San Jose’s Best Sex Crime Attorneys
Rape. Child Molestation. Indecent Exposure. Just being accused of a sex crime this serious can turn your life upside down. But where to get help? Sadly, most law firms either don’t have the experience to handle criminal charges of this nature or fail to put out their best effort due to the stigma surrounding sex offenses.
That’s unfortunate. False or mistaken accusations can and do happen. That’s why it’s so important to get tough, aggressive, and experienced help as soon as possible. In fact, the first few days after being arrested for a sex crime are critical in terms of gathering evidence, interviewing potentially helpful witnesses, and preparing a strong defense. If you’ve been accused of a sex crime in Santa Clara County, contact our San Jose sex crime lawyers to ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Why choose VIB Law?
- Sex Crime Experts – VIB partner Riccardo Ippolito literally wrote the book on how defense attorneys should handle these cases. His book, Strategies for Defending Sex Crimes, lays out his strategies for preparing the best possible defenses to these charges. That’s why he’s considered a statewide sex crime expert in California.
- Tough – We take a fierce, client-centered approach to each of our sex offense cases.
- Proactive – We investigate your case thoroughly and, whenever possible, intervene on your behalf with the DA’s office before charges are even filed.
- Experienced – Our team of talented defense attorneys has more than 70 years of combined criminal law experience.
- Passionate – We completely dedicate ourselves to protecting the future and freedom of our clients.
- Award Winning – We are one of the SF Bay Area’s top rated criminal defense firms.
Penalties for Sex Crimes in California
California’s sex crime laws have serious, potentially life-altering consequences. That’s why you need the most experienced, aggressive, and competent criminal defense attorneys on your side as early as possible.
- Prison Sentence – Most sex crimes carry a mandatory prison sentence. Some of these crimes even carry the potential of life in prison.
- Lifetime Registration as a Sex Offender – All sex crime charges require mandatory sex offender registration and a minimum of one year of sex offender treatment programming.
- Permanent Damage to your Reputation – Charges of this type pose extreme risk to your career and financial livelihood.
- Deportation – Many sex crime crimes are “removable offenses,” meaning you can lose your current legal status in the United States or be deported.
Legal Defenses Against Sex Crime Charges
At VIB Law, our sexual assault lawyers explore every potential defense for our clients. In fact, the first and most important step we take is to fully hear your side of the story. Some of the most common defenses we explore for our clients in sex crime cases are:
Unfortunately, false allegations of sex offenses can and do happen. This can take many forms. People can make false accusations of sex crimes as a form of revenge for some other issue in the relationship, for example, as payback for a discovery of cheating or to gain an advantage in family court. We have also handled many cases where a person mistakenly but honestly implicates one of our clients. For example, in cases of “recovered” memories of abuse years later.
We’ll help you locate evidence for the possible motives for a false allegation of a sex crime. We can help you coordinate and locate witnesses who can show evidence of an alibi during the time of a mistaken allegation. We can help you gather character witness and even have a polygraph test conducted to show your innocence.
In many, sexual assault cases, the issue of consent is crucial. In some cases, the alleged victim may feel ashamed or embarrassed for engaging in sexual behavior with someone who is not their significant other. Or they may genuinely misremember whether they gave consent or not due to their own intoxication or use of drugs. That is why it is critical to investigate all of the circumstances surrounding a sexual encounter alleging a lack of consent.
We can subpoena text messages and social media records to help corroborate that consent was given. Our investigator will also interview witnesses that back up your case. We can help you establish that a prior relationship shows that the sexual encounter was consensual.
Sometimes victims misidentify people. We had a sexual assault case where the child accused our client of sexually assaulting her. While our client was in custody, the accuser pointed out a different person. This, along with statements our investigator had taken, led to a dismissal.
Having an investigator on these cases is crucial for a defense such as this. When our investigator gets done with their investigation, we can present this to the DA to attempt to get the case dismissed, or use our information at trial.
