What to Do if I’m Being Charged With a Sex Crime in San Jose?
Getting charged with a sex crime in San Jose is serious. Along with going to jail or prison and having to pay expensive fines, you could end up on a sex offender registry and face other consequences that could affect you for the rest of your life.
However, just because you’ve been charged, it doesn’t mean you can’t fight back and try to clear your name. With the help of a Santa Clara County and San Jose sex crimes lawyer, you can attempt to get your charges reduced or dropped altogether, which would mean you’ll be much more in control of your future and what happens to you.
As soon as you’ve been arrested for a sex crime, get in touch with San Jose sex crimes attorney Elliot Silver at Silver Law Firm. In the meantime, here is some information on sex crimes in Santa Clara County and the steps you should take once you’ve been charged.
Contact a San Jose Sex Crimes Lawyer
Ideally, as soon as possible after you’ve been arrested, you should contact a San Jose sex crimes lawyer. It’s critical that when you get your one phone call, you either call a lawyer or ask a family member to reach out to a lawyer for you. They will let you know exactly what to do while you’re being held and questioned, and they will come up with a strategy to fight the charges so you have a fighting chance of getting your charges reduced or dropped.
Stay as Calm as You Can
Getting arrested for a sex crime is stressful, and it’s understandable if you have a strong emotional reaction to it. You may want to cry, scream, or lash out. However, getting angry with the cops or yelling in your jail cell are not going to help the situation. Instead, take some deep breaths and think reassuring thoughts. You absolutely have power, even in this difficult situation, and you don’t have to accept defeat. Once you switch the narrative, you should have a much easier time handling your tough situation.
Write Down What Happened When You Got Arrested
If you have access to a pen and paper, then write down everything you remember about your arrest, taking careful notes about whether or not the cops read you your Miranda rights, if they had a warrant to search you, and what kinds of questions they asked you. This is a crucial step because if there was misconduct, this could affect your charges. They may not hold up in a court of law. If you can’t get to a pen and paper in jail, then record everything you remember immediately after you get out.
Do Not Respond to Questioning
The cops will question you to try to get you to admit to the sex crime you allegedly committed. While it’s important to treat the cops with respect, you do not need to tell them anything about the alleged crime, even if they are pressuring you. It’s your constitutional right to remain silent. Simply tell them, “I need to speak to my sex crimes attorney before answering any questions.”
Do Not Post Bail Without Consulting With a Sex Crimes Attorney
Bail can cost you thousands of dollars, and it may not be necessary to post it. You could end up owing your bail bondsman a lot of money for nothing. Before posting bail, contact your sex crimes lawyer and ask if they can reduce your bail amount or ensure that you don’t have to pay bail.
Do Not Contact Anyone Involved in the Alleged Crime
Your spouse, partner, family member, or friend may have accused you of allegedly committing a sex crime against them. Though you might be confused and want to get in touch with them to clear up any misunderstanding, you should not contact them at all at this time. Your accuser may have gotten a restraining order against you, and if you violate it, your charges could become much more severe. Additionally, it could hurt your case even if you get in touch with a family member or mutual friend of your accuser. Refrain from getting in touch with anyone aside from your Santa Clara County sex crimes attorney.
Go to Your Arraignment
Let’s say you were able to post bail after consulting your San Jose sex crimes lawyer, and now you have to show up for your arraignment. Or, you may have stayed in jail before you arraignment. Along with telling your lawyer when your arraignment is, you’ll need to discuss with them how to prepare for it. Make sure you show up on time for it and let you lawyer know about any additional court appearances you have to make. It could be detrimental to your case if you miss your arraignment or other court dates.
If you have proof that demonstrates your side of the story, then collect it and show it to your Santa Clara County sex crimes lawyer. This could help your case because it may show that you weren’t in the same place when the alleged crime happened, and/or your accuser is lying. For instance, you may have threatening text messages from the accuser, who said they were going to frame you for a sex crime. Or, you may have video footage from the night of alleged crime that showed you were hanging out with friends instead of with your accuser. Photographs, phone records, and witness statements could also be used as proof. And if there is some evidence you’re missing – like video footage from a surveillance camera or a police record – your sex crimes attorney would be happy to garner it for you.
Now that you know all the critical steps to take once you’ve been charged with a sex crime in San Jose, it’s helpful to learn about sex crimes and the consequences they carry in California.
Is a San Jose Sex Crime a Misdemeanor or Felony?
