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Phoenix Rape & Sexual Assault Attorneys

Sexual Assault & Rape Defense Attorneys Serving Phoenix, Glendale, and the Surrounding Areas

phoenix sexual assault defense attorneysAny sexual contact that is non-consensual is a crime, although sexual crimes vary widely in degrees of severity and levels of legal punishment. Most often, sex crimes are more about power than desire, as evidenced by the fact that they frequently take place when a person in a superior position — an employer, a doctor, a teacher, a camp counselor, a military official, a prison guard, a law enforcement agent — attacks a subordinate, or, most horribly, when an adult assaults a child. Rape, where one person actually penetrates the body of another without permission, is generally considered the most serious of the sexual offenses. All sexual assaults, however, have long-term, often lifelong, negative consequences for both victims and convicted defendants.

As anyone who pays any attention to media coverage is aware, sexual assaults once considered minor infractions are now being aggressively prosecuted. In the current social climate, if you have been accused of, or arrested for, rape or criminal assault, you need astute legal counsel, and you need it promptly. In Arizona, your best bet is consulting with Blischak Law Firm, an experienced team of criminal defense attorneys who have successfully defended clients against a wide range of sex crimes.

Rape in Arizona

Rape, in Arizona, involves non-consensual penetration of the mouth, vagina, penis or anus of another person, using either a body part or an object. If the victim is drugged, inebriated, disabled or comatose, that person is considered incapable of consent, so any penetration is also considered rape, as is non-consensual oral contact with the vagina, penis or anus. Because a person under the age of 18 years is also deemed incapable of consent, contact with a minor is also a crime. if a person older than 18 engages in consensual sexual relations with an older teenager minor, the crime is defined as statutory rape. In recent years, the U.S. Department of Justice has altered its definition of rape to include sexual assault on either gender.

Other types of sexual assault include:

  • Attempted rape
  • Child pornography (making, viewing, distributing, transmitting electronically)
  • Exhibitionism (indecent exposure)
  • Inappropriate touching
  • Incest
  • Internet sex crimes
  • Prostitution, pandering (pimping)
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Statutory rape
  • Voyeurism

Penalties for Rape and Sexual Assault in Arizona

It you are up on charges of rape or sexual assault in Arizona, you are facing harsh, long-term (sometimes lifelong) penalties. If convicted, you are likely to be fined a very large amount of money, and to be sentenced to prolonged incarceration. Moreover, you will be classified as a sex offender and will have to register for life under this classification. This classification may affect where you are permitted to live and what type of work you are permitted to do. Convictions for sexual offenses are not only punished harshly by the criminal justice system, but carry a particularly virulent stigma in society at large. The tough penalties associated with rape and sexual assault make choosing the right criminal defense attorney absolutely critical. Because some sex crimes laws vary from state to state, it is essential that you confer with an attorney well-versed in Arizona statutes.

Federal Sex Crimes

Although the majority of sex crimes fall within the jurisdiction of state law, some sex crimes, like those committed in federal prisons, violate federal laws, even if they are committed within the territorial United States. Most federal sex crimes, however, involve the crossing of state or international borders. Such sex crimes include:

  • Buying or selling of children for purposes of sexual abuse
  • Sexual exploitation of minors, including importation of child pornography
  • Transporting individuals for interstate or international prostitution or other sexual activity
  • Kidnapping a minor out of state for sexual purposes
  • Sex trafficking

Factors that Make the Situation Worse

If you are accused of raping or assaulting an individual under the age of 15, have caused the victim “serious physical injury,” or have used a “date rape drug” to make your victim more vulnerable, and/or carried a weapon at the time of attack, the penalties you face will be even more severe. Having used a “date rape drug” will automatically add 3 years to your prison sentence. Causing your victim serious physical harm during a sex crime may extend your sentence to 25 years; assaulting a child may keep you imprisoned for 35 years (before there is even a possibility of parole). As with other types of criminal behavior, if you have committed the crime previously, or if you attack multiple victims, you will be treated more harshly by the criminal justice system.

The Age of Consent in Arizona

While the age of legal consent in Arizona is 18 years of age, making it illegal for anyone over that age to have sexual intercourse with anyone under that age, there are exceptions. One exception, known as the “Romeo and Juliet defense” comes into play if consensual sex takes place between a 15, 16, or 17 year old “victim” and a defendant who is no more than 24 months older than the minor in question.

Defenses Against Charges of Sexual Assault or Rape

If you have been arrested for rape or sexual assault in the state of Arizona, you should contact the office of Blischak Law Firm as soon as you are able. The sooner we hear your side of the story and begin our in-depth investigation of the circumstances surrounding your case, the sooner we will be able to craft the best strategy to defend you. It is important for you to remember that we are on your side, always taking the position that you are innocent until proven guilty. At the same time, you should remember that you can feel completely comfortable sharing all pertinent details with us, since we are absolutely committed to keeping attorney-client communications confidential. For us to mount your best defense, it is important that we have all the facts at our disposal. Possible defenses for rape or sexual assault include the following:

  • You have an airtight alibi for the time of the attack
  • You have been mistakenly identified as the perpetrator
  • The sexual encounter was consensual
  • The alleged victim misrepresented his or her age
  • You have been falsely accused of malicious intent (as by a divorcing spouse)
  • You have been falsely accused by an individual reluctant to confess to engaging in consensual sexual activity
  • There was no actual physical contact, only affection or flirtation that was misinterpreted

As criminal defense attorneys with a high degree of success in defending those accused of rape or sexual assault, we are vigorous, tenacious litigators. In addition, we are connected with talented individuals in relevant fields and are fully prepared to call on medical, psychological, or forensic experts if their testimony is required. We also have access to polygraph equipment should its use become necessary. When it comes to protecting your civil rights and your freedom, Blischak Law Firm is prepared to pull out all the stops. Don’t hesitate to reach us by telephone or by filling out a contact form on our website.

Blischak Law serves clients throughout Glendale, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, and throughout the state of Arizona with their criminal defense and personal injury needs.