California Sex Crime Laws
A sex crime is a term used under the California Penal Code to describe a wide range of charges that involve non consensual touching with a sexual intent or sexual conduct with a minor. They can range from misdemeanors to felonies. Some of the most common sex crime charges in California are listed below:
Penal Code 288(a) – Lewd or Lascivious Acts (Child Molestation)
PC 288(a) is the most common sex offense charge when a minor is involved. This charge makes it illegal to commit a lewd or lascivious act upon the body of a child under 14 years old with the intent to arouse either the child or the defendant. Conviction of this offense is a felony strike offense and requires mandatory lifetime sex offender registration under PC 290.
Penal Code 243.4(a) – Sexual Battery
PC 243.4 makes it a crime to touch an intimate part of another person’s body while that person is unlawfully restrained by the accused and the touching is for the purpose of sexual arousal. This charge is a “wobbler” meaning that it can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. Conviction of this offense requires mandatory lifetime sex offender registration under PC 290.
Penal Code 311.11 – Child Pornography
PC 311.11 makes it a crime for anyone to possess images of a person under the age of 18 that depict the minor engaging in or simulating sexual conduct. This charge may be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. Conviction of this charge requires mandatory lifetime sex offender registration under PC 290.
Penal Code 261 – Rape / Date Rape
PC 261 makes it unlawful to have sexual intercourse with a person not the spouse of the perpetrator under the following circumstances:
- When the person is incapable of giving legal consent due to a mental disorder or physical disability;
- Where the act is accomplished against a person’s will by means of force or violence;
- Where the person is prevented from resisting by an intoxicating or anesthetic substance (e.g., roofied);
- Where the person was unconscious at the time of the act.
Penal Code 288.3 – Communicating with a Minor
PC 288.3 makes it unlawful to communicate or contact a minor with the intent to commit specific sexual offenses.
Penal Code 314 – Indecent Exposure
PC 314 makes it unlawful to expose oneself in a public place or in any place where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed.
Safeguard your future. Hire an experienced sex crime attorney.
Unfortunately, too many defense attorneys tell new clients that they should adopt a “wait and see” approach, which means they do nothing until the actual court date. This type of passive approach is a big mistake. You need a lawyer who can help now.
By hiring one of our expert sex crime attorneys early on in the process, we may be able to present evidence to the DA’s office that was ignored or overlooked by the investigating officer. This early intervention can be critical in terms of whether or not charges are filed. We can also meet with you early in the process to discuss how best to mitigate your case. We can advise you on issues such as how to gather character letters, whether it is a good idea to get into counseling or other case specific mitigators.
What our clients are saying…
“After getting out of jail, I needed an experienced attorney to defend me. At the time, my options appeared limited and the likelihood of a satisfactory resolution seemed impossible. The moment my family and I met with Riccardo, most of my negative thoughts vanished, leaving me with peace of mind. I was innocent but I needed someone of Riccardo’s caliber to represent me. He’s straight to-the-point, his priorities are clear, and he’s focused on results. Riccardo made it happen and got me out of this terrible mess before my first court date. My family and I are grateful for his service and we highly recommend him. The team at VIB Law was very prompt and professional. It was great that one of their assistants speaks Spanish!”
“Child Molestation Charges DISMISSED!!! AMAZING attorney!!! I hired Mr. Ippolito for representation in my child molestation case. I was being accused of having molested my OWN children which has NEVER even been a THOUGHT in my mind. Mr. Ippolito was able to prove my innocence to the DA and was able to get all charges dropped. If anyone is in need of a criminal defense attorney I would HIGHLY recommend Mr. Ippolito.”
“Riccardo Ippolito is great attorney!!! His rates are very fair compared to other lawyers in the area. He gives you his 100% and best deal possible. I am so glad i hired him for my court case!!! He is attentive and answers email and texts quite quickly. Call his law office if you are in any trouble and need representation! One of the best lawyers in san jose and bay area that’s for sure!”
“I made a big mistake and called around a few attorneys for my options. After speaking to a few lawyers, I felt that Mr. Ippolito had my best interest in hand and really assured me throughout my case. It was really rough past months for me and I am so grateful to have Mr. Ippolito and his team on my side. Really can’t thank them enough for all they have done for me. Gave me a lot of faith in humanity in general. Thank you!!!!”
“Riccardo and his team are awesome! They really helped me out when I needed it. They were very helpful and explained to me how everything worked. They were able to get me the resolutions I wanted. Highly recommended!”