The state of California harshly prosecutes individuals convicted of sexually molesting a child. Penal Code 288 is one example of a child sex crime charge. It is used to prosecute lewd acts with a child under 14.
A lewd act does now always involve blatant sexual contact. Touching a child with sexual intent can lead to a PC 288 accusation. The Simmrin Law Group can help you fight this charge.
Lewd Acts with a Child Under 14 Charges
Lewd conduct is always against the law in California. Basic lewd conduct charges are prosecuted under Penal Code 647(a). This charge defines lewd acts as:
- Touching someone for the purposes of sexual arousal
- Making someone touch themselves for sexual arousal
- Making someone touch another person for sexual arousal
PC 288 deals specifically with lewd conduct involving minors under 14. Lewd conduct does not always involve explicitly sexual acts. In fact, this charge can be levied even if the accused does not touch a sexual organ or touch a minor under their clothes.
Encouraging a minor to perform sexual touching is against the law. Generating your own sexual arousal by touching a minor is also against the law. Attempting to generate arousal in a minor is a crime, even if the accused did not become aroused.
PC 288 is an example of a child molestation charge in California. Performing a sex act with someone under the age of 18 is prosecuted as child molestation. Examples of other child molestation charges include:
- Performing oral copulation on a minor
- Sending a minor explicit or obscene material
- Continuous sexual abuse of a child
- Unlawful sex with a minor
All of these are serious offenses in the state of California. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you fight these criminal charges. Just call (310) 997-4688.
Penalties for Conviction
A basic conviction under PC 288 can lead to fines of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to eight years.
However, individuals may face up to 10 years in prison if they use force to commit a lewd act. Individuals who inflict bodily harm could end up spending life in prison. Additionally, all PC 288 violations require an individual to register as a sex offender.
Individuals convicted of a PC 288 violation can also face:
- Consequences affecting immigration
- The removal of any professional licenses they held
- The revocation of their right to own or buy firearms
- A “strike” on their record
California has a “Three Strikes” law. Individuals who have a “strike” on their record face higher penalties if they are convicted of additional felonies. Individuals convicted of three “strike” felonies face life in prison in California.
A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you defend your case if you are accused of committing lewd acts with a child. Your lawyer can work to show that:
- Any perceived “lewd” contact was accidental
- You did not intend to create sexual arousal
- You were mistakenly accused of molestation
In these situations, your lawyer can defend your case in court and possibly reduce the charges against you.
Let Us Help You Fight a Penal Code 288 Charge
Penal Code 288 is a sex crime in California. This charge is used to prosecute lewd acts with a child under 14. This is an example of child molestation. The Simmrin Law Group can help you if you are charged with a sex crime. Find out more by contacting us for a free consultation at (310) 997-4688. You can also complete our online contact form.