Five Things You Should NOT Do When Charged With a Sex Crime
July 17, 2023
It is important to understand the rules surrounding consent when engaging in sexual intercourse. If your partner believes that you have engaged in a sexual act with them without their consent, you could be accused of a sex crime. If you and your partner are students, you might be accused of a violation of Title IX, which protects against sexual harassment in school settings.
Being convicted of a sex crime can have a grave impact on your life. If you are being named as a respondent in a sex crime case in California, call me, Andrew C. Janecki, at the Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki in Santa Cruz. I can consult with you on your case, gather evidence, and help you fight the charges.
Engaging a criminal defense attorney should be the first thing you do when accused of a sex crime. However, while the case is underway, it is also advisable to know what to avoid doing.
Brief Overview of Sex Crimes in California
Sex crimes in California can cover a variety of offenses. For example, rape—including statutory rape, rape by threat of harm, and rape of an unconscious person—is a felony punishable by up to eight years in prison, with longer sentences if the victim was a minor or if the victim was seriously injured. Sexual battery, or inappropriately touching someone without their consent, can be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the crime. Misdemeanor sexual battery can be punished by up to a year in prison and up to $3000 in fines, and felony sexual battery can be punished by up to four years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
If you’re charged with a felony, that felony will remain on your record forever. Felons cannot vote and often find it difficult to get hired or obtain housing. Even a misdemeanor can follow you for a long time; as with a felony conviction for a sex crime, anyone with a misdemeanor conviction for a sex crime must register as a sex offender.
Things Not to Do After Being Charged With a Sex Crime
Avoid posting on social media
First, you must remember that anything you say can be used against you, so it’s best not to say anything until you talk to your attorney. Private messages—whether over email or social media—don’t necessarily stay private. Anyone who talks to you can be ordered to testify against you in court, and anything you say can hurt your case.
Don’t talk to the police
Again, anything you say to the police can be used against you. The police may try to make you incriminate yourself. Even minor inconsistencies can be used to make the case that you are lying.
Don’t contact the complainant
Taking the above advice into account, it’s also advisable to avoid contacting the complainant using any form of communication; further, do not contact anyone in their circle.
Don’t agree to DNA testing before your arrest
DNA testing is not needed to convict someone for a sex crime, so there is no reason to submit to testing before you are arrested. It is best to have your lawyer advise you on when to submit to testing.
Don’t take the charges lightly
A sex crime conviction can severely impact your life. Follow the above steps and do not give law enforcement any verbal or written statements to use against you. Make sure you engage an expert criminal defense attorney who can argue your case effectively in court.
Defending Your Rights and Future
If you don’t know where to turn after being charged with a sex crime in California, call me, Andrew C. Janecki, at the Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki, serving Santa Cruz as well as Palo Alto, San Jose, San Francisco, and Berkeley. I will help you review your options and argue aggressively for your rights, as well as support you throughout the criminal court process. Call me today for a consultation on your case.