In the state of Arizona, a person is guilty of child molestation when he or she intentionally or knowingly engages in, or causes a person to engage in, sexual contact (except sexual contact with the female breast) with a child under 15 years of age. This is law is found under statute A.R.S §13-1410. If you need a child molestation lawyer, it is imperative that you contact the Ryan Garvey Attorneys now. We can assess your case and will do all that we can to have the charges completely dismissed or lowered.
Possible Punishments For Child Molestation In Arizona
In Arizona, if you are convicted of child molestation, this is a class two felony. It also qualifies as a Dangerous Crimes Against Children offense. For each and every conviction that you receive, you face the possibility of:
- 10 years minimum in prison
- 17 years presumptive in prison
- 24 years maximum incarceration
If you have already been convicted of one predicate felony (this can include a prior Dangerous Crimes Against Children conviction or other serious felonies), then the range of punishment can extend to:
- A minimum of 21 years in prison
- 28 years presumptive in prison
- 35 years maximum incarceration
It is very important that you understand that because this is a Dangerous Crimes Against Children conviction, then 100% of your prison time has to be served before you become eligible for release. Also important to understand is that if you are convicted of two counts of child molestation, your prison sentences cannot run concurrently; they have to run consecutively, with a minimum of at least 20 years being served in prison and all other punishments double in their ranges.
Many people refer to child molestation convictions in Arizona as “life enders.” Mostly because if you are convicted, you are likely going to serve a considerable amount of time behind bars. This is why it is so important that you contact a reputable attorney to handle your case. Did you know that the maximum penalty for being convicted of child molestation in Arizona actually has a more severe penalty than a conviction for Second Degree Murder?
In addition to having to serve time behind bars, you will also be mandated to register as a Sex Offender, which can have serious negative impacts on your life, especially in regard to employment. Registering as a Sex Offender also means you will not be allowed to come into contact with anyone under the age of 18. If you have children under the age of 18, you will not be allowed to contact them unless you go through several testing procedures and have it cleared by your Probation Officer to see them.
Defenses We Can Use Against A Child Molestation Charge
There are many times in which a child molestation charge will arise during the proceedings of a pending divorce. In an attempt to get a father or step-father out of the picture, a spouse will make up false allegations. Sometimes, even an angry child (teenager) will create false allegations because they are mad at one or both of the parents for the divorce.
Anytime you are charged with child molestation, it is to your utmost advantage that you have the charges immediately challenged and reviewed. One of the best ways to do this is to assess how the charges were initially received, such as through a Child Protective Service report. Other steps that can be taken to strengthen the defense of your case include:
- Talking with forensic interviewers involved in the case
- Obtain divorce paperwork, including current paperwork as well as paperwork that may have previously been filed
- Obtain a polygraph from the defendant to highlight your innocence
Any procedures that are performed to help strengthen your case should be performed immediately after the charges have been filed. There is a good chance you will be arrested if you are charged with child molestation, and unfortunately for those who are innocent, this type of charge is “non-bondable.” This means that a judge will not grant you a bond to be released while you are awaiting trial. Even if you have the resources to pay a million-dollar bond, you will have to sit in jail until your trial is over or until you reach some type of plea with the prosecutor.
As you can see, child molestation charges in Arizona are very serious. This is why you need an experienced attorney on your side.
Another possible defense that can be used in a child molestation case is that you were unaware that the child was under the age of 18. In fact, this type of case is often presented to the courts. An adult has sexual relations of some type with a child but thought the child was at least 18 years of age because that is what the child stated. If it can be proved that the child lied about his or her age, it is possible to have the charges dismissed. An experienced attorney knows how to perform rigorous cross-examination techniques and interviews that help the truth unfold.
There is another defense that can sometimes be used against child molestation charges, which is outlined in the Defenses Statute A.R.S §13-1407. This defense goes on the fact that the defendant wasn’t motivated sexually when the contact occurred, such as when the contact or touching took place for a reason other than sexual gratification.
Contact Us Today To Learn More About Child Molestation Defense
At the Ryan Garvey Attorneys, we have handled numerous cases relating to child molestation. We have access to a massive library that gives us valuable resources to build defenses against child molestation charges.
Our attorneys have taken great interest in the conferences hosted by the National Child Abuse Defense and Resource Center, and we do all we can to stay up to date on the latest defenses for assisting those who have been falsely accused of child molestation.
In addition to seminars, our lawyers have gone through special training that prepares them for effective clinical and forensic interviewing. The techniques learned help during the interviewing processes that take place with parents and children involved in the cases. More so, the techniques can be used while interviewing detectives who interviewed the victims of the cases.
If an interview conducted by a detective or mental health professional was not properly performed, this can be a huge argument against the charges for you as the defendant. For example, the initial interview with the victim could show that he or she was led to make the statements that were used to charge you. Being able to prove that the victim was coerced into providing false statements can be the determining factor for having your case dismissed.
We can also approach your case from the standpoint that you were coerced into providing an untrue statement or inculpatory statement. Or perhaps the police did not properly read you the Miranda rights. If this happened, then there is evidence against you that can possibly be suppressed. And if the police denied you your right to counsel, we can also use this to strengthen your defense. If you ask to speak with an attorney but the police continue questioning you, this is against the law and can be used to possibly have your case dismissed.
At the Ryan Garvey Attorneys, we understand the seriousness of child molestation charges. We have much experience in handling these types of cases, and we are confident we can build a strong case of defense for you. Our No. 1 goal is to have the charges dismissed. If we can’t get them dismissed, then our next goal is to have the charges lowered. If you are convicted of any charge, then we will do all that we can to present mitigating factors as to why you should not have to spend time behind bars.