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The crime of molestation is a serious one, and being accused of it can have serious ramifications, not only in terms of penalties under the law but also to your reputation. Your friends and family, neighbors and coworkers may treat you differently if they get wind of these accusations, even if the allegations are false. The California Penal Code has several statutes related to what people refer to as molestation. Speak to a molestation defense lawyer in Manhattan Beach if you are accused of any of these crimes and reside in the Los Angeles area to learn more about how to fight the charges against you.
Several different parts of the California Penal Code cover criminal offenses related to molestation. Some common charges include molesting or annoying a child, lewd and lascivious acts with a minor and statutory rape. In many cases, multiple charges can be prosecuted for the same alleged crime.
Molesting or annoying a child
Anyone over the age of 18 who is accused of molesting a person under the age of 18 can be charged under California Penal Code Section 647.6. Anyone convicted of this crime faces a penalty of less than one year in a local jail and a fine of up to 5,000 dollars.
Lewd acts with a minor
An adult person who is accused of committing lewd or lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14 can be charged under California Penal Code Section 288. The penalties for those convicted of these crimes depend on several factors including age of the minor, age difference between the minor and the defendant, and whether or not force was used. Also, repeat offenses are generally punished more harshly than first-time offenses.
California Penal Code Section 261.5 covers the offense of statutory rape, where an adult and a minor engage in sexual intercourse. The use of force and age differences between involved parties play a large role in the application of this law, where a 17-year-old having non-forcible intercourse with an 18-year-old is not punished as severely as a 15-year-old having intercourse with a 55-year-old.
Punishments for these crimes range from short-term jail sentences and smaller fines to lengthy prison incarceration and fines in the tens of thousands of dollars. One penalty all these crimes have in common when convicted is compulsory sex offender registration under California Penal Code Section 290. This registration means that your personal data would be made available to the public, and this data could include your photo, name, address, and the details of the crime you were convicted of. Some offenses call for lifelong registration, while others require registration for a limited period of time, such as ten years.
You don’t have to go up against these charges alone. Okabe and Haushalter can connect you with a molestation defense lawyer in Manhattan Beach who can help you fight your case in court. Our attorneys are experienced professionals with a track record of proven results. We can help you navigate your options as a defendant and can negotiate a satisfying outcome for your case. Call today for a free case assessment.