Child Molestation Defense Attorneys
We Are Experienced Child Molestation Defense Attorneys in Arizona
How Can We Help You?
Child Molestation Defense in Arizona
Molestation of a child is a Class 2 felony under Arizona law, with some of the toughest consequences that the justice system imposes. This means if you’ve been charged with molesting a child, you face a legal battle to clear your reputation and avoid the most serious penalties under the law.
When charged in Arizona with child molestation, it is critical to contact a lawyer who can help you understand the charges and work toward the best possible outcome. The Mesa criminal defense lawyers at Rowley Chapman & Barney, Ltd. have extensive knowledge of Arizona law and experience representing clients who have been charged with child molestation and other criminal offenses.
Why Hire A
Our Child Molestation Attorneys Can Protect Your Rights
How Does Arizona Define Child Molestation?
Under Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) ARS § 13-1410 a person commits molestation of a child by:
“intentionally or knowingly engaging in or causing a person to engage in sexual contact with a child under fifteen years of age.”
In ARS §13-1401 it says sexual contact means any touching, fondling or manipulating any part of the genitals or anus by any part of the body or by any object or causing a person to engage in this conduct. Engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sex with a minor is Sexual Conduct with a Minor and is a different crime that carries even more serious penalties than child molestation. Touching of the female breast is not considered child molestation but is Sexual Abuse and carries different penalties than child molestation.
What Are the Penalties in Arizona for Child Molestation?
Sexual molestation is a crime and carries with it a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison, and a maximum of 24 years, with no early release. Child Molestation can only be committed against a minor under the age of 15 and is considered a Dangerous Crime Against Children, see ARS §13-705. Sexual Conduct with a Minor and Sexual Abuse are potential charges that a person faces if the minor is under 18.
What if I Am Charged With Child Molestation?
The laws surrounding charges of child molestation can be difficult to understand as you may be charged in either federal or state court. The above minimum sentences are only the tip of the iceberg, and it is essential to consider all possible options for defending yourself or arranging a plea agreement.
A number of possible defenses exist to child molestation charges including:
- mistaken identity
- false accusation
- coaching of the child, and
- false memories.
It is also important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty, so you may be able to avoid conviction or even get the charges dropped if the prosecutor assigned to your case is lacking sufficient evidence. Sadly, false accusations of child molestation happen. It has been known to happen that during the course of, or following a divorce, one spouse accuses another spouse using a charge of child molestation as leverage in a custody dispute. Some parents may even coach their children to accuse someone for any number of reasons. Also, preteens and teenagers have made false allegations against family members or even non-family members in order to cause harm to that person or to get attention.
If you get an experienced child molestation defense attorney involved before the case is charged, they may be able to help prevent the charges from ever being filed. An experienced sex crimes defense lawyer can help you to decide how best to proceed and whether to take your case to court or work to negotiate a plea arrangement with lesser penalties.
Let Us Help You With Your Child Molestation Defense
Being charged with or even being accused of child molestation is a serious matter and you need to consult a qualified child molestation defense lawyer immediately. The sex crimes defense attorneys at Rowley Chapman & Barney, Ltd. can help.