How Does Arizona Define a Sex Crime?


In Arizona, the state defines a sex crime as an act that occurs when an individual knowingly or intentionally engages in oral sex or sexual intercourse with another person without that individual’s consent. If the act does not include one of those two instances, then the crime is considered sexual abuse.

Sexual Assault Examples

Sexual intercourse without the other person’s consent includes penetrating the vulva, penis or anus with anything. Oral sexual contact involves oral engagement with any of those same body parts. Sexual assault includes verbal threats, intimidation or fear.

The Victim’s Age at the Time of the Incident

The state enacts tougher penalties against those who commit sexual crimes against individuals who are younger than age 15. In this case, criminals will face longer prison sentences that may include life in prison without gaining the potential of parole or probation until they’ve spent at least 35 years in prison. A person who sexually assaults another will be placed on the Arizona Sex Offender Registry.  

When It’s More than a Sex Crime

If the offender uses a date rape drug to commit the crime, then Arizona will add three more years to the criminal’s sentence. Also, if the person accused of the sex crime caused intentional injury to the person assaulted—inflicting serious physical injury to the victim while committing the crime—then this escalates the prison sentence to 25 years to life.

Type of Felony and Punishment

Arizona considers a sex crime to be a class two felony. This means that the sexual offender will receive a prison sentence of up to 14 years. If the person on trial for the crime has an earlier sexual assault conviction, then he or she could receive up to 21 years in prison. If the individual has two or more earlier convictions, then the punishment increases to up to 28 years in prison.

Unable to Give Consent

Arizona considers people who are impaired by a mental condition, drugs, alcohol, defect or by anything else unable to give sexual consent. If the person who committed the assault intentionally deceived the victim in regards to the nature of the act, then the situation lacked consent. Also, if the sexual criminal led the victim to believe that he or she was the person’s spouse, then there was a lack of consent.

Sex Crimes in Arizona

The state is serious about prosecuting those who commit sexual crimes against others. With lengthy sentences and the possibility of getting a life sentence without parole, being accused of a sex crime is a situation that requires legal help.

If you find yourself charged with a sex crime, contact the defense attorneys at Tyler Allen Law Firm to discuss your case.

Lindsey Black