If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a sex crime in Napa Valley, it can be an emotionally draining experience. You might feel shocked, embarrassed, and confused about why this is happening to you and how things could have gotten so out of hand so quickly. And you’re likely also worried about how this will affect your job, your family, and your standing in town.
We tend to demonize people accused of sex crimes before all the facts are known, which is why it is so important for you to contact an experienced Napa Valley sex crimes attorney as soon as possible and get them working on your defense and protecting your good name.
Types of Napa Valley Sex Crimes
There are a wide range of crimes in Napa Valley that fall under the blanket category of sex crimes. Some of these come with far more severe penalties, but every sex crime charge is something that you should take seriously.
Most people know and understand that the different kinds of rape, battery, and indecent public behavior are considered sex crimes, as well as practically anything involving a child. But it’s important to pay extra special attention to all of the criminal sexual activities that are possible using computers. Many of us believe that the internet is disconnected from the “real” world and don’t equate what we do online with what we might engage in during our normal lives, but you can be prosecuted even for viewing or possessing inappropriate material on your computer.
Punishments Associated with Napa Valley Sex Crimes
Like every other type of crime, sex crimes are divided into two main categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Of the two, misdemeanors are less serious, though they can still lead to jail sentences of up to a year. Felony charges start with a year of time in state prison and go up from there.
Sex crimes that are generally considered misdemeanors include prostitution, soliciting a prostitute, indecent exposure, and improperly touching a child. Felony sex crimes include all types of rape, child pornography (creation, possession, or distribution), lewd and lascivious acts, and sexual battery. Even sexting can be charged as a felony if you do it with a person who is under the age of 18, so make sure you know who you’re talking to before sending any kind of personal messages or images.
All felony sex crimes include penalties of prison time if you are convicted, and many misdemeanors have jail time as well. At the very least, you are certain to face high fines and a probation period. When your prison term or probation period is over, the punishment doesn’t necessarily end. In California and the Napa Valley, most people convicted of sex crimes are required to register as sex offenders.
What this means for you is that you will have to go to your local law enforcement agency every year within five days of your birthday to re-register, as well as every time that you move to a new location. Your name, address, and photo will be made public on a national sex offender registry so that anyone can see it – family members, coworkers, neighbors, and so on. Most people find that this has an incredibly negative impact on their lives. And not registering is even worse, because you’ll be subjected to new penalties and can even include prison time.
Napa Valley Sex Crime Defense
California takes sex crimes very seriously, so you need to make sure that the person defending you knows the law inside and out. This is especially important for internet sex crimes because it they are still evolving. You want an expert who knows sex crime law and how to work with prosecutors and law enforcement to make sure he or she has all important information and documentation to build your defense and get your charges reduced – or even dropped altogether.
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