Child Molestation Defense
Molestation charges are extremely serious. If any police officer or government agent has asked you questions about molestation of a child in your family, you should contact a child molestation attorney in Tacoma, Timothy L. Healy, right away.
An Effective Defense to Child Molestation Charges
Penalties for molestation can be very harsh. There is no tolerance of molestation in our society, particularly where a child is involved. Sex offenders, such as those convicted of child molestation, are given "Determinate-Plus" sentences, which involve a minimum sentence that can be repeatedly extended up to a specified maximum. Sentences for child molestation and related crimes are often more severe than other similarly-classed felonies. Further, registration with local sheriffs as a sex offender is required. Most importantly for many, the conviction carries immense shame and stigma, with negative consequences for the defendant’s reputation, employment prospects, and relationships with friends and family. I understand the high stakes, the sensitivity, and the feelings of horror and isolation that follow a molestation charge. As an experienced sex crimes defense attorney, I have successfully handled many cases of alleged molestation. Thorough investigation and aggressive representation of your interests when dealing with investigators, prosecutors, and judges can lead to charges being reduced or even dismissed. Having an experienced, caring advocate on your side to combat these charges is essential. Call our office today at (253) 201-0406 or contact us online for a free confidential consultation. We answer the phone 24/7.
Child Molestation Charges
Child molestation is much talked about, and unfortunately occurs in our society with some frequency. Unlike rape of a child, which provides penalties for sexual intercourse with a child, child molestation provides penalties for any other form of sexual contact with a child. This encompasses a broad range of behavior, but the boundaries of what constitutes inappropriate conduct are quite well-defined.
Molestation charges often begin with someone other than the child. Under Washington law, many people are required to report suspected child abuse, including molestation. This includes child care workers, doctors, counselors, school personnel, and even other adults residing with the abused child. Any one of these individuals who is over-zealous, holds a grudge, or mistakenly assesses the situation can trigger a far-reaching investigation by reporting suspected molestation.
Child Protective Services (CPS), which seeks to protect the interests of the child, can quickly initiate an investigation. CPS also works with the police, who are concerned with any criminal conduct, and they often jointly investigate alleged child molestation. If you are contacted by CPS or the police regarding alleged molestation, you should decline the interview and seek first to speak with an experience molestation attorney in Tacoma. Initial statements can be very damaging, and investigators are typically more concerned with finding wrongdoing than with protecting your rights.
Child molestation is defined by statute in Washington as having three degrees. First degree child molestation involves improper sexual contact with a minor under the age of 12. Second degree child molestation involves a child between 12 and 14, and third degree child molestation involves a child between 14 and 16. First, second and third degree child molestation are defined, respectively, as Class A, Class B, and Class C felonies. A related charge is sexual misconduct with a minor, which prohibits sexual conduct towards minors by those in positions of power, such as teachers and foster parents.