Wallin & Klarich has been in business close to 40 years and, in that time, we have seen California police and prosecutors become much more aggressive in investigating and prosecuting sexual activity between minors. This includes consensual sex acts between underage people, as well as “sexting” – where participants send sexually explicit images of themselves to one another, which are classified as child pornography. Gone are the days when the most teens had to fear was a stern lecture from their teachers or parents about the risks of pregnancy and sexual transmission of diseases.
It indeed is a scary time for young people who, like generations before them, are simply trying to find their place in the world and, in the process, sometimes make poor decisions. Whenever a minor is under investigation for or charged with, a sex crime, that minor needs aggressive and experienced representation as soon as possible.
While California law, on the surface, does try to take account of a person’s age, a minor can, under California law, be classified as a sex offender and may in some cases have to register as a sex offender per California Penal Code section 290.
There are certain sex crimes that can result in a juvenile being charged as an adult and prosecuted in adult court as opposed to juvenile court. These sex offenses include:
- Rape with force, violence, or threat of great bodily harm [CA Penal Code 261].
- Sodomy by force, violence, duress, menace, or threat of great bodily harm [CA Penal Code 286].
- A lewd or lascivious act on a person under 14 committed with force, duress or threat of bodily harm as described in Penal Code section 288, subdivision (b).
- Oral copulation by force, violence, duress, menace, or threat of great bodily harm [CA Penal Code 288(a)].
- Sexual penetration by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of unlawful bodily injury. (Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code, § 707, subd. (b).)
Of course, if a minor is prosecuted in adult court, and thereafter convicted of violating any of these statutes, the minor would have to register as sex offender. (Cal. Pen. Code, § 290, subd. (c).)
Alarmingly, the law also provides that some juveniles prosecuted in California juvenile court for certain California sex crimes (including those mentioned above) must register as sex offenders. The law provides that any juvenile prosecuted in juvenile court and sentenced to serve a term in the Division of Juvenile Justice (formerly known as the California Youth Authority), must register as a sexual offender. (Cal. Pen. Code, § 290.008.)
As mentioned, if your child is being investigated for a California sex offense, your child needs representation immediately. You cannot assume that law enforcement, prosecutors, and courts will brush the matter off as “just kids’ stuff” as they may have in prior generations. The experienced representation by Wallin & Klarich could make the difference between giving your child a bright future, and branding your child a sex offender.
Contact Experienced Sex Crimes Attorney Wallin & Klarich
If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex-related crime, contact the sex crime defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich as soon as possible. With over 37 years of experience, our attorneys have the skills and knowledge to successfully defend you. We are committed to providing you with the personal attention you deserve and expect to help your family and your child overcome this difficult situation.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Call our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (714) 386-7128 for a free phone consultation. We’ll get through this together.