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Sex Crimes

Sex Crimes – Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney

If you believe you might be charged with a sex crime, do not wait to take action when it comes to your defense strategy. The possible penalties associated with sex crimes convictions are very severe. It is important that you avoid all risk & put together a strong defense immediately.

Because of the nature of these cases, an immediate and fast response is very important. We are experienced and skilled at building a strong and effective defense against sex crime charges. Call or message us now for a free consultation.


What Arizona Law Says About Sex Crimes

Arizona breaks down Sex Crimes into 4 major categories; Contact Offenses, Non-Contact Offenses, Registration Offenses, and Trafficking/Prostitution Offenses. Most of the offenses under these categories are felonies and thus come with strict sentencing guidelines if a defendant is convicted. 

Contact and Non-Contact Offenses make up the bulk of punishable sex offenses. A contact offense as the name implies is an offense where a person is accused of engaging in sexual conduct with another person, this can include touching or fondling of genitals and penetration. Arizona law distinguishes between victims under and over 15 years of age, as well as victims under 12 years of age. Non-Contact offenses can include public sexual indecency, voyeurism, luring a minor for sexual exploitation, aggravated luring of a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor, unlawful age misrepresentation, surreptitious photographing video taping, or digital recording, and sexual extortion. 


Contact Offenses in Arizona:

Sexual Assault:

  • If the defendant engages in sexual conduct (oral contact, penetration, or masturbatory contact) without the victim’s consent (and the victim was 15 years of age or older) then this can be punishable as a Class 2 Felony. If the victim was under 15 years old the sentence in prison shall be consecutive to any other sentence imposed at any time of sentencing. 
  • If the victim was under 12 years of age and only masturbatory contact was involved then the defendant can be sentenced to life imprisonment with no less than 35 years served, if not 13-20-27 years in prison. 
  • If the victim was 12 and under and the acts involved oral or penetrative conduct then the defendant shall serve a term of life in prison, no less than 35 years served. 
  • Attempted Sexual Assault can be punished as a Class 3 Felony and carries the necessity of registration as a sex offender. 


Sexual Abuse:

  • If the defendant knowingly or intentionally engages in sexual touching of the victim’s genitals, anus, or female breasts, without consent then they can face a Class 5 Felony. 
  • If the victim was under 15 years of age then there can be aggravating factors when it comes to charges and sentencing. Registration into a sex offender list is mandatory and the defendant could face concurrent and consecutive charges of other offenses. 



  • Intentionally or knowingly engaging in or causing a person to engage in sexual contact sexual contact is touching, fondling, or manipulating genitals or anus. Excludes sexual contact of the female breast
  • This is a class two felony with a sentencing range of 10-17-24. Probation is not possible and sex offender registration is required. 
  • May be concurrent to child molest or sex abuse of same victim must be consecutive to child molest or sexual abuse counts of different victims. Must be consecutive to any other DCAC


Sexual Misconduct

  • If the defendant intentionally or knowingly engages in Oral contact w/penis, anus, or vulva; Penetration into penis, anus, vulva; or Masturbatory contact w/penis or vulva.
  • The felony level and sentencing ranges vary based on the age of the victim. However, each of these offenses requires mandatory sex offender registration.
  • If the victim is 15 years and older this is a class 6 felony, probation is possible, and mandatory consecutive sentences are not required. 
  • If the victim is 15 years or older and the defendant is a parent, adoptive parent, clergyman, foster parent, guardian, priest or teacher, then this is a class two felony in which the person faces 3-12.5 years in prison, mandatory flat time, and registration. Probation is not possible. 
  • If the victim is 12-14 and the defendant is 18 years old or tried as an adult then this is a class two felony and the person faces 13-20-27 flat years in prison that must be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed at the time of sentencing. Registration is required. 
  • If the victim is 12 or under and the defendant is 18 years old or tried as an adult, and only masturbatory contact with penis or vulva occurred, then this is a class two felony where a life term in prison is possible or 13-20-27 years. The terms must be stacked with any other sentence imposed at the time of sentencing. 
  • If the victim is 12 or under and the defendant is 18 years old or tried as an adult, and the acts included penetration or oral contact as discussed above, then this is a class two felony where a life term in prison is mandatory and the person must serve no less than 35 years in prison. The terms must be stacked with any other sentence imposed at the time of sentencing. 
  • Attempt changes to these sentencing guidelines and you must speak with your attorney. 


Non-Contact Offenses in Arizona

Indecent Exposure:

  • If the defendant exposed their genitals, anus, or female areola, and they were reckless in doing so then they could face a Class 1 Misdemeanor. If it is a 3rd-time offense for the same offense then it can be elevated to a Class 6 Felony and a mandatory sex-offender registration if convicted. 
  • If the victim is 15 years or younger then it is a Class 6 Felony and if it is a 3rd-time offense with a victim under 15 then it can be a Class 3 Felony.


Public Sexual Indecency:

  • Intentionally or knowingly engaged in an act of oral sex contact, sexual contact, sexual intercourse or bestiality if another person is present. Present means within viewing range of the act, not that the victim actually witnessed the act. Reckless about whether the other person as a reasonable person would be alarmed or offended. 
  • This is a misdemeanor if the victim was 15 years or older
  • It is a class 5 felony if the victim was under 15 years old. 


Luring of a Minor:

  • Luring is defined as the offering or solicitation of sexual conduct with another person. Sexual conduct means acts of masturbation, homosexuality, or physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or if such person is a female, breast. Knowing or having reason to know the other person is a minor 
  • Not a defense that the other person is not a minor.
  • If the victim was under 15 then it is a Class 3 Felony and the person faces 5-10-15 years in prison. This offense can also be elevated to Aggravated Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation. This is a Class 2 Felony. Sex offender registration is required. 


