Juvenile Sex Offenses

Understanding the nature of your legal problem is critical to avoiding mistakes early in your case. Please review the Quick Info for Juvenile Sex Offenses page which includes the Who, What, When, Where and How.

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Understanding Juvenile Sex Offenses

Juvenile sex offenses are at the top of the most serious charges that are filed in juvenile court. These charges can carry life altering, lifelong consequences.

Unfortunately, in the eyes of our Washington State laws, a child himself can be charged with raping or molesting a child. Child molestation and child rape are based on the type of sexual contact between the children, the age of the youngest child and the number of months between the youngest child and the older child. A child that is only 12 years old can be charged with child molestation or rape of a child and these types of sex offense charges are filed every day in Washington State.

It is fair for a parent to hope that the prosecutor will go easy on your child because he was only 12 or 13 years old. However, age of your child alone will not automatically sway a prosecutor. The prosecutors charge 12 and 13 year olds with sex offenses regularly. Working in conjunction with you, your child and perhaps other experts, it is up to your child’s attorney to identify the factors that lead to either a favorable negotiated resolution or that secure a win at trial. Age can be one of those factors if presented correctly.

It does not matter that the alleged victim or his or her parents do not support criminal prosecution. This fact alone will not control a prosecutor’s decision to dismiss or reduce a charge, but it is a factor that is considered by the prosecutor’s office given the emotional and personal nature of a sex offense charge.

The Juvenile Court System

There are particular aspects of a sex offense charge that youth and his or her parents need to understand and negotiate their way through the juvenile court sex offense proceedings. Parents need to understand how to identify when, who and how to obtain specialized evaluations and counseling. Parents also need to be prepared for extensive “conditions of release” and detention review issues. The role of the “JPC” (juvenile probation counselor) should be explained and understood. Aside from developing any possible defenses to the charge, these are critical other issues in juvenile sex offense cases and youth and their parents should always proceed with skilled private counsel if possible.

Experience of Liza Burke Law

Liza Burke has represented kids charged with juvenile sex offenses such as indecent liberties, rape of a child, child molestation, assault with sexual motivation, communication with a minor for immoral purposes, luring and rape in Snohomish County Juvenile Court, Kitsap County Juvenile Court and King County Juvenile Court and the charges were most often Rape of a Child and Child Molestation. Ms. Burke’s clients have been youth coming from all types of communities including Mercer Island, Bellevue, Issaquah, Seattle, Bothell, Kenmore, Everett, Auburn, Kent and Bainbridge and most of her clients who have been charged with sex offenses are good kids planning to go to college.

Ms. Burke works hard to ensure that her youth clients’ futures remain intact and bright.

Juvenile Relief from Sex Offender Registration

Juveniles convicted of a sex offense are required by law to register with the county sheriff. In many instances, this is the extent of registration. At a minimum, it can be personally troublesome to be a registered offender and an inconvenience as well. At its worst, it can trigger flyers and an internet listing as a registered sex offender.

The good news is that the law provides an avenue for relief from registration. Provided there has been no reoffense and the petitioner can prove that the purpose of future registration is no longer served by requiring ongoing registration, the court can relieve a person of the duty to register. This is not an insurmountable burden, but it does require some preparation to ensure the petition to the court is solid and likely to succeed.