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Child Molestation, Annoyance or Rape

 If you are charged with child molestation in California, you need serious and experienced legal representation immediately. Contact an experienced Los Angeles child molestation attorney without delay.

Los Angeles Child Molestation Attorney

Child molestation charges are very serious. They can have repercussions for the accused years afterward, even if they are relieved of their charges. In many cases, the stigma surrounding the case will always surround the individual for the rest of their life.

As a result, it is vitally important to understand the laws and penalties related to these crimes if you are facing child molestation charges.

Child Molestation Laws in California

In California, most child molestation crimes are felonies. A sex crime conviction can result in imprisonment and registration as a sex offender for life.

Child molestation criminal charges fall under one of several Penal Code sections:

  • California Penal Code 243.4 is a criminal charge of sexual battery that can be either a felony or misdemeanor sex crime. This law applies if the child was 14 or 15 years old, and less than 10 years younger than you.
  • California Penal Code 287 is a felony crime of performing oral sex on the sexual organ of a child. Depending on the nature of the offense, the penalty can be up to 12 years in state prison.
  • California Penal Code 288(a) is a felony sex crime of lewd acts with a child under 14 that can lead to up to 8 years in state prison.
  • California Penal Code Section 288.5(a) is a felony sex crime of engaging in 3 or more lewd acts with a child under 14 years old. It can lead to up to 16 years in state prison. This is also known as continuous sexual abuse of a child.
  • California Penal Code 647.6 is a misdemeanor child molestation of any child under the age of 18 years old and can result in up to 1 year in county jail.

Los Angeles Child Molestation Attorney

What Counts as Molestation?

To secure a child molestation conviction, the prosecutor must prove that you touched the child or caused the child to touch you with the intent to cause arousal or gratify sexual desires. This is not limited to touching a sexual organ or touching the bare skin.

As a result, a conviction of child molestation charges can often depend on the evidence of interviews of you and the victim to determine the context and intent behind an alleged crime.

First Degree

First-degree child molestation involves a victim who is less than twelve years old, and an alleged perpetrator who is at least three years older than the child.

What Are the Penalties Related to This Crime?

Any felony sex crime and some misdemeanor sex crimes will result in lifetime registration as a sex offender. This can prevent you from living in certain areas, from being employed in certain roles, and from having contact with children, including your family.

In addition, after serving any custodial sentence, you may also be required to receive ongoing treatment. Child molestation can result in jail time of less than a year if you are found guilty of a misdemeanor offense. However, more severe charges can result in a sentence of up to 16 years in a California state prison.

Los Angeles Child Molestation lawyer

How Can I Defend Against a Child Molestation Charge?

A report of child molestation will be investigated by law enforcement and then forwarded to the district attorney’s office for prosecution. If you believe you may be under investigation for child molestation charges, it is important to contact a child molestation defense attorney as early in the process as possible.

It is also important to understand the investigation process. This will help you avoid mistakes that could damage your defense.

Typically, the victim is interviewed by police to take an initial report. In most cases involving children, police will refer the case for a forensic interview with an interviewer trained in questioning children who are victims of sexual abuse. This interview will aim to learn more about the full nature of the abuse beyond the initial report.

Police will also try to gather evidence of the child molestation. They may ask the victim or a relative to contact you and convince you to admit to the charge.

Law enforcement will also interview you throughout the process. Law enforcement is allowed to lie to you to get an admission of guilt. For example, they may claim to have evidence that does not exist, or convince you that making an admission will result in more lenient treatment.

It is vital to have a criminal defense lawyer present for any police interview, to ensure you do not say something to hurt your defense in court. Do not say anything to the police without a child molestation lawyer. Without an admission from you, law enforcement may not have enough evidence to file charges for prosecution.

The most common defenses to child molestation charges are:

  • The alleged victim was not a child at the time of the alleged crime.
  • The contact that took place was not sexual in nature.
  • The accuser is not telling the truth or has been persuaded not to tell the truth.

Contact a Los Angeles Child Molestation Lawyer for Free Consultation

If you face child molestation charges or believe that you are under investigation for a child molestation offense, contact us today to book a free consultation with an experienced child molestation defense attorney.

Our criminal defense attorneys can help prevent unfounded charges from being filed and get the best outcome for you in court.

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