Child Molestation Law in California - Penal Code 647.6 PC
If you facing accusations or have been arrested for child molestation anywhere in California, you will need to consult with an experienced sex crimes criminal defense attorney right away.
Any allegation of a sex crime against a child will have devastating consequences to your personal and professional life, even if you are factually innocent of the charges. In California, most child molestation crimes that involves a child are felonies, and a sex crime conviction can result in imprisonment and required registration as a sex offender for life.
In many cases of child molestation allegations, the alleged victim is the only one who provides evidence to support the charge. This means that the entire case will simply amount to one person's word against another's.
Children can be easily influenced by adults and persuaded to lie about being molested while not understanding the impact of their allegation. This makes it all the more critical that you obtain a criminal lawyer who knows how to deal with this type of sex crime.
Understanding the Laws
In the State of California, child molestation criminal charges fall under one of the following Penal Code sections:
- California Penal Code 288(a) says that any individual who commits a lewd or lascivious act against a child who is under the age of 14 years old is guilty of a felony sex crime and can be sentenced up to 8 years in a California state prison. It also says that if an individual engages in a lewd act with a minor, who is 14 or 15 years old, and is at least 10 years younger, could be charged with a felony or misdemeanor sex crime.
- California Penal Code Section 288.5(a) says that any individual who engages in 3 or more acts of lewd or lascivious conduct that involves substantial sexual conduct with a child under the age of 14 years old, over a time period of 3 months or longer, can be sentenced to up to 16 years in a California state prison. This is also known as “continuous sexual abuse of a child.”
- California Penal Code 243.4 is a criminal charge of sexual battery, but there is no age requirement. This can be prosecuted as either a felony or misdemeanor sex crime. This law is applied if the minor was 14 or 15 years old and less than 10 years younger than the individual charged.
- California Penal Code 647.6 says that any individual who annoys or molest a child under the age of 18 years old, and was motivated by an unusual sexual interest in the minor, can be sentenced to up to 1 year in a county jail. This is also known as a “misdemeanor child molestation.”
In order for prosecutors to secure a child molestation conviction, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you willfully touched the child's body, or that you willfully caused the child to touch your body, and your specific intent was to cause arousal or to gratify your own sexual desires or that of the child.
Closely related offenses are oral copulation with a minor under California Penal Code 288a, continuous sexual abuse of a child under Penal Code 288.5, Penal Code 288(b)(1) PC lewd acts with force, Penal Code 261.5 statutory rape, and Penal Code 286 PC sodomy. We also defend clients against any type of California internet sex crime charges.
Contact Our Law Firm To Review The Case
With so much at stake, you will need an aggressive sex crime lawyer who will challenge the accuser's credibility or the accuser's parents, who may be responsible for persuading the child to make false allegations. It our been our experience that an independent investigation will prove that the minor making the child molestation accusation have their own personal reasons to harm or damage the reputation of the person they are accusing.
Any competent sex crime lawyer should also provide legal defenses that include that the contact with the child was not a sexual act or was accidental, or that there was no specific intent to arouse or satisfy a sexual desire or show that the minor was older than 15 years old and less than ten years younger than the defendant.
The defense attorneys at Cron, Israels & Stark completely understand the tragic and permanent consequences of a conviction for a serious sex crime like child molestation.
This is why we will use all of the defense strategies we have learned over our many decades of sex crime defense on your behalf. Contact our law firm to discuss your child molestation allegations, we will handle your call discreetly and all the information you provide us is strictly confidential. Your consultation is free of charge, so you have no reason not to call us to discuss your case.