Sexual Exploitation of a Minor:

  • Knowingly distribute, transport, exhibit, receive, sell, purchase, electronically transmit, possess, or exchange any visual depiction in which a minor (differs with age) is engaged in exploitive exhibition or other sexual conduct. 
  • Recording, filming, photographing, developing, or duplicating, any visual depiction in which a minor is engaged in exploitive exhibition or other sexual conduct.
  • If the victim is under 15 years of age the sentence is 10-17-24 flat, consecutive for each other sentence imposed which usually means for each image possessed/transported/etc. Sex offender registration is required. 


Unlawful Misrepresentation of Age

  • Defendant at least 18 years of age knows or has reason to know the recipient is a minor, uses an electronic communication device, to knowingly misrepresent the person’s age for the purpose of committing any sexual offense listed in 13-3821 
  • It is not a defense that to prosecution that the recipient is not a minor
  • If the recipient was under 15, it is a class 3 felony. The sentencing range would be 5-10-15, consecutive to any other sentence imposed. Sex offender registration is required. 



  • Voyeurism is defined under ARS 13-1424.
  • This applies when viewing the victim or when the viewing is preserved, distributed or reused, and the person is unrecognizable.
  • Unlawful Privacy Invasion:
    • Includes knowingly invading someone’s privacy for sexual stimulation.
    • Also involves disclosing unauthorized media without the subject’s consent.
  • Criteria for Privacy Invasion:
    • Privacy invasion occurs when there’s a reasonable expectation of privacy.
    • This includes capturing individuals in various private situations without consent.
  • Exceptions:
    • Privacy laws don’t apply in specific cases, such as security-related recording with clear notice, recording by correctional officials for security or misconduct investigations, lawful recording by law enforcement officers, and the use of child monitoring devices as defined in section 13-3001.
  • Penalties:
    • Violation of privacy laws is generally a class 5 felony, but disclosing unauthorized media (Act 2) becomes a class 4 felony if the depicted person is recognizable.


Furnishing Harmful Items to Minors

  • Furnishing Harmful Items to Minors; Applicability defined under ARS 13-3506.
  • Unlawful to recklessly provide harmful items to minors, with knowledge of the item’s character.
  • Applies to furnishing, presenting, providing, making available, giving, lending, showing, advertising, or distributing such items.
  • Excludes the transmission or sending of items over the internet.
  • Violation is a class 4 felony.
  • Furnishing Harmful Items to Minors via Internet defined under ARS 13-3506.01
  • Unlawful to intentionally or knowingly transmit harmful items to minors via electronic mail, personal messaging, or any direct internet communication, with knowledge that a minor in the state will receive it.
  • Exemptions: Posting material on internet websites, bulletin boards, or newsgroups; sending material via mailing lists not administered by the sender.
  • No defense if recipient is a peace officer posing as a minor.
  • Violation is a class 4 felony.
  • Failure to report a violation is a class 6 felony (13-3620).
  • Definitions:
  • Internet: Worldwide network of computer networks employing transmission control protocol or internet protocol.
  • Internet Web Site: Location with publicly accessible material over the internet using hypertext transfer protocol or any successor protocol.


Unlawful Disclosure of Images Depicting States of Nudity

  • Defined under ARS 13-1425
  • Unlawful to intentionally disclose an identifiable image of another person engaged in nudity or specific sexual activities.
  • Requires a reasonable expectation of privacy by the depicted person, and the disclosure must be intended to harm, harass, intimidate, threaten, or coerce.
  • Exceptions include reporting unlawful conduct, lawful law enforcement practices, voluntary exposure in public or commercial settings, and consent from the depicted person.
  • Penalties: Class 5 felony (Class 4 if disclosed electronically) or Class 1 misdemeanor for threats without actual disclosure.
  • Definitions for 13-1425
    • “Disclose” means display, distribute, publish, advertise, or offer.
    • “Disclosed by electronic means” includes delivery to email, mobile devices, tablets, or websites.
    • “Harm” refers to physical injury, financial injury, or serious emotional distress.
    • “Image” encompasses photographs, videotapes, films, or digital recordings.
    • “Reasonable expectation of privacy” requires an actual and reasonable expectation.
    • “Specific sexual activities” and “state of nudity” have specific meanings as defined.


Surreptitious Photographing/Filming/Recording

  • Unlawful to knowingly photograph, videotape, film, digitally record, or secretly view another person without consent in situations of reasonable privacy expectation, like restrooms, bedrooms, or during intimate activities.
  • Prohibits disclosing, displaying, distributing, or publishing such media without the depicted person’s consent or knowledge.
  • Exceptions include security-related recording with clear notice, correctional officials’ recordings for security or misconduct investigations, and lawful law enforcement recordings.
  • Penalties: Class 5 felony for most violations, Class 4 felony if the person depicted is recognizable. Class 6 felony for non-device related violations.
  • Definitions for 13-3019:
    • “Sexual contact” and “sexual intercourse” have the same meanings as defined in section 13-1401.


Call your Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer

Sex crimes are some of the most serious charges in Arizona. The social stigma attached to the crimes, the sentencing structures, the registration, and probation terms, are all incredibly harsh. You need an attorney who is up to date on the current techniques and practices of the government agencies investigating these cases. An attorney who works with and finds the best experts, and who knows how to challenge the evidence. We have had tremendous success with these cases. Call Litwak Law Group to defend you if charged with one of these crimes.