Dedicated Lawyer Protecting the Rights of Seattle Residents Fighting Charges
Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest and the coastal county seat of King County, Washington. It is about 100 miles south of the Canadian border, and its port serves as a major gateway for Asian trade. Although its first major industry was logging, Seattle is better known now for its technology companies. The city has seen numerous boom and bust cycles. Like other cities, Seattle witnesses its share of sex crimes. If you are charged with this type of offense, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you fight the charges. Vindicate Criminal Law Group understands the gravity of the situation facing you and will spare no effort in crafting a strategy suited to your circumstances.
Consequences Associated with Sex Crimes
Sex crimes in Washington include a broad range of offenses enumerated in Chapter 9a.44 RCW. Most of them involve sexual intercourse and sexual contact, such as rape, rape of a child, child molestation,sexual misconduct with a minor, voyeurism, and custodial misconduct. Under RCW 9A.44.073, a prosecutor trying to prove rape of a child in the first degree must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the perpetrator had sexual intercourse with a child under 12 to whom he or she was not married, and that the perpetrator is at least two years older than the victim.
Rape of a child in the first degree is a class A felony. It is important to note that “sexual intercourse” is defined by the statute using its ordinary meaning and arises from penetration, even to a slight degree. It can occur when penetration involves an object rather than a body part, and it encompasses sexual contact involving a wide variety of organs producing stimulation, irrespective of the genders of the individuals.
In general, a defendant cannot argue that he or she did not know the victim’s age. However, it may be possible to raise the defense that at the time of the sexual intercourse, he or she reasonably believed the victim was at least 12 years old or was less than two years younger than the alleged perpetrator was. However, in that case, the defendant can still be convicted of rape of a child in the second degree.
In addition to jail time and fines, a convicted defendant who lives in Seattle will have to register with the King County Sheriff. If he or she is in custody of the state department of corrections or another agency in charge of detention, the defendant will also have to register at the time of release with the official designated by that agency. For many people, the registration requirement is as onerous as jail time. A convicted defendant who tries to move to another state or seek education or work in another state will have to register his or her new address, fingerprints, and photograph with the new state within three business days of settling into a new residence or starting to work or go to school there. He or she will also have to give notice within three business days of the move to the King County Sheriff.
Consult a Seattle Attorney Skilled in Helping Individuals Facing Prosecution
A sex crime conviction can haunt you for the rest of your life. It is important to retain an attorney who understands this area of law and is sensitive to the harsh consequences that may affect Seattle residents accused of these offenses. Vindicate Criminal Law Group is a sex crimes lawyer with substantial experience helping criminal defendants protect their rights. Contact us today for your confidential case evaluation, or call (888) 212-4824.