The Most Commonly Charged Sex Crimes in WashingtonLeave a Comment
Sex crimes are taken very seriously in the state of Washington. These offenses can have a lifelong impact on the victim, and the alleged offender can face years in prison, fines, and a host of additional consequences. Unfortunately, it is possible to be accused of a sex crime without sufficient evidence or a basis of truth.
If you or someone you know is being charged with a sex crime, it is important to understand these charges and their potential penalties. You should also contact a Washington criminal defense attorney right away. Below are some of the most commonly charged sex crimes in Washington state.
Rape happens when someone engages in sexual intercourse without a person’s consent. Depending on the severity of the crime and any aggravating factors, such as the use of forcible compulsion, a mentally incapacitated victim, an abuse of authority, or the use of a deadly weapon.
In Washington, there are three degrees of rape charges:
- Rape in the Third Degree: A Class C felony punishable by five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- Rape in the Second Degree: A Class A felony punishable by five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- Rape in the First Degree: A Class A felony punishable by at least three years in prison, up to a life sentence, and up to $50,000 in fines
Child molestation happens when a defendant has sexual contact with a minor under the age of 16 years old. There are three degrees of child molestation charges:
- Third-Degree Child Molestation: A Class C felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
- Second-Degree Child Molestation: A Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000
- First-Degree Child Molestation: A Class A felony punishable by up to life in prison and a fine up to $50,000
In Washington, indecent liberties happen when one person knowingly causes another person to have sexual contact with him or her or another person without consent. This crime is usually a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $20,000.
Indecent liberties can involve any of the following:
- The offender uses forcible compulsion. In this case, the crime is a Class A felony punishable by life imprisonment and a fine of up to $50,000.
- The victim is incapable of consent because of a mental defect, mental incapacitation, or physical helplessness.
- The offender is a health care provider, the victim is a client or patient, and the contact occurs during treatment.
- The victim is a resident of a facility for people with a mental disorder or chemical dependency, and the offender had supervisory authority over the victim.
Charged with a Sex Crime? Speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney
A sex crime conviction can have a major impact on the alleged offender’s life. If you are facing these charges, you could lose your freedom, rights, and relationships. In these situations, you need an attorney on your side to ensure that your rights are protected and to prove your innocence in a court of law.
After your arrest, do not say anything to the police or investigators. Instead, request to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Your Tacoma sex crimes lawyer will evaluate your situation and recommend the best course of action to protect your rights and your future.