A sex offense conviction has the potential to change your life dramatically. When you are accused of something as serious as this, it can feel like you have been judged long before you get your day in court. Lengthy prison terms, fines, and long term consequences like sex offender registration can mean disaster for many people. With the help of a local attorney, you may be able to avoid the worst of these penalties.

Washington State Sex Crimes

There are numerous different sex offense statutes in the state of Washington. This page is designed to provide an overview of the most common.

First Degree Rape

Rape in the first degree is when you are accused of engaging in sexual intercourse with another person by force, where one of the following circumstances are present:

  1. The use or threatened use of a deadly weapon
  2. Kidnapping of the victim
  3. Infliction of serious physical injury, or
  4. The felonious entering of the building or vehicle where the alleged crime occurs.

This offense is classified as a Class A Felony and carries up to life in prison. If convicted, you will serve a mandatory minimum of at least 3 years in prison.

Second Degree Rape

If you are accused of committing rape and it doesn’t amount to first degree rape, as defined above, and one of the following is true, you could be charged with rape in the 2nd degree:

  1. The act is done by force,
  2. The victim is incapable of consenting
  3. The victim has a developmental disability and you have a supervisory relationship or are providing transportation in the course of your employment,
  4. You are a health care provider and the victim is a client, or
  5. The victim is an elder or vulnerable adult and you have a “significant” relationship with them or commit the act in the course of your employment.

This offense is also a Class A Felony, carrying up to life in prison and $50,000 in fines.

Third Degree Rape

Rape in the 3rd degree is the applicable charge where you commit rape and the victim doesn’t consent or where there is threat of harm to the property rights of the victim.

This offense is classified as a Class C Felony charge and carries up to 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Rape of a Child vs. Child Molestation

There are numerous sexual offenses that can be committed against children in the state of Washington. So many that they can seem quite confusing. The penalty and charge you face depend on a number of factors including the age of the child and the exact circumstances of the case.

Generally, rape of a child involves intercourse whereas child molestation involves sexual contact. Either is a potentially life changing charge, though rape is considered the more serious of the two. Depending on the facts, you could face a life sentence for either charge.

Indecent Liberties

Indecent liberties is defined as having sexual contact with another person by force, where the victim is incapable of consent, or when you have some sort of superior or supervisory role over the victim.

This crime is classified as a Class A Felony when done by force or a Class B Felony in any other case. This means it could carry up to a life sentence.

There are numerous sex offense laws in Washington. Any one of them has the potential to dramatically change the course of your life. Discussing the details of your case with a local attorney can provide insight into your options and what can be done to minimize the potential effects.