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Juveniles Accused of Sex Offenses

When a child is accused of a sex offense, it can be a devastating experience for the entire family. The legal system treats juvenile sex crimes just as seriously as it handles adult offenses, and the consequences of a conviction can be life-altering. If your child is facing sexual offense charges in Tacoma, it is crucial to understand the gravity of the situation and take immediate action to protect their rights and future.

Types of Felony Juvenile Sex Crimes

In Washington, juveniles can be charged with a wide range of sex offenses, including:

  • Rape or Rape of a Child
  • Child Molestation
  • Indecent Liberties
  • Sexual Misconduct with a Minor
  • Communicating with a Minor for Immoral Purposes
  • Attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a felony sex offense
  • Sending depictions of a minor engaged in sexual conduct via text message or other electronic means
  • Any felony offense with a Sexual Motivation Enhancement

Penalties for Juvenile Sex Crimes in Washington

Washington takes an aggressive stance on juvenile sex crimes, and penalties may include detention in a juvenile facility. In some cases, the juvenile may be required to register as a sex offender, which can impact their education and job prospects. 

Juvenile defendants will likely be required to undergo a psychosexual evaluation to determine the underlying causes of their behavior. The results of this evaluation can significantly influence the penalties they face.

If a child over the age of 12 is accused of a felony sex crime, the prosecutor may request that the court try the juvenile as an adult. This risk increases if the child is 16 or older and the crime is considered very serious, such as Rape of a Child or Child Molestation.

Defending Against Juvenile Sex Charges in Washington State

If your child has been arrested for a juvenile sex offense, it is important to know your rights and your ability to defend yourself. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer can go a long way in protecting your child’s future. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney may leverage a range of strategies to minimize the potential penalties or require that the charges be dropped entirely:

  • Challenge the Evidence: Your attorney may scrutinize the evidence presented by the prosecution, including witness statements, physical evidence, and any confessions, to identify inconsistencies or weaknesses in the case.
  • Argue for Reduced Charges: If it is in your child’s best interest, your lawyer may negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the charges to a lesser offense. This can result in more lenient penalties and avoid the requirement to register as a sex offender.
  • Emphasize Mitigating Factors: Your attorney may present evidence of the child’s age, maturity level, mental health, and any extenuating circumstances that may have contributed to their behavior.
  • Advocate for Rehabilitation: Your lawyer may advocate for the importance of rehabilitation and treatment over detention, emphasizing the child’s potential for reform and the long-term benefits of addressing the underlying issues.

Protect Your Child’s Rights with Mark S. Treyz on Your Side

The Law Offices of Mark S. Treyz recognizes the importance of protecting a young person’s future while ensuring their legal rights are upheld. Our Washington juvenile sex crime attorney has extensive experience handling these complex cases and will work diligently to achieve the best possible outcome for your child. If your child is facing sex offense allegations, contact us today at (253) 272-8666 for a confidential consultation.