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Consequences of Juvenile Sex Crimes in Washington

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Juvenile sex offenses are some of the most severe criminal charges that a minor can face. In Washington, juvenile sex crimes can result in severe consequences that can impact many aspects of a child’s future, from finding employment and housing to enrolling in higher education classes or vocational programs. If your child is facing charges for a juvenile sex crime, it is important to seek the help of a Washington criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Common Types of Sex Crimes

In Washington, sex crimes often involve some type of sexual contact without another party’s consent. Consent must be freely given and cannot be obtained under threat of violence, coercion, or fraud. There are certain parties who cannot consent to sexual activity, including people under the influence of alcohol or drugs, minors below the age of consent, or people who are incapacitated by physical or mental disability.

Juvenile sex crimes are committed by a minor 17 years or younger. Common types of juvenile sex crimes include the following.

  • Sexual misconduct
  • Rape of a child
  • Child molestation
  • Rape
  • Date rape
  • Assault with sexual motivation
  • Indecent liberties
  • Voyeurism

Sex Offender Registration

If a child is convicted of a juvenile sex crime, he or she may face multiple types of penalties. One of the most serious is mandatory registration on Washington’s sex offender registry. If a child lives, works, or attends school in Washington and is convicted of any type of sex offense, he or she must register as a sex offender. The juvenile must report his or her registration to any educational institution he or she attends or the employer that he or she works for.

The length of time that a child will need to register will depend on the severity of the sex offense. If the juvenile is convicted of a Class A felony or has a prior sex conviction on his or her record, he or she will need to register indefinitely. After 60 months following the conviction, the juvenile can petition a court for relief of duty to register.

If the conviction is a Class B felony, the juvenile will need to register for 15 years, and juveniles convicted of Class C felony will receive a 10-year registration. These timelines could be extended if a subsequent offense occurs or if the juvenile breaks his or her registration requirement.

Jail Time

Many first-time juvenile sex offenders are eligible for alternative sentencing programs, such as the Special Sexual Offender Disposition Alternative (SSODA) program. An attorney could help get the charges reduced or dismissed prior before the case goes to trial. However, if these outcomes are not possible, the child may be sentenced to juvenile detention.

When determining whether a child should serve time in juvenile jail, a Washington certified sex offender therapist will conduct a risk assessment and determine whether he or she would be eligible for SSODA. However, if the therapist determines that a juvenile would pose a risk to the community and would not be receptive to the program, the court may require detention.

Speak to a Washington Juvenile Sex Crime Attorney

If your child is facing a sex offense conviction in Washington, you need an attorney on your side. A Washington juvenile defense lawyer can advocate for your child’s best interests and negotiate aggressively toward his or her best possible outcome. As soon as possible following your child’s arrest, contact an attorney to discuss his or her next steps.

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