Being charged with molestation can come like a punch in the gut. If you have been accused of this crime, you may be experiencing a range of feelings—confused, afraid, and upset. Being accused of molestation can leave you feeling isolated like you have no one left on your side. However, you don’t have to face your charges alone. If you have been accused of molestation in the Bay Area, a criminal molestation attorney in Brentwood can stand by you in court and defend your case.
Multiple sections of the California Penal Code cover molestation, and as such, someone accused of molestation may face multiple criminal charges. Different charges come with different penalties, some more serious than others. One factor that plays a large role in determining the charge and the punishment for someone convicted of that charge is age—specifically, the age of the alleged victim and the age of the defendant. For example, anyone over age 18 may be facing a charge of “lewd and lascivious act with a minor” under Section 288 of the Penal Code if they are alleged to have engaged in sexual behavior with someone under the age of 14. However, California law takes into account age differences. If the defendant is a decade or older than the alleged victim, they will face more serious charges than if the age gap were less wide. There are some instances where the age difference between the alleged victim and the accused doesn’t matter, though—for example, anyone convicted of having sex with a child under 10 years of age faces 25 years to life in state prison.
Molestation charges can vary, and so do the punishments doled out by the court. While some molestation charges may be misdemeanors with county jail time and smaller fines as the penalty, other charges could be considered felonious—for example, when there is a large age gap between the alleged victim and the accused—and garner sizeable fines and several years in the state prison. Of course, prison time and fines are not the only way people who are convicted of molestation are penalized: they also may have to register as sex offenders under Section 290 of the California Penal Code. This registration is for a lifetime, and can severely limit employment and housing options for the convicted party.
Are you facing a molestation charge in the Bay Area? Contact a criminal molestation attorney in Brentwood to learn more about your rights as a defendant. The team at Okabe and Haushalter specializes in criminal law and can set up a solid defense strategy for your case in the court of law. Molestation is a serious charge, and we are serious professionals who have the legal know-how to help you get your charges and penalties reduced. Call today for a free consultation. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can work together toward getting your life back on track.