Amid the festivities at the family holiday party, you hugged and touched your 9-year old niece. You considered this behavior to be playful, but you are now being charged with lewd and lascivious acts upon a minor. This charge is also commonly known as “child molestation” and if you are convicted of this crime you can face extremely serious consequences. The skilled child molestation attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are ready to fight for your rights.
What is the prosecution’s burden under California Penal Code 288?
The prosecution must prove all three of the following elements in order to convict you of lewd and lascivious acts upon a minor:
- 1. 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.
- 2. 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
- 3. The child was under the age of 14 at the time of the act.
Sentence and Punishment for lewd and lascivious acts upon a minor
Your potential sentence under California Penal Code 288 depends on whether force was involved and if the child was a minor aged 14 or 15.
Sentence for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under PC 288(a)
In California, PC 288(a) is a felony that may subject you to imprisonment for up to eight years. However, in certain instances, a person convicted under PC 288(a) may be eligible for probation. The criteria affecting the court’s decision to grant probation include:
- • The facts of the crime,
- • The accuser’s vulnerability,
- • Any unusual circumstances, and
- • Comparable cases.
Sentence for lewd and lascivious acts with a child using force, threat, or duress under PC 288(b)
If you are convicted of force, duress, or a threat to commit the lewd or lascivious act upon the minor, then the consequences will be more severe. A violation of PC 288(b) may result in imprisonment in state prison for up to ten years. A conviction under 288(b) will make you ineligible for probation.
Sentence for lewd and lascivious acts with a minor aged 14 or 15 under PC 288(c)
If you are convicted of a lewd or lascivious act upon a child who is 14 or 15 years old, and you were ten years older than the victim at the time of the action, you may be subject to a lengthy prison sentence. PC 288(c) is a “wobbler” that may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor under PC 288(c), you may face up to one year in county jail. If you are convicted of a felony under PC 288(c), you may face up to three years in state prison.
Defenses for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under California Penal Code 288
The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can raise a number of successful defenses on your behalf if you are facing child molestation charges. These may include:
You may not be convicted under PC 288 if the touching was unintentional. Your Wallin & Klarich child molestation defense attorney can assist you in showing the court that the touching was not performed willfully.
Lack of Intent
You may not be convicted under PC 288 if the touching was not performed with the intent to cause sexual gratification. Your Wallin & Klarich attorney can use the facts and circumstances surrounding your case to show that the touching was not done for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.
No Force of Fear
A skilled Wallin & Klarich attorney can help show that you did not utilize force or fear in committing the lewd or lascivious act. Although this may be a defense to PC 288(b), you may still be charged with the lesser offense of PC 288(a) or PC 288(c).
Why you should hire the child molestation defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have successfully defended clients charged with lewd and lascivious acts upon a child for over 30 years. When you are accused of such a serious crime, there is too much at stake to retain any other law firm other than Wallin & Klarich. Our attorneys will aggressively defend your rights and keep you informed of developments.. We have the skill and experience needed to help you win your case.
Our offices are conveniently located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks. Call us today at (877) 466-5245. We will get through this together.