Is it a Crime to Set Up a Meeting with a Minor? (PC 288.4)
While using a dating app, you spark up a conversation with a girl who admits to being 15 years old. You decide to continue exchanging flirtatious texts and pictures with the girl. Then, you decide you want to meet her in person. When the time for the meeting comes, you realize it is not a good idea and you don’t go.
Could you still be accused of a crime for setting up a meeting with a minor?
Arranging a Meeting with a Minor for Lewd Purposes (PC 288.4)
Under California Penal Code Section 288.4, you could be charged with the crime of arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes if you:
- Arranged a meeting with a minor or a person you believed to be a minor
- When you did so, you were motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in the minor, and
- You intended to expose your genitals or pubic or rectal area, or have the minor expose his or her genitals or pubic or rectal area, or engage in lewd and lascivious behavior when at the meeting
As you can see, it does not require that you actually committed a lewd act involving the minor nor that you actually showed up for the meeting in order to be convicted. You could face charges under PC 288.4 simply for arranging a meeting with a minor.
Penalties for Arranging a Meeting with a Minor for Lewd Purposes
Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes is a wobbler offense under PC 288.4, which means it could be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony.
If convicted of a misdemeanor under PC 288.4, you face up to 364 days in county jail and fines of up to $5,000. You will also be required to register as a sex offender under PC 290 if you are convicted of arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes.
Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes is punished more severely if you are convicted of a felony. You could be charged with a felony for this crime if you:
- Have a prior conviction requiring sex offender registration, or
- You attended the meeting with the minor
A felony conviction under PC 288.4 carries up to four years in state prison and fines of up to $10,000 in addition to the requirement to register as a sex offender.
You do not have to face these harsh penalties alone. Contact our skilled sex crimes defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today so that we can discuss your case in detail and determine how we may be able to defend you.
Contact the Skilled Sex Crimes Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one is facing charges of arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes, it is important that you speak to an experienced sex crimes defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled sex crimes attorneys have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending clients facing charges under PC 288.4. 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 be there when you call.