Sexual Conduct With A Minor Defense Attorney in Tucson

Being charged with sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona can have life-changing ramifications. It's important to know how these charges are defined under Arizona law. Equally crucial is understanding the range of penalties tied to this offense, which can range from misdemeanors to felonies. Questions naturally arise: What is the legal process ahead? With the stakes being so high, finding an experienced attorney who knows Arizona laws inside and out is essential.

If you have been charged with sexual conduct with a minor in Tucson, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our criminal defense firm not only provides excellent representation in the courtroom but also considers the potential long-term effects receiving a sex crime conviction can have on your future. We will work closely with you to ensure your rights are defended, and you get the best result possible based on your case's circumstances. We offer a free case evaluation so that you can best understand your next steps. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice
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How is Sexual Conduct with a Minor Defined in Arizona Law?

Under Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) §13-1405, sexual conduct with a minor is defined as intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with anyone under eighteen. There are some critical factors to know which pertain to this law.

Key Factors in s Sexual Conduct with a Minor Charge

  • Intentionally: If someone intends to commit a particular act or achieve a particular result, then they have acted 'intentionally.' In the context of sexual conduct with a minor, this would mean that the accused engaged in the prohibited conduct with the specific aim or objective of doing so. 

  • Knowingly: If someone knows what they're doing and is aware of the nature of their actions, they have acted 'knowingly.' In this case, it means that the individual was aware that they were engaging in sexual conduct with a minor, even if they did not necessarily have the express intent to violate the law. 

  • Sexual Intercourse: The legal definition is explicit in stating that even the slightest penetration is sufficient to meet the criteria for sexual intercourse. This means that even if the act was brief or minimal, it can still qualify as sexual intercourse under the statute and can be broader to encompass any act of sexual penetration, regardless of the genders involved.

  • Oral Sexual Contact: Oral sexual contact can include any contact between the mouth or tongue of one person and the genitals or anus of another. This definition can cover a range of acts, from kissing the relevant areas to more involved activities. Unlike "sexual intercourse," which necessitates some form of penetration, "oral sexual contact" does not have this requirement. Merely touching the specified areas with the mouth or tongue is sufficient to meet this definition.

  • Under 15 years of age: Sexual conduct with a minor under the age of fifteen is classified as a class 2 felony and is subject to the penalties provided in ARS §13-705 (Dangerous crimes against children). This is a very serious charge and can result in severe penalties, including a lengthy prison sentence without the possibility of parole.

  • 15, 16, or 17 years of age: When the minor is fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen years old, the crime is typically a class 6 felony. However, there are certain circumstances under which this can be raised to a more severe felony classification.

By specifying that the conduct must be "intentionally or knowingly" engaged in, the statute excludes acts that were truly accidental or committed without awareness of the essential facts. Given these broad definitions and the severe penalties associated with a conviction for sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona, it's essential for anyone accused of such an offense to fully understand these terms and seek experienced legal representation.

Penalties for Sexual Conduct with a Minor in Arizona

The penalties for sexual conduct with a minor can vary depending on several factors, such as the defendant's criminal history, the age difference between the defendant and the minor, and other specifics of the case. However, as a general outline:

  • Class 2 Felony: If the victim is under 15 years old, the penalties can be particularly severe, especially if the defendant is an adult. Prison sentences can range from a minimum of several years to life in prison, depending on the circumstances. A judge can sentence a defendant to a minimum of 13 years, a standard of 20 years, or a maximum of 27 years in prison. If convicted of two counts, sentences are consecutive, totaling 26 to 54 years. If there's a prior significant offense, the range is 23 to 37 years, which runs consecutively with any other major child crime charge.

  • Class 6 Felony: If the victim is 15, 16, or 17 years old, the penalties are generally less severe than if the victim was younger but can still include prison time, fines, and mandatory registration as a sex offender. For a first offense, penalties range from probation with no jail time to one year in jail or a prison term of four months to two years. With one prior conviction, prison time ranges from nine months to 2.75 years. With two prior convictions, it's between 2.25 to 5.75 years in prison.

Factors That Influence Sentencing: 

  1. Defendant's Criminal History: Past convictions, especially those of a similar nature, can result in harsher penalties. First-time offenders may receive more leniency, while repeat offenders could face maximum penalties.

  1. Age Difference: The age gap between the defendant and the minor plays a significant role in the sentencing. A larger age difference could result in a more severe penalty, especially if the defendant is significantly older than the minor.

  1. Nature of the Act: The specifics of the sexual conduct (whether it was forceful, consensual, etc.) can also influence the sentence.

Romeo and Juliet Provisions

Romeo and Juliet laws defend minors and young adults from prosecution for consensual sex with peers. They differentiate between consensual relationships among teens and predatory actions by older adults.

In Arizona, two minors can engage in consensual sex if the age gap is no more than two years and the youngest is at least 15. For instance, an 18-year-old can have consensual sex with a 16 or 17-year-old but not a 15-year-old. A 17-year-old can have consensual sex with a 15-year-old but not a 14-year-old.


The Romeo and Juliet provisions can:

  • Reduce Penalties: For instance, the defendant might face probation instead of jail time.
  • Eliminate Mandatory Registration: In some cases, the convicted individual might not be required to register as a sex offender.


First Degree Murder

Case Result:
Acquitted at Trial

Molestation Charges

Case Result:
Charges Dismissed

False Abuse Charges

Case Result:
Charges Dismissed

Stealing Accusations

Case Result:
Acquitted at Trial
Why Clients Choose Us
Contact a Sexual Conduct With a Minor Defense Attorney in Tucson

Facing charges of sexual conduct with a minor in Tucson, Arizona, can be an overwhelming and life-altering event. Arizona treats offenses of sexual contact with a minor with utmost seriousness, and the penalties upon conviction can be grave, especially for those with prior offenses. The consequences might encompass imprisonment, significant fines, probation, mandatory counseling or therapy, and potentially, the requirement to register as a sex offender.

As your dedicated attorney in Tucson experienced in cases of sexual conduct with a minor, we are committed to offering you unwavering support and empathy during this daunting phase. We comprehend the profound emotional impact such a charge can cast upon your life, and it's our endeavor to provide you with the required support, clear direction, and robust legal representation.

If you've been charged with sexual conduct with a minor, please reach out to us promptly to arrange a complimentary case evaluation. The primary aim of this evaluation is to clarify the charges you're contending with and guide you through the coming steps you should consider. Our firm serves the locales of Tucson, Oro Valley, Marana, South Tucson, and other surrounding sectors of Pima County. We're also equipped to assist residents from Nogales, Rio Rico, and additional regions within Santa Cruz County.

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Legal Disclaimer

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Molnar Law Office's legal team is licensed to practice law in Arizona. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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