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Sex crimes refer to a number of crimes such as rape, child molestation, and indecent liberties. Sexual assault is another term used to refer to these types of crimes. In Washington, sex crimes are punishable by fines ranging from $10,000 to $50,000, and a prison sentence of anywhere from five years to life. Those convicted of sex crimes are also required to register as sex offenders.
If you have been charged with a sex crime, you will need an aggressive defense to ensure that your rights are protected. Seek counsel from the Spokane sex crime defense attorneys at Twyford Law Office. We have decades of combined experience representing Washington residents charged with these kinds of crimes.
In Washington, rape falls into three different categories: First degree, second degree, and third-degree, all of which involve sexual intercourse without the victim’s consent. This means the victim did not express in words or conduct his or her freely given agreement to sexual intercourse or sexual contact (RCW 9A.44.010).
First-degree rape occurs when a person forces sexual intercourse on the victim by using or threatening to use a weapon, kidnapping the victim, inflicting serious physical injury on the victim, or entering the victim’s building or vehicle (9A.44.040).
Rape that does not constitute first-degree rape is defined as second-degree rape if a person engages in sexual intercourse without the victim’s consent and under any of the following conditions:
Both first- and second-degree rape are Class A felonies, punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment and/or a fine of $50,000.
Third-degree rape is sexual intercourse when the victim expressed his or her lack of consent or when there is a threat of substantial harm to the victim’s property. Third-degree rape is a Class C felony, which bears a penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000 (RCW 9A.44.060).
In Washington, the age of consent for sexual intercourse is 16. Engaging in sexual intercourse with a child younger than 16 is considered rape of a child, and is categorized in three different degrees.
Child molestation in the first degree occurs when a person engages in sexual intercourse with another person younger than 12 or when a person causes another person younger than 18 to engage in sexual intercourse with a person under 12. The perpetrator must be at least three years older than the victim. This is a Class A felony, which carries a punishment of life in prison and/or a fine of $50,000 (9A.44.083).
Child molestation in the second degree occurs under the same circumstances, but with a victim who is 12 or 13 years old. For a charge of child molestation in the third degree, the victim must be 14 or 15 years old and the perpetrator must be at least four years older than the victim.
Sex crimes that do not involve intercourse are generally classified as indecent liberties. This is defined as engaging in sexual contact (or causing the victim to engage in sexual contact with another person) under the same conditions as a charge of second-degree rape. When force is used, this is a Class A felony. In all other cases, it constitutes a Class B felony (RCW 9A.44.100).
Washington developed one of the first sex offender registration programs in the U.S. Other states have used Washington’s program as a model. Under state law, sex offenders must register in the Sex Offender Registry, as specified in RCW 9A.44.130. Offenders who fail to register or who provide false information may be subject to increased prison time.
A knowledgeable Washington criminal defense attorney is paramount to the success of your case. The lawyers at Twyford Law Office are prepared to put their experience to work for you.
If you need experienced legal help to protect your interests, contact us online or call (509) 327-0777 to schedule a phone consultation.