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If you have been arrested for or are under investigation for a sex offense, your charges will be drawn from the California Penal Code Title 9, which are the “crimes against the person involving sexual assault, and crimes against public decency and good morals” as a California resident or someone who has otherwise committed this type of offense in the state of California. If this is your first charge of this nature, or even if you have been labeled a habitual offender, there are certain things you should know. Below are some of the most common questions about sex crimes detailed under this title of the penal code- from rape allegations to sex offender registration.
I’ve been charged with statutory rape, but the sex was consensual. Is this lawful?
According to § 261.5 of the California Penal Code, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor (someone under the age of 18) or “statutory rape” charges can stand regardless of whether or not there was consent. The law views individuals under the age of 18 as unable to lawfully give their consent, as they are still under the age of consent, which is 18. So long as the minor is not married to the alleged perpetrator, this criminal charge can stand.
Can I be legally charged with rape if the alleged victim is my spouse?
Unlawful sexual intercourse (statutory rape) charges cannot stand if the alleged victim is the legal spouse of the alleged perpetrator. However, there are some instances in which rape can be charged even when the victim is the perpetrator’s spouse. According to § 262 of the penal code, rape against a spouse can be accomplished by means of force, violence, duress, fear or intimidation. There are also certain other circumstances that could constitute rape against a spouse- for more information on this topic, please refer to § 262 of the California Penal Code.
Can I be arrested for lewd conduct or indecent exposure for urinating in public?
According to § 314 of the penal code, lewd conduct or indecent exposure involves “willfully and lewdly” exhibiting a private part when there are other persons present. If you are arrested for indecent exposure in this way, a possible defense could be that you did not know other people were present or you did not intend to offend or annoy anyone by this action.
What are the penalties for hiring a prostitute in California?
Prostitution is illegal in the state of California. It is illegal to engage in prostitution just as it is illegal to solicit or agree to engage in the act of prostitution according to California Penal Code § 647. This means that the prostitute can be arrested and charged just as the “customer” can be arrested and charged. The penalties for hiring a prostitute and engaging in the act of prostitution in this state are imprisonment and fines in varying degrees. For a first offense, this is a misdemeanor that could warrant up to six months in county jail and fines not to exceed $1,000.
What are my defenses if I’ve been accused of date rape?
Date rape laws are detailed in § 261 of the California Penal Code. By definition, rape is unlawful sexual intercourse accomplished without the consent of the victim. When a perpetrator allegedly intoxicates or drugs their victim for the purpose of sexual assault, this is date rape. If a victim is drugged or inebriated, they cannot lawfully give their consent. In light of this, date rape charges can be defended a few different ways. One possible defense is claiming that you were wrongfully accused. If a DNA test does not match the perpetrator’s DNA, then the charges should be dropped. Another possible defense is that there actually was consent or that the “victim” ingested the drugs or alcohol knowingly and of their own will.
Can a sex offense be expunged or removed from my record?
In some cases, yes. According to § 299 of the California Penal Code, “a person who has no past or present qualifying offense, and for whom there otherwise is no legal basis for retaining (DNA specimen and database profile), may make a written request to have his or her specimen destroyed and their profile expunged from the data bank program.”
Can I be arrested on child pornography charges for simply viewing and not downloading?
California child pornography laws can be found in the penal code § 311.3 and 311.11. Child pornography can be charged as a state offense or as a federal offense, depending on the circumstances, since there are both U.S. and state codes that forbid it. That being said, the penal code makes it illegal to knowingly possess OR control matter that depicts someone under the age of 18 engaging in sexual acts. If investigators determined that you intentionally and deliberately searched to view this type of content, even without downloading it, then you may be arrested.
If you have more questions about the various sex offenses in the state of California or those sex offenses that qualify as federal crimes, please do not hesitate to consult with a Los Angeles sex crime attorney at our firm. Okabe & Haushalter are extremely experienced with these types of cases, and can fight to see that you don’t face the lifelong repercussions such as social stigmas, sex offender registration and more.