When it comes to criminal charges in Phoenix, there are few that are more serious than sexual conduct with a minor. Given the nature of the charge, the Arizona courts are incredibly vigilant when they prosecute these cases. Anyone who is charged with sexual conduct with a minor will require the assistance of an experienced and qualified criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer who has experience working with these types of cases will understand what approach to take when defending this charge.
Understanding sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona
Sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona is defined as any knowingly, intentional or purposeful sexual act with a minor. It includes sexual intercourse and oral sexual conduct, and covers a broad range of specific sexual acts. A minor is defined as any individual under the age of 18.
The severity of the charge and its subsequent sentencing will vary based on the specific circumstances surrounding the charge as well as the age of the victim. Generally, it breaks down in the following ways:
- The charge is considered a class 6 felony if the victim is between the ages of 15 and 18 years old.
- The charge is considered a class felony and qualified as a Dangerous Crimes Against Children charge if the victim is 14 years old or younger.
Any sexual conduct with a minor charge in Arizona carries mandatory sentencing.
Arizona penalties for sexual conduct with a minor
An individual who is convicted of sexual conduct with a minor will face severe penalties.
The penalties for a class 6 felony conviction may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Up to 365 days in jail, or between four months and two years in prison, for a first offense of a class 6 felony.
- Being required to register as a Sex Offender, which carries lasting and lifelong consequences.
- Up to 6 years in prison, depending on the number of offenses.
The penalties for a class felony will vary based on the age of the minor, and can range from:
- Being sentenced to at least 13 years in prison, but up to life in prison.
It’s important to note that class felony convictions can result in prison sentences that must be served consecutively.
What you should do if charged with sexual conduct with a minor
Any individual who is charged with sexual conduct with a minor in Phoenix should make contact with an attorney immediately. The sooner that an experienced attorney is involved in the case, the more likely it is that an adequate defense strategy can be enacted to ensure you get the best possible results in this situation.
In the event that you have been charged with sexual conduct with a minor, it is imperative that you contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Our Phoenix criminal defense law firm can provide you with the support you need as you fight this legal battle. Contact us today to set up a consultation appointment.