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Sexual Conduct with a Minor in Arizona

For people living in Phoenix or in any part of Arizona, per A.R.S §13-1405, an individual commits a sexual act with a minor when he knowingly or intentionally engages in sexual activities with a child under the age of 18.

The definition of sexual activities includes sexual intercourse, oral sexual contact, or any act involving “penetration.” A person is charged with a class six (6) felony if said person engages in sexual conduct with a minor who is seventeen (17), sixteen (16) or fifteen (15) years of age. Sexual conduct with minors aged fourteen (14) years or younger is a class two (2) felony. This is a crime punishable pursuant to the Dangerous Crimes Against Children (DCAC) statute.


Punishments for the Crime of Sexual Conduct with a Minor

The longest prison terms are reserved for sex crimes with minors aged twelve (12) years old or younger. There are only two sentencing options. The Judge can only choose 20 years in prison or 35 years to life in prison.

The class two (2) felony which involve minors aged 12, 13, or 14, the charge carries a prison term of 13 years minimum and 26 years maximum. For defendants charged with 2 separate counts of DCAC, the sentence is 26 years minimum and 54 years maximum in prison. For any defendant previously convicted of a crime, the sentence is a minimum of 23 years and maximum of 36 years in prison for each new count.

The class six (6) felony involves minors aged 15 to 17. There are a wider range of sentencing possibilities. A first-time defendant can get probation with zero prison time up to one year in jail, or a first timer can get four months to 2 years in prison.

The law requires that anyone convicted of a sex crime has to register as a Sex Offender. This is for the remainder of your life. Defendants are also required by law not to have any contact with minors under the age of 18 without the consent of the probation officer and by going through various procedures. These steps are necessary even to have contact with your own children.


Defenses for the Crime of Sexual Conduct with a Minor

Not knowing that the alleged victim was under 18 years of old is one defense for anyone charged with a sex crime with a minor. This crime occurs when the minor lies to the defendant about his or her real age. Another allegation of a sex crime often occurs during a divorce proceeding. The defendant’s spouse makes an accusation of sexual misconduct with a minor. In some cases, a child upset about the divorce may make up stories of sexual abuse about a parent or step-parent.

In these situations it’s imperative that the defendant challenge the allegations. All parties involved must be interviewed, any police reports or Child Protection Service reports have to be obtained, medical records for the child have to be obtained, and anyone who talked to the child about the alleged crime must be interviewed. A polygraph test can also be administered to show innocence of the crime.

Other defenses for sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona include violations of civil rights. This includes a “Miranda rights violation,” police coercion, improperly executed search warrant or any other procedural errors. The “denial of right to Counsel” is another defense often used. These procedures need to be performed immediately after arrest.

Being charged with sexual misconduct with a minor in Arizona can ruin your life and jeopardize your freedom. It’s important to hire a legal defense team skilled in sex crimes. At DM Cantor, we have handled a large number of sex crime cases in Arizona. We have the ability to challenge any charge of sexual misconduct against children and have many case victories. Also, our attorneys have attended seminars presented by the National Child Abuse Defense and Resource Center. The center helps with the defense of those falsely accused of a sex crimes.

If you have been charged with sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona, your future depends on hiring an experienced sex crimes attorney with the expert knowledge of Arizona’s laws and criminal procedures. Our offices are available 24 hours a day by calling (602) 307-0808 or by email, using our confidential form. We offer Free Case Consultations; call us now to schedule time with a defense lawyer.

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