Sex Crimes

Mesa Sex Crimes Attorney

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Attorney Phil Hineman is a compassionate trial lawyer who has been defending Arizona clients for over 30 years. He is a results-driven attorney who will deeply examine even the smallest details of your sex-related criminal charge to craft a strong defense for you. Let an experienced attorney champion your defense in the face of harsh accusations.

Contact the Law Office of Phil Hineman online or at (928) 224-3230 to discuss your Mesa case today.

Sexual Assault Laws in Mesa, AZ

One type of sex-related crime in Arizona is sexual assault. A person can face charges for sexual assault (also called rape) if they intentionally or knowingly engage in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person without their consent. Sexual assault in Arizona can include any of the following:

  • sexual penetration of the vulva, penis, or anus using anything;
  • oral sexual contact, including verbal threats, fear, or intimidation.

Note that the law defines acts as “without consent” if the alleged victim was:

  • coerced by the immediate use or threatened use of force against a person or property;
  • incapable of consent by reason of mental disorder, mental defect, drugs, alcohol, sleep, or any other impairment and such condition should have reasonably been known to the offender;
  • intentionally deceived as to the nature of the act; or
  • intentionally deceived to believe that the person is the alleged victim’s spouse.

The penalties for sexual assault depend on the offender’s criminal history, the age of the alleged victim, and whether the offender knowingly inflicted physical harm. Generally, first offenders may face at least 5.25 years of incarceration, and those with 2 or more prior felony sexual assault convictions could face up to 28 years in jail. If the sexual assault involved the intentional infliction of serious physical injury, the offender may be sentenced to 25 years to life imprisonment. In aggravated circumstances, such as if date rape drugs were employed, a defendant could have 3 years added to their sentence. Additionally, all sexual assault offenders must register for life as a sex offender with the Arizona Sex Offender Registry.

Accusations of Statutory Rape

Arizona has more specific statutes and penalties for individuals charged with sexual assault against minors. Under the state’s statutory rape guidelines, sexual conduct with a minor by intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person who is under 18 years of age is illegal.

Depending on the age of the alleged victim and other aggravated circumstances, a defendant could face a range of jail time:

  • alleged victim is under the age of 15 – Class 2 felony for a “Dangerous Crime Against Children,” which carries 13-27 years in prison;
  • alleged victim is at least 15 years old – Class 6 felony punishable by 0.5-2 years’ imprisonment for first offenders;
  • alleged victim is at least 15 years of age and the defendant was in a position of trust – Class 2 felony with 4-12.5 years’ imprisonment for first-time offenders.

Note that within the context of the law, a person is in a “position of trust” if they are:

  • a minor’s parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, legal guardian, or foster parent;
  • the minor’s teacher;
  • the minor’s coach or instructor;
  • the minor’s clergyman or priest.

Sexual Abuse Offenses

Another serious sex-related offense addressed by state law is sexual abuse. An individual commits sexual abuse if they intentionally or knowingly engage in sexual contact:

  • with any person who is 15 or more years of age without the consent of that person; or
  • with any person who is under 15 years of age if the sexual contact involves only the female breast.

Be aware that sexual contact is defined as any direct or indirect touching, fondling, or manipulating of any part of the genitals, anus, or female breast. However, this does not include direct or indirect touching during caretaking responsibilities or other interactions with a minor or vulnerable adult that an objective person would recognize as reasonable under the circumstances.

Sexual abuse is charged as either a Class 5 felony punishable by 0.5-2.5 years in jail or a Class 3 felony punishable by 13-27 years’ imprisonment if the alleged victim is under the age of 15.

Questions? Contact Mesa Attorney Phil Hineman Today.

If you have been accused of a sex crime in Mesa, Arizona, contact a lawyer immediately for legal representation. The consequences upon conviction, from years (to life) in prison and required sex offender registration, can seriously impact any future you have left, so it is critical that you work with an experienced defense attorney to protect your rights in trial. The Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C. has decades of professional experience fighting for his clients, and he will do his best to develop an effective legal strategy to secure as favorable an outcome as possible.

Schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C. online or at (928) 224-3230 to discuss your legal options in Mesa.

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