In San Jose, Santa Clara County, and California in general, a sex crime is either a misdemeanor or felony. It all depends on what kind of sex crime you’ve been charged with.
For example, soliciting a minor, indecent exposure, oral copulation with a minor, sexual battery, and prostitution crimes are all classified as misdemeanors. For a misdemeanor, you would have to go to jail for up to one year and pay a fine ranging from $1,000 to $3,000.
Felony sex crimes include forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sodomy against a child who is under 12 years old, child enticement, first- and second-degree sexual abuse, voyeurism, and sexual abuse of a child who is under 12 years old. You could face life imprisonment at the very worst or one year in prison at the very least, depending on the severity of the crime. You may have to pay a fine of up to $250,000 as well as go on probation for a certain amount of time and get listed on the sex offender registry.
Sex Crimes in San Jose and Santa Clara County
Some of the most common sex crimes that Santa Clara County and San Jose sex crimes lawyers come across are the following:
- Lewd conduct, where you touch your genitals or another person’s genitals to offend someone or for sexual gratification in public or solicit an individual to do so in public.
- Indecent exposure, where you willfully show your genitals or breasts to either offend someone or for sexual gratification.
- Pimping and pandering, where you encourage someone or solicit them to engage in prostitution.
- Prostitution and solicitation, where you offered or solicited money for sexual intercourse or prostituted yourself in any way.
- Rape, where you had sexual intercourse with someone without their consent.
- Child molestation, where you committed a sexual act with a child under the age of 10 or lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14.
- Annoying a child, where you annoyed or molested a child under the age of 18. There does not have to be any physical contact for you to be charged.
- Child pornography, if you possessed, created, purchased, solicited, or sold child pornography.
- Sex trafficking, where you trade, sell, or purchase individuals to sexually exploit them.
- Computer and internet sex crimes, where you engage in illegal sex offenses electronically.
These are just some of the sex crimes that a San Jose sex crimes attorney will handle. It’s possible that you may have been charged with another sex crime altogether. No matter what sex crime you’ve been charged with, you’ll need to find a Santa Clara sex crimes lawyer to represent you.
Defending Yourself Against a Sex Crime
There are a few ways you can defend yourself against a sex crime. The first is consent. If you engaged in a sex act with another adult but you had consent to do so, then you and your San Jose sex crimes lawyer might be able to find evidence to support your case.
Another defense is that you were not in the same place when the alleged crime occurred. Again, you’ll need proof to show that you were not there. For instance, if you were at work, you could use witness statements from your boss and colleagues showing you were working at that time.
Maybe your alleged accuser is lying. If you have proof to support this, then it could be viable defense.
In addition, if there was any misconduct from the cops, then the arrest might not have been legal in the first place. For example, the cops may have not told you your Miranda rights, or they could have illegally searched you.
Keep in mind that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of a sex crime, and if they cannot, their entire case could fall apart. It could be in their best interest – and yours – to work out a plea deal. With a plea deal, your Santa Clara sex crimes attorney will work out a deal where you plead guilty in exchange for a reduction in your charges. For example, instead of paying a huge fine and going away to jail for five years, you may only have to pay a small fine and do community service instead of going to jail.
Only an experienced Santa Clara County sex crimes attorney like Elliot Silver will be able to work out this type of deal for you. You cannot rely on the court-appointed attorney because they are going to be overloaded with other cases. They won’t have the time or energy your case requires, and you may end up hurting your chances of getting your life back on track. If you’re in trouble, then call up Silver Law Firm for help.
Silver Law Firm’s Case Results
Elliot Silver at Silver Law Firm has represented many clients facing sex crimes. In one case, he achieved a full acquittal by jury in a child molestation trial. In another, he got a felony molestation reduced to a misdemeanor and no jail time. This client also didn’t have to register as a sex offender, which would have had devastating consequences on his life.
You never know what the Santa Clara County sex crimes lawyers at Silver Law Firm can do for you until you reach out to them. At this time, you need someone to turn to who will listen to your side of the story and figure out a solution for you. Elliot Silver is here in your time of need, and he’s willing to work hard on your case to ensure you have the best chance possible of fighting these charges.
If you’re ready to get in touch with a San Jose sex crimes lawyer, then contact Silver Law Firm today to schedule a free and confidential consultation. You can email us at [email protected], fill out the form on our website, or call us anytime at (510) 995-0000.