Being charged with committing a lewd or lascivious act in Ventura County is a serious offense. Under California Penal Code Section 288, it is a crime for a person to willfully and lewdly commit any lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body of a minor with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child. In other words, it is a crime to touch a minor’s body or have the minor touch your body for sexual arousal.
Committing a lewd or lascivious act in Ventura County can open you up to many potential charges. Specifically, Penal code section 288 defines various crimes involving lewd and lascivious acts on a minor. A defendant can be convicted of Penal Code section 288(a) which is a lewd or lascivious act on a minor. This involves any touching with the intent to arouse the sexual desires of the defendant or the child, and the child was under 14 years old. In addition, a defendant can be convicted of Penal Code section 288(b)(1) which is if the defendant committed the touching by force or fear. Moreover, if the person is not under the age of 14, the defendant can be convicted under Penal Code section 288(c)(1) if the child was 15 years old.
There are a number of defenses an experienced sex crimes attorney can assert when one is charged with lewd or lascivious acts on a minor in Ventura County. One can’t be convicted of committing these crimes if there was no touching involved. Thus, if there was only communication via email or phone, then one cannot be charged with committing lewd or lascivious acts. Most importantly, the touching must be willful; thus, an accidental touching is not considered willful. Furthermore, the defendant must have committed the act with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of themselves or the child. Thus, if the touching occurred for any other reason other than for sexual arousal than a person cannot be convicted. Keep in mind, a child giving their consent to be touched, is never a defense.
The consequences of being convicted of lewd or lascivious acts involve a lengthy jail sentence. With so much at stake, it is essential that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney before taking any action on your case. Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience defending the rights of our clients. Call us at (877) 466-5245 to learn more about your legal rights. We will be there when you call.