00
March 8, 2016
charged with oral copulation
Have you been charged with oral copulation? Here’s what to do.

What You’ll Find In This Article:

Oral copulation is a serious crime in California, but many people do not understand what exactly “oral copulation” is. Under California Penal Code Section 288a, oral copulation is the act of engaging in oral sex act with:

  • A minor under 18 years of age;
  • A person who is intoxicated, asleep or unconscious, OR
  • A person who is forced to engage in the act against his/her will.

If you are accused of oral copulation, you face severe consequences. That is why you need to act immediately and understand what happens next.

1. Don’t Speak to Law Enforcement

Many times in oral copulation cases, investigators will attempt to coerce suspects into admitting they committed a crime. That is why it is extremely important that you do not make any statements to police if you are under investigation for oral copulation.

Do not provide the police with any types of statements. Instead, politely decline to talk to them without the presence of your lawyer. Your attorney could advise you of what to say to the police before you speak to them so that you do not incriminate yourself.

2. Talk to an Experienced Attorney

Now that you understand not to talk to law enforcement about the case, the next step to take is to speak to an experienced oral copulation defense attorney. Your attorney could help protect you from tactics that police may use to try to get you to admit to a crime.

Your criminal defense attorney will also work to try to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed before the case goes to trial.

3. Know the Potential Consequences You’re Facing

Oral copulation is a “wobbler” offense, meaning that you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of your case. Misdemeanor charges carry a sentence of up to 364 days in county jail. However, many oral copulation cases result in felony charges. If you are charged with felony oral copulation, you face up to eight years in prison.

There are other circumstances, such as the age of the victim, which could add more time to your sentence. You will likely also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life if you are convicted of oral copulation.

What Happens Next?

The best thing you could do if you are facing oral copulation charges is work with your criminal defense lawyer. Telling your attorney all the facts of your case will help when determining a defense specific for you.

One thing your attorney will likely do is have you undergo a psychological evaluation with a doctor. The results of this evaluation could help establish that you do not fit the profile of someone who would commit this type of crime.

There are many other defenses our law firm has successfully used to defend our clients facing oral copulation charges. Our attorneys can work with you to figure out the best defense in your case.

Call the Oral Copulation Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you or a loved one is charged with oral copulation, you need to contact an experienced sex crimes attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled attorneys have been successfully defending clients facing oral copulation charges for over 38 years. We will meet with you immediately to review the facts of your case and plan a defense strategy that will help you get the best outcome possible.

With offices located in Los Angeles, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (714) 386-7061 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’s)

What is Unlawful Oral Copulation?

Illegal oral copulation means putting the mouth of one person on the sex organ or anus of another person without that person’s consent.

California oral copulation laws under Penal Code Section 288a (PC 288a) define unlawful, nonconsensual acts of oral sex and authorize the punishment you may receive if you are convicted of any of these crimes.

Penal Code Section 288a is categorized according to certain factors which affect the severity of the crime, including:

  • The age of the victim, which is usually the younger person if there is a difference in age;
  • The age difference between the persons involved;
  • Whether the act was voluntary or forced;
  • Whether a third party (or more) contributed to the act; and
  • Whether the victim was unaware or unable to resist the act.

It is very important that you understand that while a minor under the age of 18 may choose to participate in oral sex, this does not mean that his or her “voluntary” participation indicates consent. Minors cannot legally consent to sexual activity in California.

What is the Punishment for an Oral Copulation Conviction?

If you are found guilty of violating California oral copulation laws, you can be sentenced and punished as follows:

  • PC 288a (b)(1): Participating in oral copulation with a minor under age 18 is a “wobbler” offense, meaning it may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on:
    • the facts of the case, and
    • the ages of the participants.

A misdemeanor carries up to one year in jail. A felony is punishable by 16 months, or 2 or 3 years in prison.

  • PC 288a (b)(2): Oral copulation with a minor under the age of 16 if the accused is 21 years or older is a felony, punishable by 16 months, or 2 or 3 years in prison.
  • PC 288a (c)(1): Oral copulation with a minor under the age of 14 who is 10 or more years younger than the accused is a felony strike, punishable by 3, 6 or 8 years in prison.
  • PC 288a (c)(2): Oral copulation involving force or fear between adults is a felony strike, which is punishable by 3, 6 or 8 years in prison;
  • PC 288a (c)(2)(B): Oral copulation involving force or fear with a child victim under 14 is a felony strike, punishable by 8, 10 or 12 years in prison;
  • PC 288a (c)(2)(C): Oral copulation involving force or fear with a minor victim ages 14 to 17 is a felony strike, punishable by 6, 8 or 10 years in prison;
  • PC 288a (c)(3): Oral copulation by threat of future retaliation or harm to the victim or another person is a felony strike, punishable by 3, 6 or 8 years in prison;
  • PC 288a (d)(1): Oral copulation while voluntarily acting in concert with another person with force or fear involving an adult victim is a felony strike, punishable by 5,7 or 9 years in prison;
  • PC 288a (d)(2): Oral copulation while voluntarily acting in concert with another person with force or fear involving a child victim under 14 is a felony strike, punishable by 10, 12 or 14 years in prison;
  • PC 288a (d)(3): Oral copulation while voluntarily acting in concert with another person with force or fear involving a minor victim ages 14-17 is a felony strike, punishable by 8, 10 or 12 years in prison;
  • PC 288a (f)-(g): Oral copulation with an adult victim unconscious, unaware or unable to give legal consent (due to a mental disorder, development or physical disability) is a felony, punishable by 3, 6 or 8 years in prison.

All felony violations of California oral copulation laws are punishable by a sentence served in prison. Additionally, a strike conviction under California’s Three Strikes Law means you must serve a minimum of 85% of your prison sentence before you are eligible for release onto parole if you are sentenced to prison. It is a serious matter if you are charged for oral copulation.

Will I Need to Register as A Sex Offender for an Oral Copulation Conviction?

Under current law A conviction for oral copulation in California is subject to lifetime sex offender registration. However, beginning on January 1, 2021, California will change to a tiered registration system. Under that system people convicted of sex offenses will have to register for 10 years, 20 years or life depending on the crime for which they were convicted. 

  • hether a third party (or more) contributed to the act; and
  • Whether the victim was unaware or unable to resist the act.

It is very important that you understand that while a minor under the age of 18 may choose to participate in oral sex, this does not mean that his or her “voluntary” participation indicates consent. Minors cannot legally consent to sexual activity in California.

Your Answer

Author:Stephen D. Klarich

Stephen D. Klarich is one of the most highly respected sex crime attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Klarich a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Klarich founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Klarich has been successfully representing clients for more than 38 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors, felonies and other sex crimes. View all posts by Stephen D. Klarich.

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.