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Sex Crimes and the Criminal Justice System

Posted by attorney Peter Tiemann

There are multiple levels of sex crimes which are criminalized in the state of California, many of which carry mandatory sex offender registration. Hiring an attorney may be your only line of defense against a criminal accusation.

In the state of California, many different forms of non-consensual sexual contact have been categorized as a sex crime. In fact, many crimes that don’t even include a victim or participant fall under the category of sex crimes as well. Such crimes would include internet crimes, public indecency or indecent exposure, or distributing child pornography.

Common sex crimes include: sexual assault/rape, molestation, sodomy, child molestation, spousal rape, prostitution, pimping, and solicitation, enticement of a child, internet sex crimes, and statutory rape. How a person is penalized for committing a sex crime will depend on a number of factors such as the age of the victim, if the offender has a prior criminal history, and the extent of any bodily injuries to name a few. Sex crimes in the state of California are prosecuted as both misdemeanors and felonies which could potentially carry jail or prison sentencing, fines, community service, probation or parole and of course, a permanent mark on the person’s criminal record.

In addition to the aforementioned penalties, many sex offenses require mandatory sex offender registration. This holds especially true for rape, child molestation, and many internet sex crimes. The national sex offender registration program is a lifetime registry. Meaning, you will have to register no matter where you live and for the rest of your life. The negative social stigma and moral implications of being a registered sex offender are permanent and life-altering. Once you are on the registry, you can’t run and you can’t hide. You are required to provide your current home address and you must update report whenever you move or get a new job.

If you fail to notify law enforcement when you move or obtain a new job, then you can be granted a one way trip straight to prison. Beyond the criminal consequences of being a registered sex offender, your head shot, what sex crime you were convicted for, and your home address will be public information for all to see. This means that your employer, your family members, you significant others, your friends and your neighbors will have access to your personal information. Escaping the social implications of sex offender registration is nearly impossible, and is guaranteed to place you in numerous uncomfortable situations with future employers, neighbors and relatives for the rest of your life.

Yes, sex offenses are not to be taken lightly; however, it is not uncommon for an alleged victim to make false accusations against a perfectly innocent person (usually a man). The problem here is that in by far the majority of sex crimes, there is no witness to the event in question. This creates a degree of uncertainty for the accused because the case can go in either direction. For this reason, if you have been accused of any sex crime, it’s absolutely critical that you enlist the services of a Sacramento criminal defense attorney. Even if you are completely innocent of the allegations, you could still be found guilty if the supposed victim can provide a convincing testimony. These types of false accusation cases are highly common in heated child custody battles, in which case you stand to lose custody and visitation of your children upon conviction.

Additional resources provided by the author

The Tiemann Law Firm is a criminal defense firm that serves all of Northern California including Sacramento, El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove, Gold River, Folsom, Lake Tahoe and Roseville. The firm has offices located all throughout the northern region so they can handle cases in various Superior Courts. The firm’s lead criminal defense attorney Peter B. Tiemann, is certified by the California State Bar as a Criminal Law Specialist and has extensive experience in both state and federal court. The firm represents those that have been charged with a broad range of crimes ranging from DUI to juvenile defense, to drug crimes and murder. Contact a Sacramento criminal defense attorney from the firm by calling (916) 512-3000 or visit the firm’s website at

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