Los Angeles Child Molestation Defense
Child molestation charges can result in stiff prison sentences. This includes punishment of 25 years-to-life for a forcible sexual act with a child under 10 years old. Additionally, if you are convicted of a sexual crime against a child you will be forced to register as a sexual offender.
Child molestation criminal charges in the State of California fall under one of the following Penal Code sections:
California Penal Code Section 288(a) makes it a crime to commit a sexual act against a child who is under the age of 14 years old. This is a felony with punishment up to 8 years in state prison. If the sexual act is with a minor, who is 14 or 15 years old, and is at least 10 years younger, the charge could be a felony or misdemeanor.
California Penal Code Section 288.5(a) makes it a crime for a person to engage in three or more sex acts with a child under the age of 14 years old, over a 3 month period or longer, the sentence can be up to 16 years. This constitutes “continuous sexual abuse of a child.”
California Penal Code Section 243.4 is sexual battery. There is no age requirement. This can be charged as either a felony or as a misdemeanor sex crime. This law applies if the minor was 14 or 15 years old and less than 10 years younger than the person charged.
California Penal Code Section 647.6 can apply where a person annoys or molests a child under the age of 18 years old. This is most applicable where the allegations demonstrate a motivation of an unusual sexual interest in the minor. This is also known as a “misdemeanor child molestation.”
You cannot defend against these charges by arguing that the minor consented. There are reasons why a minor might say something that is not true. The most compelling defense is that the allegations are not true.
If you are contacted by the police, do not speak to them without an attorney. The police are trained to get you to confess. The law allows them to tell untruths to pressure you to confess. They might say, ‘we have medical proof you did it’ or ‘we have DNA evidence that proves you did it.’ Alternatively, the police may try to build a relationship with you. They may say there are two kinds of people, monsters who never take responsibility for their actions and good people who made a mistake.
If you are being investigated or charged with child molestation you need an experienced attorney who understands how to defend against these crimes. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.