Los Angeles Sex Crimes Attorney

Whether your case is in LA County, Van Nuys, or San Fernando,  these courts have special units that deal with sex crimes. Once a sex crime is filed in one of these courthouses, a prosecutor is assigned to the case and responsible for handling the claim to completion.

Each of these sex crime units has supervisors responsible for negotiating the cases and which charges will be filed and which charges will be dismissed. I have tried both jury trials and bargained cases against these prosecutors. As a sex crimes lawyer, I feel that the political pressure placed on them by the public, legislature, judges, and superiors has grown quite intense.

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To successfully negotiate these cases, savvy sex crime defense attorneys must have many tools. Without the representation of a sex crimes attorney by your side, your chances of winning will be bleak.

The prosecutors and judges will consider a host of factors when deciding their position on a particular case. They will look at the person's criminal record, if they have a good job and family, the harm that they perceive has been caused to the victim, the age of the victim, the age of the accused, and most importantly, the defendant's danger level to the community at large and their ability to be rehabilitated.

When they file sex crime charges, they assume the person is guilty. However, suppose an experienced defense attorney can point out weaknesses in the prosecution's case. In that case, they will undoubtedly access those weaknesses when deciding their position to settle a specific case. Therefore, you must make sure that you contact a lawyer right away.

Standard Sex Crime Charges in California

The term “sex crimes” covers many offenses – from misdemeanors, wobblers, felony, to even serious and violent felonies, such as rape. Few things in our society carry such a negative stigma as being charged with a sex crime. The only thing worse than a sex crime allegation is being convicted of a sex crime. The Hedding Law Firm has experience defending clients in all California sex crime cases, including:

  • Penal Code Section 314  – Indecent Exposure
  • Penal Code Section 243.4 – Sexual Battery
  • Penal Code Section 647.6  – Child Molestation
  • Penal Code Section 311 – Child Pornography
  • Penal Code Section 261 – Rape
  • Penal Code Section 261.5 – Statutory Rape
  • Penal Code Section 290 – Failure to Register as Sex Offender
  • Penal Code Section 236.1 – Human Trafficking
  • Penal Code Section 288 – Lewd Acts with a Minor
  • Penal Code Section 288a – Oral Copulation with Minor
  • Penal Code Section 288.5 – Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child
  • Penal Code Section 647(a) – Lewd Conduct
  • Penal Code Section 647(b) – Solicitation of Prostitution
  • Penal Code Section 653.22 – Loitering for Prostitution
  • Penal Code Section 266h – Pimping and Pandering
  • Penal Code Section 647(j)(4) – Revenge Porn

Factors That Decide Sex Offender Registration

This is a fundamental question regarding the defense of a sex crime. I believe it is safe to say that no one wants to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life. However, this is one of the things that prosecutors typically insist upon when it comes to the prosecution of a sex crime case in the San Fernando Valley.

Yet, there are ways to avoid registration. Indeed, a win at a jury trial would get the job done. However, if this is not feasible, what the court and prosecutors are evaluating is your threat level. If they believe you are a high threat to the public, they will use the registration system as part of a way to monitor you.

If, on the other hand, they can be convinced that whatever you did was an aberration and will not happen again, then they can sometimes be persuaded to let you plead to a charge that does not require registration for the rest of your life. The defense produces some reports that go a long way towards convincing the prosecutor to give you a break and a chance to show them that you should not have to register as a sex offender. Experienced sex crimes will know how to prepare these reports.

Protect Yourself If Under Investigation for a Sex Crime

The best move you can make if you are being investigated for a sex crime is to hire a seasoned local attorney. Your attorney can act as a buffer between you and law enforcement. If the police call you or come by to visit you at work or your home, you can refer them to your attorney and not answer any of their questions.

There is no chance of your words being twisted against you later. Your attorney can call the police and let them know that they represent you and will not be answering any of their questions. Also, if a prosecutor is involved in your case, your attorney can give them your side of the story without you being subjected to questioning. An experienced San Fernando Valley sex crime defense attorney knows exactly how to defend your case in court.

Another significant advantage of having an attorney pre-filing in a sex crime investigation is peace of mind. Your attorney can tell you what is going on every step of the way and continue to monitor the case on your behalf. This way, you are not left entirely in the dark, wondering when the police will get you and what you will do when they grab you. You and your attorney will have already discussed this possibility and be ready to react in a professional manner that preserves your rights and freedom.

Your peace of mind and immediate protection are one phone call away. We can also answer all the questions you may have regarding your case. I have been defending sex crime cases for decades and stand ready to help you!

Consent Defense in Sex Crime Allegations

There are all sorts of different defenses that can be utilized in sex crime cases, obviously, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. What happened, who's involved, whether there are witnesses, the alleged victim's age — a whole host of factors play into what the defense is going to be.

