Sex Offense Sentencing

Sex Offender Sentencing in Washington

Sentences for sex offenses have increased significantly in recent years as lawmakers in Washington have responded to public outcry in the wake of high profile sex crime cases. While Washington has not formally adopted the "one strike and you're out" approach for sex offenses, the fact is many sex offenses can get you life in prison under current law. The stakes have never been higher for those accused of sex crimes. Additionally, sex offender registration is now required for most people convicted of a sex crime. In certain cases, the court may choose to take into consideration psychological and health-related issues when sentencing someone.

Seattle Sex Offender Sentencing Attorneys

At The Meryhew Law Group, we ask the court to take into consideration our client's history and psychological condition during the sentencing phase of a trial. If a person was abused as a child, doesn't have a criminal record, didn't commit a violent act, or has a history of depression or mental illness, the court may reduce the sentence in favor of lengthy probation and court-mandated counseling.

We realize some people need professional help to overcome being abused as a child or in treating depression. To schedule a confidential consultation in order to discuss your case, contact sex offender sentencing attorneys at The Meryhew Law Group today.

Understanding What is Involves with Sex Offender Sentencing

Life in prison is actually a very real risk for some sex crimes. For serious sex offenses, including offenses against children under 14, forcible rape, and violent crimes committed with a sexual motivation, offenders are now sentenced to what the law calls "determinate plus" sentences. These are in fact indeterminate sentences, meaning they can go on for the rest of the offender's life. The Court sets a minimum sentence instead of a maximum, and at the end of the minimum sentence an offender must convince the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board that it is safe to release them. For many offenders the ISRB has said no, and many of those will remain in prison for life.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Sex Offenders

In Blakey v. Washington and Booker v. the United States, mandatory minimum sentencing was essentially struck down by the Supreme Court. Now, judges can sentence below the federal guideline if they believe it is appropriate. Our attorneys have been successful in getting our client's sentence reduced below the federal guideline in certain sex crimes cases. Even though most sex crimes involve jail or prison, convincing the court you do not pose a threat to the community is essential to convince the court to go below the sentencing guidelines.

Interactions with the Police and Sex Offender Sentencing

Many of our clients have admitted their crimes and given statements to the police before we ever meet them. Others are falsely accused and must face the potential consequence of a life sentence if they are convicted. Every person accused of a sex crime, whether they have admitted it or not, must have a lawyer who understands the consequences of these sentences. At The Meryhew Law Group we work to find solutions that allow our clients to get beyond these offenses, not solutions that can cost them their freedom for the rest of their life.