Adult Sex Offenses

Your Reputation and Your Liberty

When someone makes an allegation of a Sex Offense it sets in motion of series of events that can change the course of your life forever.  Sex Offenses are very serious allegations that require a thorough and aggressive defense.  Some sex offenses can result in the equivalent of life in prison through Washington’s Indeterminate Sentence law requiring sex offenders to be in prison until such a time as they can prove rehabilitation.  When someone is charged with a sex offense, Judges often grant very high bail and issue No Contact Orders.  Sex Offenses can also result in severe immigration consequences, affect your livelihood, and prevent you from seeing your children. An allegation of sexual abuse of a child will almost certainly result in an investigation by Child Protective Services and require you to leave your home if you have children.

Indeterminate Sentences

Under Washington’s Indeterminate Sentence law, certain sex offenders are sentenced to a minimum sentence term.  When the minimum sentence is reached each person will be evaluated by the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board (ISRB) to determine if they should be released.  The ISRB will decide whether the offender is likely to commit another offense when released.  If the ISRB believes someone will commit another offense they will not be released.  Therefore, is possible that if you are convicted of a crime subject to the Indeterminate Sentence law you will spend the rest of your life in prison.  The crimes covered by the Indeterminate Sentence law include Rape in the First Degree, Rape in the Second Degree, Rape of A Child in the First Degree, Indecent Liberties with Forcible Compulsion, and many other crimes when charged with a Sexual Motivation enhancement.

Sexual Motivation Allegation

A crime committed with Sexual Motivation means that one of the purposes for which the defendant committed the crime was for the purpose of his or her sexual gratification.  The prosecutor will file a special allegation of sexual motivation in a criminal case where there is sufficient admissible evidence that would demonstrate the crime was committed for the purpose of sexual gratification.  The Sexual Motivation allegation will result in some crimes becoming sex offenses for which Sex Offender Registration [link] is required.

Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative (SSOSA)

Despite harsh sentencing laws, Washington does have treatment options for individuals who admit to committing a sex offense.  For certain individuals, treatment can be a viable option to avoiding a lengthy prison sentence.  The first step in this process is obtaining an effective evaluation.  Entering into the process of obtaining an evaluation and entering treatment can be daunting.  Michele has assisted many individuals charged with sex offenses in finding the right treatment provider.  Once you are connected with a treatment provider, Michele will help you prepare for your evaluation, understand the process, and succeed in your treatment program.  This alternative is only available for certain offenses and to individuals who offend against someone who the offender had an established relationship with or connection to prior to the offense. If you have a question about whether you qualify for  SSOSA Michele will evaluate your case.

Sex Offender Registration 

If you are convicted of a sex offense or enter the SSOSA program you will be required to register as a Sex Offender.  Visit our sex offender registration page for more information on this requirement

False Allegations

False allegations are not uncommon with sex offenses.  People claim to be victims of sexual assault for many reasons.  Some have previously been a victim of a legitimate crime, some have an agenda, some simply like the attention, and some are subject to false memory or remorse for consensual sexual acts.  It is not uncommon for these types of allegations to occur within blended families or when a family member is angry over the introduction of a new spouse or significant other to the family.  These allegations may also occur when a child hears from others about sexual abuse and fabricates a story to garner attention.  Whatever the reason, Michele will challenge the allegations every step of the way, from investigation to trial.

Child Sex Abuse

Children are highly suggestible and may make a claim of sexual abuse where none has occurred.  This may happen because they hear about the abuse elsewhere, they make a comment they do not understand that someone else believes indicates the child was abused, or another person has abused the child.  Understanding how children’s brains work and how they are affected by interview techniques can be the key to defeating an allegation of child sexual abuse.  Michele is experienced with working with experts trained to identify red flags in a child interviews that may indicate the child was not abused or was abused by someone else.  In many cases there is no physical evidence, just the child’s allegation.  When an allegation of child sexual abuse is made, Child Protective Services [link] will be notified and a separate investigation as to whether the child is in danger in their home will begin.  Between the criminal charges and CPS, it can feel like a double assault.  Michele has defended many individuals charged with child sex abuse and knows how to navigate through both systems.

Possession of Child Pornography/Sexual Exploitation of Children

Child pornography crimes encompass a wide range of conduct including viewing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, possessing depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, or transmitting depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Most child pornography charges occur where someone has received images of child pornography through a web device.  In some instances, individuals receive child pornography in “batches” of pornography when they have not sought child pornography.  It may be possible to defend these charges with mistake or unintentionally viewing child pornography.  The transmission of these images can also be the basis for a Federal Investigation [link].