Engaging in a sexual act where both participants consent seems harmless. This type of behavior is a normal part of a romantic relationship. However, the act of oral copulation may subject you to serious charges depending upon your age and the age of the person you engaged in oral copulation with.
Oral copulation is generally defined under PC 288(a) as any contact, no matter how slight, between the mouth of one person and the sexual organ or anus of another person. Such an act by itself is not a crime. However, you may face serious charges depending upon the circumstances of your situation.
Prosecution of Oral Copulation
To convict you of oral copulation under PC 288a, the prosecution must prove at a minimum that you participated in an act of oral copulation with another person. This is the basic requirement for a PC 288a conviction.
To convict you under 288a(b)(1), the prosecution must also prove that:
- • The other person was under the age of 18 when you committed the act
To convict you under PC 288a(b)(2), the prosecution must prove in addition to the above-mentioned basic requirement that:
- • You were at least 21 years old at the time of the act, and
- • The other person was under the age of 16 at the time of the act
To convict you under PC 288a(c)(1), the prosecution must prove the following in addition to the above-mentioned basic requirement:
- • At the time of the act, the other person was under the age of 14 and was at least 10 years younger than you
To convict you of oral copulation by force, fear or threats under PC 288a(c)(2) & (3) and (k), the prosecution must prove that, along with the above-mentioned basic requirement:
- • The other person did not consent to the act, and
- • You accomplished the act by:
- o Force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury to someone,
- o Threatening to retaliate against someone when there was a reasonable possibility that the threat would be carried out, or
- o Threatening to use the authority of a public office to incarcerate, arrest, or deport someone.
Punishment if convicted under PC 288a
A PC288a(b)(1) charge for oral copulation with a person under 18 years of age is a “wobbler”. This means that the prosecution has the option to charge the crime as a felony or misdemeanor. A felony conviction is punishable by imprisonment in state prison for up to 3 years. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by imprisonment in county jail for up to one year.
If you are 21 years of age or older and are convicted of engaging in an act of oral copulation with another person who is under 16 years of age, you face a felony conviction. This conviction is punishable by imprisonment in state prison for up to 3 years.
Under PC 288a(c)(1), oral copulation with a minor under 14 years old of age when you are at least 10 years older than the minor is a felony punishable by imprisonment in state prison for a period of 3, 6, or 8 years.
If you are convicted of oral copulation by force, fear or threats under PC 288a(c)(2) & (3) and (k), you face a felony conviction punishable by imprisonment in state prison for 3, 6 or 8 years.
If you are convicted under PC 288a, you must register as a sex offender. This registration is public and potential employers, family members or friends may become aware of your status.
Sex Crimes Lawyer
The Sex Crimes Lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully defending clients facing oral copulation charges for over 30 years. This extensive experience has allowed us to familiarize ourselves with the most effective defenses to oral copulation charges.
From the moment you retain us, we will work to mount an aggressive and effective defense to help you win your case. We will maintain frequent contact with the prosecutor in order to obtain all discovery on your case. We will also aggressively negotiate with the prosecutor to help you get the charges dropped or reduced.
When you are accused of oral copulation under PC 288a, there is too much at stake to not retain the top-notch defense Wallin & Klarich can provide you.
We have the skill and experience to help you win your case. Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks. Call us today at (877) 230-1528. We will be there when you call.