Facing a criminal charge can be a harrowing ordeal. Molestation charges can be particularly difficult, as being accused of a sex crime is often ruinous to your reputation and, unlike other criminal offenses, can come along with a lifelong brand as a sex offender. Anyone living in the greater Los Angeles area who is charged with this crime is strongly encouraged to seek out a molestation defense attorney in Beverly Hills so they can have their side of the story be heard in a court of law.
California state laws on molestation
More than one section of the California Penal Code defines what lay people refer to as “molestation,” and the punishments for those convicted of these crimes range widely depending on the circumstances of the alleged molestation. Often, someone accused of molesting a child will face more than one of these charges. For example, California Penal Code Section 288 outlines the general definition of a “lewd and lascivious act against a minor” as touching any part of the body (of the minor, of the minor to you, or of the minor to themselves) for the purposes of the alleged perpetrator’s sexual arousal. However, there are different circumstances in which other charges may apply. Under California Penal Code Section 647, “molesting or annoying a minor under age 18” is a separate, but related, law pertaining to child molestation.
Penalties for those convicted of molestation
Like the laws themselves, punishments for those who are convicted of molestation vary according to the circumstances in which the molestation is alleged to have taken place.
Molestation could be a felony or a misdemeanor
Penalties for molestation may depend on whether the crime is classified as a felony or a misdemeanor. For example, anyone who is accused of misdemeanor molestation of a person under age 18 may pay a fine and receive up to one year of incarceration in a county jail—but felony molestation of a person under age 18 could mean several years of incarceration in a state penitentiary.
Age differences also play a role
Age differences between alleged perpetrator and victim also play a role in determining the possible penalty. If there is less than 10 years of difference between the two individuals and the minor is age 14 or age 15, the charge is less serious than if there were 10 or more years of age difference between the two parties. Anyone who is charged with having sex with a child under age 10, however, could be imprisoned for 25 years to life.
You have the right to defense in the courtroom
Don’t let a criminal charge destroy your life. If you have been accused of child molestation and you reside in Los Angeles County, contact a molestation defense attorney in Beverly Hills. Let the staff at Okabe and Haushalter put their legal expertise to work for you. We offer no-cost consultations, so you have nothing to lose by reaching out to discuss your case. We may be able to help you get charges and sentences reduced, so call now for a free case evaluation.
The Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Okabe & Haushalter are ready to fight to tooth and nail for you. You have most likely heard of our firm from our television appearances, newspaper articles and other media from the national and international covered cases we have handled.