Under California under Penal Code Section 288(a), oral copulation is a serious crime. Oral copulation is oral sex involving contact between one’s mouth to another’s genitals or anus. Oral sex between consenting adults is not a crime, but there are many ways in which it could become a crime of oral copulation.

Oral Copulation with a Minor (PC 288a)

Consequences of PC288a
The consequences of a PC288a charge are very severe.

If you are accused of oral copulation with a minor under PC 288a, how you will be charged will depend on the circumstances of your case. Oral copulation with a minor is broken up into three separate circumstances:

  • Oral copulation with a person under 18 years of age (wobbler offense);
  • Oral copulation with a minor under the age of 16, and you are at least 21 of age (felony offense); AND/OR
  • Oral copulation with a person under 14 years of age and you were at least 10 years or older than the alleged victim at the time of the oral sex act (felony offense)

It does not matter of the oral sex was voluntary. Under California law, minors do not have the ability to consent to sex, so it is a crime.

Note that oral copulation is essentially a strict liability crime, meaning that the prosecution does not need to prove that you intended to engage in oral sex before you committed the crime.

Consequences of Oral Copulation with a Minor under PC 288a

According to PC 288a, oral copulation with a minor is a “wobbler” offense, meaning that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. How you will be charged will depend on the circumstances of your case.

Oral copulation with a minor under the age of 18 is a wobbler offense, meaning you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. However, you will likely be charged with a felony that is punishable by 16 months, two or three years in prison. Oral copulation with someone under age 16 when you are at least 21 years old is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison. If you are charged with oral copulation with a victim 14 years old or younger and you were at least 10 years older than the victim, you could face up to eight years in prison.

Elements of an Oral Copulation Charge

Prosecution for a pc288a charge
The prosecution must prove certain elements in order for you to be convicted under PC288a

In order to be convicted of oral copulation with a person who is under 18 years old, the prosecution must prove the following:

  • You participated in an act of oral copulation with another person; AND
  • The other person was under the age of 18 when the act was committed.

To prove that you are guilty of oral copulation with a person under the age of 16 while you were 21 years old or older, the prosecution must prove that:

  • You participated in an act of oral copulation with another person;
  • You were at least 21 years old at the time of the act; AND
  • The other person was under the age of 16 years at the time of the act. 13

To convict you of oral copulation with a victim under the age of 14 and at least 10 years younger than you, the prosecution must prove that:

  • You participated in an act of oral copulation with another person; AND
  • At the time of the act, the other person was under the age of 14 and was at least 10 years younger than you.

Oral Copulation by Force or Threats of Force

In order to be convicted of oral copulation by means of force of threat, the prosecution must prove each of the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You either personally or significantly helped another commit an oral sex act against another;
  • The victim did not consent; AND
  • You overcame the victim’s free will by using “force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate bodily injury.”

If you are convicted of oral copulation by force or fear, you could be sentenced to up to eight years in prison. If the victim is under 14 years of age, you could face up to 12 years in prison.

Defenses to Oral Copulation

Our skilled criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich know the legal defenses to oral copulation. Some defense we have used to fight for our clients include:

  • Accusations of oral sex act were false
  • The statute of limitations has run out
  • Good faith belief that the victim was 18 years old or older

Call the Expert Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

Wallin & Klarich criminal defense.
Wallin & Klarich will be there when you call.

If you or a loved one has been charged with oral copulation or any sex crime, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled attorneys have been successfully defending clients facing charges of oral copulation for over 30 years. We can help you now.

With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, 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 (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

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