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Sex Crimes Attorney in Vancouver, Washington

According to a report issued by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, in 2019 there were 6,218 reported incidents of sexual assault, both forcible and non-forcible, in the State of Washington. There were 6,218 victims and 5,799 offenders. Assault is just the most prominent among sex offenses criminalized by statutes in Washington. Other offenses include child molestation, failure to register as a sex offender, possessing child pornography, and more.

Just being accused of a sex crime can carry serious consequences for your reputation, your personal life, and your professional life. Being convicted can be devastating. Not only might you end up behind bars and have to register as a sex offender, but you can also lose your right to vote and to bear arms. The resulting criminal record can haunt you the rest of your life.

If you’re under investigation or have been charged with a sex crime in or around Vancouver, Washington, or nearby in Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, or Wahkiakum County, contact Dan Mellen, Attorney at Law. We will meet with you to discuss your situation, advise you of your legal options, and fight to protect your rights, always aiming for the best possible outcome.

Worried about an Accusation?

Sex-Related Crimes in Washington

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that takes place without the consent of the other party. Consent is the agreement through words or action of the other party to engage in the sexual activity with full knowledge and understanding of what is about to take place.

Under Washington law, consent may not occur, or the legal system may not recognize a person's consent, if one of the following applies:

  • The person is threatened, coerced, forced or manipulated into giving consent.

  • The person is too intoxicated or high to give consent; you were drugged, passed out, or asleep.

  • The person is not mentally able to give consent because of illness or disability.

  • The person younger than 16.

The consequences of sex crime charges are serious. For example, if convicted of rape, whether the victim is an adult or child, the offender faces anywhere from six months to life in prison, and/or a fine of up to $50,000, depending on the circumstances. A conviction for child molestation can face the same penalties. These offenses are all felonies, meaning you may also lose your right to vote and to bear arms.

What Is a Sex Offender?

The term “sex offender” applies to any adult or juvenile who is convicted of rape, rape of a child, child molestation, sexual misconduct with a minor, incest, communication with a minor for immoral purposes, and other crimes.

If convicted of one of these crimes, you may be required to register as a sex offender. Being on the sex offender registry means you can be restricted as to when and where you live and work.

What to Do If You Are Accused of a Sex Crime

Sex crime charges are serious matters that can lead to serious penalties, many that will haunt you for the rest of your life. You will need the counsel and representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A public defender, no matter how well trained or committed, is generally facing a huge caseload, and will not have the time to develop a comprehensive defense strategy for you. They will usually opt for the first plea bargain available.

If you are accused of a sex crime, it is absolutely imperative that you speak to a defense attorney right away. In particular, make sure you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney before you speak to the police, prosecutors, or the person who made the accusation.

Sex Crimes Attorney in Vancouver, Washington

Over the years, we have represented clients charged with all manner of sex crimes, and we possess the experience to develop a solid strategy for the exercise of your rights and your defense against the charges. If you’re under investigation or facing a sex crime charge in or around Vancouver, Washington, contact Dan Mellen, Attorney at Law, immediately. We also serve clients in Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, or Wahkiakum County.