A child molestation charge could ruin your life, even if you were wrongly charged and found to be innocent. Simply being charged with child molestation carries a stigma that many people never overcome. If you have been charged with molesting a child, you need to contact our Phoenix child molestation defense lawyers immediately.
This matter is not something you can handle on your own. You need to exercise your right to remain silent except for requesting an attorney. Anything you say could make matters much worse and jeopardize your defense.
What is Child Molestation in Arizona?
Child molestation under Arizona law applies to sexual contact between a person of any age and a child who is 14 years of age or younger. Children who are 14 years of age and younger do not have the legal capacity to provide consent for a sexual act. If a child lies to you and tells you that he or she is an adult, that fact is not a defense to the charge of molestation.
Child molestation is a Class 2 Felony that covers a wide variety of sexual acts with a minor. The act does not need to include sexual intercourse (penetration) to be considered child molestation. Child molestation includes “any” sexual contact between the child and another person, including lascivious and lewd acts upon a child. The statute also includes causing another person to engage in the sexual acts with a minor child. So, you could be charged with child molestation even though you never touched the child.
If a person is found guilty of child molestation, that person can face severe penalties including prison time and fines. When a defendant has a prior record of abusing or molesting children, the penalties increase. In addition, the person must register as a sex offender. Being on the sex offender list can have a lifelong negative impact on your ability to find employment and housing. Also, the social stigma of being labeled as a child sex offender can be mentally overwhelming.
Defending Child Molestation Charges
Even though you are presumed innocent until proven guilty, it may feel as if everyone who knows about the charges has decided you are guilty. False allegations of child molestation are often assumed to be true even when there is little evidence to substantiate the charges. An experienced Phoenix child molestation defense lawyer helps you fight these charges by conducting a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the charges and your arrest. Your attorney is searching for any evidence that may cast reasonable doubt on the charges.
While each case is different, an attorney carefully searches for motivations for false allegations, including custody disputes, revenge by divorcing spouses, problems with blended families, grudges the child may hold, or any manipulation by an adult with an ulterior motive. In some cases, a defense may hinge on suppressing evidence, proving a search was unlawful, false memories, or mistaken identity.
If you are charged with child molestation, the best way to protect yourself is to contact a Phoenix child molestation defense lawyer as quickly as possible. Your attorney can devise a defense strategy based on the facts in your case. Even if you have not been charged, but you believe you may be charged, it is best to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.
Get The Help of a Phoenix Child Molestation Defense Lawyer
Child molestation charges are extremely serious. Even if you know you are innocent, you need to contact a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer to begin preparing your legal defense.
In many cases, police officers, social workers, and prosecutors have already determined you are guilty of the charges. You must have an experienced Phoenix sex crime defense lawyer on your side to mount an aggressive defense to the charges of child molestation.