Sexual Conduct with a Minor Lawyer in Arizona
Arizona has some of the strictest sexual conduct with a minor sentencing in the nation. Being charged with sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona can be devastating to your personal and professional lives, not to mention an overwhelmingly stressful experience where legal repercussions are concerned.
- Sexual conduct with a minor means knowingly or intentionally having sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person who is under the age of 18 (A.R.S. 13-1405)
If you have been charged with sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona, you must act fast to attempt to counteract any damage to your reputation and life. This is why you should immediately seek out a competent, aggressive defense attorney who has experience defending cases involving sexual conduct with a minor, and who will work diligently to fight for your rights.
Sexual Conduct Versus Sexual Molestation
It is important to understand that Arizona classifies sexual conduct with a minor differently than sexual molestation of a minor. Whereas sexual conduct specifically involves intercourse or oral sexual contact, sexual molestation involves:
- Intentionally or knowingly engaging in, or causing a person to engage in, sexual contact, except sexual contact with the female breast, with a child under fifteen years of age (A.R.S. 13-1410)
Whereas sexual conduct applies to anyone under the age of 18, sexual molestation applies to children younger than 15 years of age. If the victim is between 15 and 18 years of age, sexual conduct that is not intercourse or oral sexual contact is treated as statutory rape, which you can learn more about by visiting our Sexual Assault Crimes page.
Different Categories for Sexual Conduct with a Minor
Arizona considers the age of the victim when deciding what sexual conduct charges the accused will face:
- If an adult engages in sexual conduct with a minor between the ages of 15 and 18, he or she will face a class 6 felony (A.R.S. 13-1405)
- If an adult engages in sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 15, he or she will face a class 2 felony. This crime is specifically considered a dangerous crime against children, and therefore the accused will face a much harsher sentence if found guilty (A.R.S. 13-705)
The exception to a class 6 felony charge for engaging in sexual conduct with a minor between 15 and 18 years of age applies to a child’s parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, legal guardian, religious official or teacher.
- In these cases, the adult faces a class 2 felony instead of a class 6 felony, which is punishable by a significantly harsher prison sentence
What are the Penalties for Sexual Conduct with a Minor?
If you are a first time offender, and are found guilty of sexual conduct with a minor between the ages of 15 and 18:
- You can face a prison sentence of between 4 months and 2 years, fines totaling $150,000 plus surcharges, and up to three years probation upon your release
If you are found guilty of sexual conduct with a minor between 15 and 18 years of age, and fall within the exception of being a parent, guardian or someone in a position of trust and authority (as discussed above), you can face (A.R.S. 13-705):
- A sentence of up to 12.5 years in prison for the first offense, fines of more than $150,000 plus surcharges, and up to seven years probation upon your release. If you are an educator, you can also have your teaching credentials permanently revoked.
If you are found guilty of sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 15, you can face:
- A prison sentence of between 13 and 27 years, fines up to $150,000 plus surcharges, and up to seven years probation upon your release
Additionally, you can face:
- Much stricter sentencing if you have prior felony convictions
- The potential for civil lawsuits and liabilities
- Mandatory registration in the sex offender database
- Supervised release and strict probationary terms
- A permanent criminal record that can restrict your living situations, employment opportunities and social participation for the rest of your life
Trust Phoenix Sex Crimes Attorney Laboy Law
The consequences for being convicted of sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona can permanently affect your life in many horrible ways. Therefore, it is essential to consult a Phoenix sex crimes attorney with proven experience defending sexual conduct cases of all severities. We will not stop fighting for your rights, by making sure that every possible legal option and defense strategy is available to you. If you are facing any kind of sexual conduct with a minor charge in Arizona, no matter how severe, contact us today for a private, no obligation consultation at 602-777-3368.