California Law on Lewd Acts and Other Sex Crimes Involving Children

While the facts on a recent sex crime in California are still under investigation, police have pressed charges for lewd acts on a child in a case recently reported by Highland Community News. The underage victim approached deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office and informed them of the facts, and officers responded by transporting the minor to a local hospital for a medical examination. Officers obtained a search warrant and arrested an individual for lewd acts, but additional charges are pending based upon the results of the investigation. If you have been arrested under similar circumstances, here’s what you need to know about sex crimes involving minors.

Lewd Acts on a Child: To obtain a conviction for lewd acts on a child, a prosecutor must show:

· You touched a child’s body;
· You forced a child to touch their own body;
· There was a sexual motivation behind your actions; and,
· The child was under the age of 14 at the time of the incident.

Sex with a Minor, a.k.a., Statutory Rape: An adult that has sexual intercourse with a person under 18 years old may be charged with statutory rape, even if the underage individual consents. This is because a minor cannot legally consent to the activity, and the absence of consent is the reason the term “rape” is often used in connection with the crime.

Child Molestation: This sex crime is similar to statutory rape because it involves intercourse with a minor; however, child molestation is a more serious offense. If the child was under the age of 10 years at the time of the incident, you may be charged with child molestation. The crime is always a felony, and can carry a life sentence in prison for severe cases.

The Complexities of Crimes Involving Children: Sex crimes that have children as victims are extremely complex because they are often at an age where they may be impressionable, easily upset, or otherwise emotional about an incident. As such, the allegations may be inconsistent with the actual incident, and the accusations may vary over time as the child’s memory changes. This is why it’s critical to hire an attorney who can point out inconsistencies and expose false allegations.

Registration as a Sex Offender in California: If convicted of a sex crime involving a child, there may be criminal penalties of jail time and fines, depending on the facts of the case. However, there is also the requirement to register as a sex offender in California. You must check in and file paperwork with authorities every year around your birthday, and the designation will follow you for the rest of your life – even if you move to another state.

Contact a San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer

There are significant penalties for being convicted for sex crimes involving underage victims in California, but the requirement of registering as a sex offender is among the most severe. This is why it’s critical to retain an attorney who has an extensive legal background and long-term experience in defending these types of cases. Please contact a smart criminal lawyer in San Diego who can discuss potential defenses and assist you with the criminal legal process in California.

Ozols Law Firm
8880 Rio San Diego Dr. #22
San Diego, CA,
92108