Seattle Sex Crimes Attorney(206) 895-6728
There are virtually no other crimes that carry the same stigma and costs. Those convicted face serious penalties like prison terms and classification as a registered sex offender.
Few other crimes have the same level of consequences and social stigma as sex crimes. Those who are found guilty may receive severe penalties, including imprisonment and being classified as a registered sex offender.
Furthermore, just the accusation of a sex crime can have a significant impact on your life. You could lose your job, and even family and friends may distance themselves from you. Therefore, it is crucial to take sex crime charges seriously and seek legal representation from the start.
If you have been charged with any form of a sexual offense or have been contacted by law enforcement regarding allegations made against you, it is vital to protect your rights before discussing the matter with the authorities. Law enforcement officials and prosecutors are dedicated to resolving these cases quickly, which can result in errors and false charges. It is always in your best interest to consult a skilled and aggressive Seattle sex crimes attorney.
Call The Law Offices of Morgan Fletcher Benfield, PLLC today at (206) 895-6728 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Washington Sex Crime Laws & Penalties
Sex crimes are a serious matter in Washington, and they are addressed under RCW Title 9a Chapter 44. These offenses cover a wide range of acts, and their severity, consequences, and legal issues related to consent and mental capacity vary greatly. Some of the most common sex crimes in Washington include sexual assault, which encompasses various offenses like rape or forced sexual intercourse without the other person’s consent. Indecent exposure is another sex crime that involves intentionally exposing one’s private parts in public or in the presence of others, and making an open and obscene exposure that is likely to cause alarm or affront. Prostitution or solicitation, which involves engaging, agreeing, or offering to engage in sexual conduct for a fee, is also considered a sex crime.
Sex crime convictions carry harsh penalties in Washington, and the specific consequences depend on your criminal history, the offense in question, and other surrounding circumstances. These consequences can include potential jail or prison sentences, being required to register as a sex offender, having a felony conviction on your record, being subjected to electronic home monitoring, probation, mandatory counseling or treatment, loss of employment, loss of reputation, and limited contact with minors, even your own children and relatives. It is important to take sex crime charges seriously and seek the help of a skilled and aggressive Seattle sex crimes lawyer to protect your rights. Contact The Law Offices of Morgan Fletcher Benfield, PLLC today for a free and confidential consultation at (206) 895-6728.
Sex Crimes Felonies & Misdemeanors
Sex offenses are categorized into Class A, B, and C level offenses, depending on the details of the case. For instance, a charge of rape in the first degree, which involves the use of a weapon, kidnapping, causing serious injury, or unlawfully entering a home, can result in a Class A felony charge. This is the most serious offense, punishable by up to life imprisonment. Class B felony sex crimes can result in a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, while Class C felony sex crimes can result in up to 5 years in prison and a possible fine of $10,000.
However, there are instances where a sexual offense can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000. Examples of misdemeanor sex crimes include some indecent exposure offenses or second-degree sexual misconduct with a minor.
If you or someone you know has been accused of a sex crime, contact the Law Offices of Morgan Fletcher Benfield today to explore the options that may be available to you.
Two-Strikes & Indeterminate Sentences
While you may be familiar with other states using the “three-strikes and you’re out” policy for repeat offenders, Washington takes a particularly strict approach towards sex crimes. The state has instituted a two-strike rule, which means that if you are found guilty of certain sex felonies on two separate occasions, you could face a life sentence in prison.
Moreover, for certain sexual offenses, you could potentially face an “indeterminate sentence” or “civil commitment” if there is evidence suggesting that you are likely to re-offend. Essentially, this means that even after completing your original sentence, you could still be held for the remainder of your life.
Sex Offender Registration
If you are found guilty of a sex crime in Washington, you will almost certainly be required to register on the Washington Sex Offender Registry. This entails providing your local sheriff with your name, photograph, and address regularly for several years or even for the rest of your life. It is considered a separate criminal offense if you fail to register as a sex offender as required. Additionally, this information is accessible online to future employers, government agencies, and the public. The intention is to notify the community of any sex offenders living in their vicinity and enable law enforcement to supervise offenders. However, this approach can drive some individuals out of communities, depriving them of job opportunities, or unfairly label them as sex offenders, all in the state’s effort to prevent repeat offenses.
Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative (SSOSA)
The Law Offices of Morgan Fletcher Benfield, PLLC understands the gravity and sensitive nature of sex crimes. While they are serious, it is crucial to acknowledge that treatment and counseling may be more effective in facilitating rehabilitation. Therefore, Washington State provides alternatives to lengthy prison sentences for some sex crimes through the Sex Offender Special Sentencing Alternative (SOSSA). This program is available for many non-violent sex offenses.
Under SOSSA, a convicted individual may spend up to a year in jail and then serve the remainder of their sentence on probation or have it suspended. However, there are strict guidelines in place such as limited contact with minors, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, internet restrictions, and mandatory sex offender registration. Additionally, the individual will be required to attend sex offender treatment classes for up to three years, with progress reports submitted to the court by a court-appointed therapist.
It is crucial to note that SOSSA is a rigorous program and violations are dealt with severely. Furthermore, not all cases are eligible, and it is recommended to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney to evaluate the situation and determine the likelihood of successfully completing the program.
Protecting Your Future with an Aggressive Seattle Sex Crimes Attorney
A sex crime accusation carries consequences, unlike any other charge. If convicted, the ramifications extend beyond serving time in prison. You will carry a permanent label that includes personal information and the details of the crime on the internet. This can limit your ability to live where you choose and make finding employment extremely challenging.
To mitigate these potential consequences, it is crucial to have a sex crimes lawyer by your side from the outset. False or erroneous allegations of sex crimes can result in irreparable damage if there is no one protecting your interests. An experienced Washington sex crimes lawyer can make all the difference.
Don’t face a sex crime allegation on your own
Morgan Fletcher Benfield, an experienced attorney in Seattle who handles sex crime cases, is committed to achieving the most favorable outcome for his clients. He can work towards a complete dismissal of the charges, negotiate for a reduced sentence, or take your case to trial if necessary to clear your name. He can assess your situation, carefully review the police’s investigation for any errors or misconduct, and carefully scrutinize your accuser to uncover any ulterior motives for false accusations.