Sex Crimes Against Minors In California
California Penal Code 288 defines the laws of child molestation and prohibits committing lewd or lascivious acts with a minor under 14. Under this law, lewd acts involve the intent to arouse or appeal to the sexual desires of the defendant or the child.
To be convicted under Penal Code 288, the prosecutor must prove that you willfully touched any part of the child’s body or willfully caused a child to touch their own body, your body or another person’s body and that you did so with the intent of arousing, appealing to or gratifying lust, passion or sexual desires.
These crimes are very severe, and California takes prosecuting them seriously. At Law Offices of Severo, PLC, our attorneys have experience defending against these charges throughout California and can help you fight to get your future back.
California Penal Code 288 Is Just The Beginning
The law is vague on purpose, and the ambiguous terms allow for more acts to be punishable under the law. There are also several related crimes that are frequently charged with Penal Code 288 and share common elements.
Offenses in the California Penal Code related to lewd acts on a child include:
- Showing or sending harmful material to seduce a minor
- Contacting a minor with intent to commit a felony
- Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes
- Continuous sexual abuse
- Engaging in sexual intercourse with a child 10 years of age or younger
- Distributing child pornography
These charges are complex and very serious, especially when multiple violations are piled on top of each other. It is imperative that you contact an experienced defense attorney if you are accused of committing lewd or lascivious acts on a minor.
More Than A List: Lifelong Consequences
The state of California takes the punishment for these sex offenses seriously. If you are charged with committing a crime under California Penal Code 288, you may face a lengthy prison sentence and have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
Specifically, if the victim was less than 14 at the time of the act, you could face up to three, six or eight years in state prison. If the victim was less than 14 and violence, duress, force or threats were used, you may face five, eight or 10 years in prison. If you are a repeat offender, the sentence could be 25 years to life in prison.
Regardless of the victim’s age at the time of the lewd act, you will have to register as a sex offender for life. You will also be responsible for any medical bills the child incurred and face an additional five-year sentence if the minor sustained great bodily injury from the act.
It is vital that you contact an experienced California criminal defense attorney who is willing to fight to defend you. There may be defenses that can be applied to your case. At Law Offices of Severo, PLC, our team provides thorough preparation and individualized care to your defense.
Don’t Let This Charge Take Over Your Entire Life
If you’ve been accused of a sex crime against a minor under California Penal Code 288, you need an experienced and knowledgeable defense attorney who will be dedicated to zealously representing you against the charge. Contact us by calling 888-983-1217 or filling out our online contact form to schedule a consultation.