Ventura Sex Crimes Lawyer

Representing Clients Accused of Sexual Offenses

If you’ve been charged with a sex crime, Attorney Douglas Ridley and his team of knowledgeable defense lawyers are here to help you through this difficult time. Call (805) 208-1866 today and make sure you have the experienced representation you need and deserve. With over 20 years of criminal defense experience, Attorney Douglas Ridley knows what it takes to defend against sex crime allegations. He and his team of knowledgeable defense lawyers are here to help you through this difficult time.

Get Representation From a Former Deputy District Attorney

Attorney Douglas Ridley is also a former Deputy District Attorney for Ventura County. During his time as a lead prosecutor, he handled numerous sex crime prosecutions. Now as a defense lawyer, he brings invaluable insight to your case. With this past experience, Attorney Douglas Ridley understands the mindset of the prosecution and can anticipate what tactics they will try to use against you. 

At Ridley Defense, and we want you to know we are here to help. Our dedicated team of attorneys will carefully examine the evidence and every aspect of your case in order to develop the best defense strategy possible. We’ve defended hundreds of people in Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, and across Southern California, helping them protect their lives and futures. Let us do the same for you.

Call us today at (805) 208-1866 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

What is Sexual Assault?

California law defines sexual assault as unwanted touching of another person’s intimate parts. Also referred to as misdemeanor sexual battery, sexual assault is defined under Penal Code Section 243.4. A person can be prosecuted for sexual assault if they touch an intimate part of another person against that person’s will for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse.

Touching of an intimate part of another person is also considered unlawful if:

  • The person is unlawfully restrained by the perpetrator or someone else
  • The person is institutionalized for medical treatment and is seriously disabled or medically incapacitated
  • The perpetrator fraudulently represented that the touching served a professional purpose
  • The person is made to “masturbate or touch an intimate part of those persons or a third person.”

Misdemeanor sexual assault is punishable for a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000) or imprisonment in county jail for up to six (6) months, or both. Aggravating factors that may increase the penalties include if the victim was an employee of the perpetrator.

What is the Difference Between Sexual Assault and Rape?

While the terms sexual assault and rape are often used interchangeably, they refer to different crimes under California law. Sexual assault refers to a wide range of unwanted sexual contact, while rape refers specifically to nonconsensual intercourse. In most cases, rape is charged as a felony crime, while many cases of sexual assault are charged as misdemeanors depending on the severity of the offense.

What is Aggravated Sexual Assault?

Aggravated sexual assault refers to a sexual assault case where certain details “aggravated” the offense, making it more serious. An aggravated sexual assault case typically involves the use of violence, physical force, or threat of physical harm against the victim.

Under most circumstances, aggravated sexual assault is punishable by “imprisonment in county jail for not more than one (1) year, and by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000); or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, and by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000).” If the victim was a minor and the alleged perpetrator has a prior felony sexual assault conviction, then they can be charged with a felony, punishable by two, three, or four years in state prison and a fine not to exceed ten thousand ($10,000).

Other Common Sex Crimes

Statutory rape – Codified into law under Penal Code 261.5, sexual intercourse with a minor who is not your spouse is unlawful. Under California law, a minor is defined as someone under the age of 18.

Sexual acts with a minor Penal Code Section 288 prohibits lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14. This includes any acts performed with the “intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child.”

Prostitution and solicitation – California Penal Code Section 647(b) makes it unlawful to engage in or solicit any act of prostitution.

Indecent exposure – The wilful or lewd exposure of your private parts in public is considered indecent exposure under Penal Code 314. You can be charged with a misdemeanor on a first offense and a felony upon a second or subsequent offense.

Child pornography – It is unlawful for a person to possess or control any “representation of information, data, or image” that contains a person under the age of 18 “engaging in or simulating sexual conduct.” If convicted, you could face a state prison sentence.

Possible Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction

If you are convicted of a sex crime in California, you could face detrimental and life-altering consequences. You could be required to register on the California Sex Offender Registry. This is a record that will follow you for the rest of your life and could cause you to be denied certain benefits, such as housing, employment, and bank loans.

Sex Crime Misdemeanors in California

When people think of sex crimes – also called sex offenses – they usually think of major felonies such as rape or sexual assault. Not all sexual offenses are felonies. Some offenses are misdemeanors and are penalized by fines and/or jail sentences instead of state prison. Nevertheless, these charges can carry significant penalties and should be handled by a leading defense attorney.

Two of the most common sex crime misdemeanors are prostitution and solicitation. California Penal Code § 647(b) states that anyone who solicits or agrees to engage in any act of prostitution is guilty of a misdemeanor. This applies to someone who solicits or agrees to engage in sexual acts in exchange for money or someone who offers or agrees to pay someone in exchange for sexual acts.

Get the Help You Need Today

Helping you fight the charges against you and securing the best possible outcome is the primary goal of Ridley Defense. When you hire attorney Douglas H. Ridley, you’re putting over 25 years of criminal defense experience in your corner. His previous experience as the Ventura County Deputy District Attorney means you will have additional insight into how prosecutors think so you can anticipate the prosecution’s next move.

Mr. Ridley’s experience is only part of what makes him a top-rated criminal defense attorney in California. He’s received numerous awards and accolades, including the Moorpark “Hometown Hero” Award Winner and was selected as a Super Lawyer in 2017 and 2018 through a peer nomination and evaluation process. He is not only well-respected by his peers and clients but also by law enforcement and judges throughout Southern California.

Contact Ridley Defense today at (805) 208-1866 for a complimentary consultation and to get your case started.

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Whether you need advisement, negotiation, damage control, or aggressive courtroom representation, our caring, compassionate, and tactically brilliant attorneys will fight for you.

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