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Sexual Conduct with a Minor

What is Sexual Conduct with a Minor in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1405?

  • Sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona, is engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with someone under eighteen years old.
  • Sexual intercourse is penetration into the penis, vulva or anus by any part of the body or by any object or masturbatory contact with the penis or vulva.
  • Oral sexual contact means contact with the penis, vulva or anus with the mouth.
  • A dangerous crime against children in the first degree is a completed offense. If it is a preparatory offense, then it is in the second degree.
  • A dangerous crime against children (DCAC) means that a person under 15 years of age was a victim of any of the following:
  1. Sexual assault
  2. Molestation
  3. Sexual conduct
  4. Commercial sexual exploitation
  5. Sexual abuse
  6. Taking a child for the purpose of prostitution
  7. Prostitution
  8. Sex trafficking
  9. Bestiality

What are the penalties for Sexual Conduct with a Minor in Arizona

For charges of sexual conduct of a child / alleged victim that is 15 to 17 years of age, this is a class six felony and has a range of punishments of the following:

  • Probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail, or four (4) months in prison to two (2) years in prison for a first offense.
  • If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is nine (9) months to two and three quarters (2.75) years in prison.
  • If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is two and one quarter (2.25) to five and three quarters (5.75) years of incarceration.

If the alleged victim is between the ages of 12 and 14, this is a Class 2 Felony and carries the following punishments:

  • The Judge can sentence the defendant to 13 years minimum in prison; 20 years presumptive in prison; and 27 years in prison maximum.
  • If the defendant is convicted of two counts, then by law the Judge must “stack” or run these charges “consecutive”. This means the range of punishment now becomes 26 years minimum; 40 years presumptive; and 54 years maximum in prison (day-for-day prison time).
  • If the defendant has previously been convicted of a predicate offense, (any Dangerous Crime Against a Child, or other crimes) the range of punishment is a minimum of 23 years, presumptive 30 years, and maximum 37 years incarceration.

If the child is 12 years of age or younger, then the judge has only two sentence choices:

  • 20 years in prison, or 35 years to life in prison! Again, this must run “consecutive” with any other DCAC charge.

A conviction will also require you to Register as a Sex Offender for the rest of your life! Additionally, you are not allowed to have any contact with anyone under the age of eighteen (18) (this includes your own children), without going through numerous testing procedures and with the consent of your probation officer.

Defenses to the Crime of Sexual Conduct with a Minor in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1405.

Defending against charges of sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona involves careful consideration of the specific circumstances of the case. It's important to consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney for advice tailored to your situation. Here are some potential defenses that might be raised:

  1. Age of Consent: In Arizona, the age of consent is typically 18. If the accused reasonably believed that the minor was of legal age and there was no intent to engage in unlawful conduct, this may be a defense.

  2. Mistaken Age: If the minor misrepresented their age and the accused had a reasonable belief that the minor was of legal age, this may be a defense. However, the effectiveness of this defense can depend on the specific facts of the case.

  3. Consensual Relationship: If the sexual activity was consensual and the age difference between the parties is not significant, the defense may argue that the relationship was consensual and not based on coercion or exploitation. If the victim is fifteen, sixteen or seventeen years of age or attending high school and is no more than 24 months older than the victim and the conduct is consensual, this may be a defense.

  4. Lack of Knowledge: If the accused genuinely did not know the age of the minor and took reasonable steps to verify it, this may be a defense. However, ignorance of the minor's age may not be a complete defense in all cases.

  5. False Accusations: The defense may argue that the allegations are false and motivated by factors such as revenge, jealousy, or other personal motives.

  6. Parental Consent: In some cases, if there is evidence of parental consent to the relationship and/or the person was a spouse of the other person at the time of the commission of the act, it may be used as a defense. However, this can be a complex legal issue, and the effectiveness of this defense will depend on various factors.

  7. Constitutional Violations: The defense may examine whether there were any violations of the accused person's constitutional rights during the investigation or arrest, such as improper search and seizure or Miranda rights violations.

It's essential to remember that the effectiveness of any defense depends on the specific facts and evidence in the case. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial for developing an effective strategy tailored to your circumstances. Legal professionals can assess the details of the case, challenge evidence, and protect the rights of the accused throughout the legal process. If you or someone you know is facing charges of sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona, seeking legal representation as soon as possible is important.

Brian Di Pietro Law PLLC Arizona's Tough Experienced Aggressive Sexual Offense Lawyer

Contact Brian Di Pietro Law, PLLC today for a free case evaluation about your pending sexual conduct with a minor case in Arizona. Brian Di Pietro is an experienced, tough, aggressive Phoenix criminal defense attorney who will work hard to fight the charges against you to achieve the most favorable outcome for your particular sexual conduct with a minor charge. Contact now Brian Di Pietro Law, PLLC at 623-242-2655 for a free confidential case evaluation about your sexual conduct with a minor charge in Arizona.