terms in many sex crime cases involving adult parties is consent. The legal definition of consent, as it applies to sex crimes, can have subtle differences from state to state.
"Consent" in California is defined as "positive cooperation" in a situation, with an "attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will". A consenting person must therefore act "freely and voluntarily" with "knowledge of the nature of the act." The existence of a marriage or romantic relationship is not enough to pre-establish consent.
Determining consent during the investigation of a sex crime can be difficult, as some of the factors involved are matters of someone else’s personal experience and can be extremely difficult to prove or disprove. Nevertheless, establishing consent (or the lack thereof) through evidence remains pivotal in sex crime cases. While the letter of the law does not mandate an explicit verbal agreement to establish consent before sexual contact, sexually active parties concerned about accusations of sexual misconduct may wish to develop this habit.
A: As with any other crime, the exact process of investigation for a sex crime will depend on the nature of the crime, the circumstances, and the available evidence. Investigating a sex crime can involve scientific tools such as DNA tests and rape kits or more traditional investigatory tools such as witness interviews and physical evidence. If you are being asked to give information as part of a sex crime investigation, it may be in your best interests to solicit the services of a quality criminal defense lawyer before doing so.
A: There are prosecuting attorneys that specialize in sex crime cases. In some larger markets, this will be a highly specialized position. In other courts, such as those in more rural or less populous areas, the prosecutor's office may only have one or two people who handle all types of cases. The particular court in which your case is tried can have a significant impact on your legal strategy.
A: There is a long list of offenses that could meet the definition of sex crimes at the state or federal level, so it would be impossible to list every scenario exhaustively here. In California, a sex crime is very broadly defined as “any misdemeanor or felony of a sexual nature.” This means nearly any crime might conceivably be prosecuted as a sex crime if the perpetrator is harassing, vulgar, or violent in an explicitly sexual manner during the course of committing the crime. Because of this, judges have some leeway in subjectively determining the "sexuality" of any offense from case to case.
A: Determining sex crimes is not totally subjective, nor is it left entirely up to the whims of judges. The California penal code is robust and sophisticated. While the definition of "sex crimes" itself is left rather open-ended, the Penal Code includes extremely specific legal definitions for many terms that come up regularly in the course of sex crimes cases, including:
These definitions tend to be extremely specific and legally actionable to create solid guidelines for judges and court officials working on sex crime cases. For example, the section on "Bigamy, Incest, and the Crime against Nature" alone (as found in California Penal Code Chapter 1, Section 289) is nearly two full typed pages of bullet points. The exhaustive penal code spells out both the criteria for prosecuting such charges and the sentences associated with them.
When you’re accused of unthinkable crimes, don’t develop a false sense of security, thinking that your innocence alone will lead the case to a correct outcome. We do know that false convictions occur in the United States, even for some of the most violent and high-profile crimes. Charges of any sex crime are taken very seriously. Jacqueline Goodman and her team of legal experts have the legal strategies and an intimate knowledge of the Huntington Beach courts that can be put to work immediately to protect your rights, your reputation, and your status as a free citizen. Contact us today for a no-judgment evaluation of your situation.
Misdemeanor on completion of community service - Felony 2nd DUI, under 21 with injury.
Los Angeles Arrest Pre-filing representation on Attempted murder of police officer, assault with a deadly weapon upon a police officer.
Strike felonies including assault with a deadly weapon - car with great bodily injury.
Car accident, no license, speeding (filed by Anaheim City Attorney).
Penal Code 273a(b) Child endangerment/cruelty.
Child molestation: Felony.
Commercial burglary probation violation: dismissed, no violation found.
Contempt of court order by a gang member.
Child Sex Abuse case dismissed.