It is against the law for a caregiver to touch a dependent person in a sexual way in California. This act is prosecuted under Penal Code 288b2. Lewd acts by a caregiver on a dependent person is considered a felony in this state.
A conviction under PC 288b2 could result in prison time and fines. Individuals also have to register as a sex offender after a conviction. Get additional information about how to fight this charge from the Simmrin Law Group by calling (310) 997-4688.
Lewd Conduct in California
Lewd conduct is a stand-alone criminal charge in California. The state uses Penal Code 647(a) to prosecute lewd conduct. According to PC 647(a), lewd conduct occurs if someone touches another person on the breasts, buttocks, or genitals.
However, not all touches to these areas are considered lewd conduct. Individuals must act with the intent to cause sexual arousal in order to face lewd conduct charges. These charges may also apply if someone makes another person touch themselves for sexual gratification so they can watch.
Lewd conduct is a sex crime in California. A lewd act by a caregiver is an example of this kind of charge. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you learn more about how to fight lewd conduct accusations.
Lewd Acts by a Caregiver on a Dependent Person
PC 288b2 does not apply to all cases involving lewd conduct. In fact, these charges only occur in specific situations. Individuals may face these charges only if they work as a “caregiver” or “caretaker.” The court uses a specific legal definition for caregivers. These are individuals who work in a public or private facility that provides care for dependent persons or individuals over the age of 65.
Caretakers can be:
- Operators or owners
- Independent contractors
Additionally, this charge only applies if the alleged victim was a “dependent person.” The law defines “dependent persons” as those with an impairment that limits their abilities to perform normal activities or protect themselves.
Individuals must experience a mental or physical impairment to be considered “dependent” under the law. Charges under PC 288b2 should only apply if the accused used force or fear to perform a lewd act. Force is the use of physical strength or violence. Fear refers to threats of physical violence.
Convictions for Lewd Acts by a Caregiver on a Dependent Person
Individuals face felony charges for a PC 288b2 accusation in California. Felonies are the harshest criminal charges used in our state. Individuals who are convicted of lewd acts by a caregiver on a dependent person can face up to 10 years of prison time.
Further, all individuals convicted under PC 288b2 must register as sex offenders. PC 288b2 convictions require a life-long registry as a sex offender. Individuals must update their registration every year and each time they move.
Failure to register as a sex offender is also a crime in California. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you learn more about the sex offender registry. Get answers to your legal questions now by calling (310) 997-4688.
Build a Defense Against PC 288b2 Charges in California
There are defenses available to you if you are involved in a PC 288b2 case in California. A lawyer can assess your specific situation to help you with these charges. Depending upon your situation, your lawyer may be able to show that:
You Were Not Working as a Caretaker
PC 288b2 charges only apply if you were working as a caretaker at the time of the accusation. Contact a lawyer if you are not sure whether you qualified as a caretaker during the time in question.
The Act Did Not Involve a Dependent Person
Additionally, PC 288b2 charges are levied if a dependent individual is exposed to a lewd act. However, if the alleged victim was not a dependent person, these charges should not apply. You may still face other charges for lewd conduct, though, which is why it’s important to contact a lawyer today to discuss your case.
Speak to a Lawyer About a PC 288b2 Accusation in California
If you have been accused of a lewd act by a caregiver on a dependent person under Penal Code 288b2, the Simmrin Law Group can help. Just complete our online contact form or call us at (310) 997-4688. Our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles are prepared to assess your case now.
Find out more with a free consultation.