Sometimes there is no defense, and you're just doing damage control and trying to mitigate the case to get the best resolution.

But if it is a case where there is a defense, probably the number one defense that I've seen in sex crime cases over the last 26 years of working on the defense side. I worked for the DA's office in the early 1990s; I worked for a Superior Court Judge for a time as his research attorney and kind of right-hand man.

I would say the number one defense is consent. In other words, whatever happened, the other party consented to it.  They agreed to it, so I didn't do anything wrong.  Two consenting adults have sex or engage in some sexual activity — that's not criminal.

For certain crimes, such as rape and sexual assault, defendants can't be guilty if their victims legally consented to the conduct. Rape is defined under California Penal Code 261 PC. Sexual battery is defined under Penal Code 243.4 PC. 

Best Defense in a California Sex Crime Case

Of course, if a person is underage, you cannot use this defense because someone under 18 in California cannot consent to any sexual activity.  So, usually, we're going to see this defense used in an adult case.

Often I see maybe an alleged victim getting drunk or using some drugs and then end up having sex and then having regrets the next day or sometime after that.

The involved party can't believe that they're being accused of something when they felt that the person was okay, or maybe they were drunk too and that they both consented and agreed to have the sex.

Alleged Victim Must Be at Least 18 Yeas Old

Consent is a defense to a sex crime in most instances, as long as an alleged victim is over the age of 18, and consent can come in many forms.  There are different ways that I've seen sex crimes come up.

Sometimes the person gives consent at the beginning.  In other words, sometimes, at the beginning of an encounter, one party or both parties agree to the sex, and then during the middle, one of the parties says they don't want to have sex anymore, and the other party proceeds to have sex with them anyway.

This would be a problem because once somebody no longer consents to an act, if you force your way through it, then you're going to end up getting charged and then potentially convicted if they can prove that you ignored their explicit invocation of them not wanting to have any more sexual contact with you.

Other times, the person passes out drunk or has pills or whatever the case may be, and then the additional party proceeds to have sex with them anyway without getting their consent.  If that can be proved, they'd be in a position where they could mount a criminal case against the party that's forced the other party to have sex.

Intoxication Defense in Sex Crime Cases

So, it really depends on the surrounding circumstances of the case; what's going on, and intoxication sometimes is a defense as well.  In other words, if both parties are intoxicated and have sex, it's a real tough road for the prosecutors to prove that one party or the other is an aggressor and is somehow responsible for a crime.

If both parties were drunk and agreed to have sex, having regrets about it later will not be a way to prosecute somebody for a criminal offense.  Everybody has to know what they're doing, and somebody has to take advantage of the situation where we're talking about a scenario where somebody's passed out drunk.

Reasonable Belief Victim was an Adult

So, that's another scenario I see where consent is at issue.  Sometimes you have a system where somebody consents to have sex, and it turns out that person is under the age of 18; now, the authorities are prosecuting the person that had sex with him.

This area where consent would be relevant is if the person who had sex with the underage person believed that the other party was 18 years or older under the circumstances.

Let's say they showed him a fake ID.  They looked like they were 18 years or older, and all the surrounding circumstances and such that the person genuinely believed the person was at least 18 years old, then that would be a defense to the crime, that they thought they were of age.

They consented to the sex or the sexual touching, and therefore, they felt they were okay to have sex with that person.  That could be a complete defense to a sex crime in that scenario. So, long story short, you have to figure out what type of a criminal case you have, and if it's a sex crime case, you've got to decide whether or not consent is really at issue in the case.– whether that can be asserted as a defense or there's some other defense that applies.

I'm just giving you the best and most used defense I see, having done sex-crime cases for a long time, but other reasons apply to particular circumstances and issues.

The way we figure that out is that you pick up the phone.  You make the call.  You take the first step. Come and meet with me, and then we can figure out whether or not your sex crime case if it's the San Fernando, for example, is one where you can use consent as a defense.

If Charged with Sexual Battery, Do You Have To Register as a Sex Offender? 

I see many cases in courthouses throughout Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. The prosecutors take a hard line on offenders who cannot control themselves and sexually touch a person. Now they are facing sex registration.

There is a list of charges that qualify for sex registration. Some are just essential sex registration, while others subject the person to placing their information on the Megan's Law website. However, what it boils down to is whether your defense attorney can negotiate a charge that does not require you to register as a sex offender or not. If you do not have a vital defense attorney by your side, call our office and let our sex crimes attorney handle your case.

There are many factors that prosecutors and judges will consider when deciding whether a person who commits a sexual battery should have to register as a sex offender. They will usually have the person be subject to testing by a trained doctor who can evaluate their propensity to commit further such offenses or even more serious crimes.

