February 24, 2015 By Stephen Klarich

Oral Copulation with a Minor: Is Consent a Valid Defense? (California Penal Code Section 288a)

Oral Copulation with a MinorOral copulation with a minor is a serious sex offense in California. Under California Penal Code Section 288a, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony if you commit oral copulation with a minor under 18 years old.

A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in county jail, while a felony is punishable by up to three years in state prison. You will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life if you are convicted of oral copulation with a minor.

You could face more serious penalties depending on a number of circumstances, including:

  • The age of the victim,
  • Your age, and
  • The circumstances surrounding the alleged act.

But what if the oral copulation is consensual? Is this is a valid defense to oral copulation with a minor charges?

Minors Cannot Consent

Many people charged with oral copulation with a minor believe that they will not be convicted because the minor consented to the act. However, in California, minors do not have the ability to legally consent to any sexual act. Therefore, it does not matter if the minor was willing to participate in the act, or if both parties to the act were minors. You could be charged with oral copulation with a minor even if you think the minor has consented to the act.

However, consent can be a valid defense if the victim alleges the oral copulation was committed by force, fear, or threats under PC 288a(c)(2),(3), and (k).

Valid Defenses to Oral Copulation with a Minor Charges

At Wallin & Klarich, our experienced criminal defense attorneys have used a number of valid legal defenses to successfully protect our clients from oral copulation with a minor charges. Some of these defenses include:

Lack of Knowledge

Your attorney could argue that you were unaware that the alleged victim was a minor. A Wallin & Klarich lawyer could provide the following evidence when using this defense:

  • The physical appearance of the alleged victim
  • Whether the alleged victim told you she was an adult
  • Witness statements

False Accusation

Your skilled attorney could raise the defense that you have been falsely accused of oral copulation with a minor. If the crime did not actually occur or you were accused of a crime that another person committed, your lawyer can raise this defense.

In order to convict you of a crime, the prosecution has the burden of proving that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If evidence against you is not convincing beyond a reasonable doubt, your skilled attorney may be able to have the charges dropped or reduced.

Call the Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

If you or a loved one is facing charges of oral copulation with a minor, your entire future is at stake. That is why you need to speak with the experienced sex crimes attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today. Our knowledgeable attorneys have been successfully defending our clients facing oral copulation with a minor charges for over 30 years. We can help you with your case.

We have offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville so that we can help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us now at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5425 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

1 comment

  1. Now that the California Supreme Court has reversed itself in the matter of its 2006 decision in People v. Hofsheier, do you believe the California Legislature will address the inequity between sentences for sexual intercourse with a minor and oral copulation with a minor, especially given the inclusion of cases involving either gay or lesbian couples involved in such cases? Wouldn’t you agree that compelling one convicted party to register as a sex offender (oral copulation) and not the other, sexual intercourse, in the instance of gays or lesbians is discriminatory? Lesbians do not have the “hardware,” if you will, to have sexual intercourse and gays cannot commit sexual intercourse as it is conventionally understood. What a mess this will cause, as it did for a friend who was told by a girl she was 19. Sent her a photo the judge said was very persuasive, but was then convicted and required to register for life.

    Is this inequity perhaps something the Legislature ought to be considering since it works so hard on behalf of the rights of gays and lesbians in all other things?

    Thank you.

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