California Penal Code Section 647.6: Annoying or Molesting a Child offers protection to individuals under the age of 18 in California. Annoying or molesting a child can be considered a type of child molestation in Los Angeles. As a sex crime against minors, annoying or molesting a child is often harshly punished in court.
There are defenses that can be used if you are facing charges under PC 647.6. The Simmrin Law Group can help you understand the charges you are facing and the best ways to legally handle any accusation of molesting or annoying a child.
Annoying or Molesting a Child: Definition
Individuals in California can be charged under PC 647.6 if they engage in conduct that could irritate or disturb a child. This behavior must be driven by a sexual desire that is focused on the child or children in general. Annoying or molesting a child does not have to involve physically touching a child. Individuals can be convicted simply for making sexual comments.
According to the legal codes in California, individuals may be convicted under PC 647.6 if they engage in sexual conduct with:
- Someone Under 18
- Someone They Believe to be Under 18
This charge can be tied to a number of other criminal acts in Los Angeles, including:
Annoying or Molesting a Child: Defenses
A strong defense is important when dealing with any possible sex crimes, including PC 647.6. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles may be able to build a defense to argue:
You Were Falsely Accused
False allegations of annoying or molesting a child can be made. Sometimes these allegations are an honest mistake by someone who is worried about the welfare of a child. At other times, false allegations are made intentionally.
You Thought You Were Talking to an Adult
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if someone is over the age of 18 or not. Individuals who believed they were speaking with someone over the age of 18 should not be charged with annoying or molesting a child.
You Experienced No Sexual Interest
Annoying or molesting a child requires individuals to act out of sexual desire for a child or children. A lawyer may be able to argue that you did not experience this desire.
Normal People Would Not Be Bothered by Your Actions
Generally, the state of California holds that an individual may be molesting or annoying a child if they behave in a way that normal people would find:
A professional sex crimes lawyer may be able to argue that your actions would not be viewed this way.
Annoying or Molesting a Child: Penalties
A conviction for PC 647.6 can have severe repercussions. Generally, a first time charge of annoying or molesting a child is viewed as a misdemeanor by the court system in Los Angeles. Individuals who are convicted could face:
- Fines: Up to $5,000
- Jail Time: Up to 1 Year
Note that there are factors that could allow the court to charge annoying or molesting a child as a felony. Individuals could face felony charges if:
- They Enter an Inhabited Structure Without Permission
- They Were Previously Convicted of Annoying or Molesting a Child
- They Were Previously Convicted of Other Sex Offenses
Depending on the exact circumstances surrounding a charge under PC 647.6, you could end up sentenced to 6 years in a state prison.
Additionally, individuals convicted of annoying or molesting a child must join California’s sex offender registry.
Annoying or Molesting a Child: Getting Help
You do not have to handle charges tied to California Penal Code Section 647.6: Annoying or Molesting a Child on your own. The Simmrin Law Group’s professional criminal defense lawyers can walk you through your options today with FREE initial case evaluation. You will have the best odds of successfully defending yourself if you get help immediately after being accused of annoying or molesting a child.
Make sure you’re ready for your day in court by filling out our online contact form or calling (310) 997- 4688.