This report is called a 288.1 report and is something defense attorneys can successfully use to assist in their clients not having them register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. You should sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney who is a straight shooter and give you an accurate, truthful evaluation of what you are facing and what you should do to end up with the best possible result. Those attorneys that say a bunch of stuff to try and scare a client into hiring them are not genuine and should not be trusted.

With such serious consequences at stake, you need someone to tell you the truth and evaluate your situation with a neutral eye based on all of the surrounding circumstances. Call our office to speak to our experienced and highly qualified sex crimes lawyer.

Being charged with a sex crime can put a person's reputation and freedom. Our firm prides itself on representing persons confidentially and professionally. When you meet with us, the consultation in our Encino law firm is under the cloak of the attorney-client privilege. We will discreetly go over your case and design a solution to your specific problem.

A sex crime is a form or act of sexual behavior that is illegal. Many sex crimes, like rape, involve force, coercion, and violence. Any person convicted of a sex crime is considered a sex offender and must submit their name to the California Sex Offender Registry.

There are a variety of sex crimes, the most common: rape, statutory rape, sexual assault, child molestation, prostitution, lewd conduct, indecent exposure, and internet pornography. No matter the type of charge you are facing, rest assured that our experienced and competent criminal lawyer at our law firm will be able to handle your case with confidence.

The crime of disorderly conduct is not one specific thing but covers several activities that are considered disorderly conduct under California law. Although the crime is charged as a misdemeanor, it still creates a criminal record and can result in county jail, some fines, and even community service. The crime of disorderly conduct is covered under California Penal Code 647 PC. It is often referred to as an “all-inclusive” misdemeanor crime because it applies to many different activities.

For example, loitering around a private property with no purpose or even loitering near restrooms to solicit sexual lewd acts can be charged as disorderly conduct. Using electronics to be a peeping Tom, being drunk in public, squatting, and engaging in prostitution can also be disorderly conduct. The crime includes unrelated activities, so you face wild conduct charges.

Sex Crime Consequences and California Megan's Law

Since the passing of Megan's Law, people who have been charged with sex crimes involving a minor (person below the legal age of consent) have been aggressively prosecuted by law enforcement and California District Attorneys.

Of all crimes, sex crimes tend to be the most vigorously investigated. Any person charged with or accused of a sex crime faces severe legal penalties such as imprisonment, restitution, fines, probation, and court-ordered treatment. Additionally, people accused of sex crimes must deal with personal bias from family, friends, neighbors, peers, and society.

If you have been charged with or accused of a sex crime, you need to retain the services of a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. Without the aid of a skilled sex crimes attorney, your rights may be violated during investigations, or you may make critical errors that could negatively impact your case outcome. The Hedding Law Firm has successfully represented a vast array of clients who have been charged with sex crimes.

Our attorneys know that crimes of this nature demand aggressive defense tactics. We also understand the emotional turmoil our clients and their families face when sex crime charges are involved. That is why we place every effort into protecting every client's rights and best interests. Act fast and call our sex crimes attorney in Los Angeles County, California!

Experienced Sex Crime Lawyer

For the past 27 years, I've defended my clients charged with sex crimes in Los Angeles. These crimes are grave, especially child pornography cases. The prosecutors often look for the offenders to serve state prison time and register as sex offenders on the Megan's Law website.

This is debilitating because the offenders are embarrassed in front of their family, friends, and neighbors, and sometimes their jobs are in jeopardy. It's crucial that if you or a loved one is charged with a sex crime, you find an attorney that's got the experience to help you.

I first worked for the District Attorney's office to see how my opponents would be handling their cases because I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be a defense attorney. I wanted to help people.  I wanted to help get them back in control of their lives when they get arrested and everything is on the line.

So, if you find yourself in the unenviable position of being charged with a sex crime, you need a warrior. You need someone who's been there before, who's defended people in your exact position.

Powerful Defense Team

My name is Ron Hedding. I started the Hedding Law Firm in the early 1990s.  My father has been an attorney in the San Fernando Valley since the '70s.  He still works with me. We are a powerful team to defend individuals charged with serious sex crimes. What I have you do is come into my office, and we can do several important things, such as:

  • we sit down confidentially and talk about your criminal case;
  • we talk about what you must have;
  • what your defenses are, and
  • what is most important to you and your family.

Because that's what usually makes sense in these sex crimes, my office in Encino is five minutes from the Van Nuys courthouse.  We're probably about fifteen minutes from the San Fernando courthouse.

All I do is defend people who are charged with serious offenses. I know what it takes to win.  I know what it takes to mitigate the circumstances if the prosecutors and police have done their job and have the evidence against you.

Pick up the phone now if you want to talk to someone genuine and sincere. Also, who will give you all the information necessary to successfully defend your sex crime, get the best result possible, and protect everything you hold dear in your life.

Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0940.

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