Committing lewd acts with a minor under PC 288 is a serious offense. If you are convicted of violating California Penal Code Section 288, you face up to eight years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. These are harsh consequences. However, in order for you to face these penalties, the prosecution must first prove three important things about the alleged incident.
For you to be convicted of lewd acts with a minor under PC 288, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You willfully and lewdly touched any part of a child’s body, or you willfully caused the child to touch your body or the body of someone else
- You committed the act with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying your lust, passions, or sexual desires, or the lust, passions, or sexual desires of the child, AND
- The child was under the age of 14 at the time of the act
To fully understand the crime of lewd acts with a minor, let’s take an in-depth look at each of these elements of PC 288.
You willfully and lewdly touched a child’s body or caused the child to touch his or her own body or the body of someone else
There are two parts to this element of PC 288. The first is that you acted “willfully.” This means you purposefully and deliberately took the action of touching a minor. If the touching was committed due to an accident, it means you did not act willfully, and thus your sex crimes attorney may have a valid defense to charges of lewd acts on a minor.
The second aspect of this element of PC 288 is “lewdly.” Neither PC 288 nor the jury instructions for this crime under CALCRIM 1110 offer a specific definition of the term “lewdly.” However, we can deduce from the CALCRIM 1110 that it means you touched the alleged victim’s body in any way on the bare skin or over the clothing of the alleged victim, or you caused the child to touch his or her own body or the body of someone else in any way.
You committed the act with the intent of sexual arousal or gratification
Not only must the prosecution show that the touching was done willfully, they must prove that you committed the act with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying your lust, passions or sexual desires, or the lust, passions or sexual desires of the child.
The prosecution will need to prove that your actions were done with sexual intent. It is important to note that you do not have to actually become sexually aroused to be convicted of this crime. As long as your intent was sexual arousal or gratification, you could be convicted of a violation of PC 288.
Intent is difficult to prove, so the prosecution will attempt to show that the circumstances of the incident prove your intent was sexual gratification.
The child was under the age of 14
This element of the crime is straightforward. If the alleged victim was under the age of 14 at the time the alleged incident took place, you could face charges of lewd acts with a minor under PC 288.
Contact the Sex Crimes Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or someone you love is facing charges of lewd acts with a minor under PC 288, you should speak to an experienced sex crimes attorney at Wallin & Klarich immediately. Our skilled and knowledgeable sex crimes lawyers have been successfully defending clients facing PC 288 charges for more than 35 years. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich sex crimes attorney available near you no matter where you are located.
Call our office today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.