California Statutory Rape Attorneys Explain Laws on Unlawful Sex with a Minor (Penal Code 261.5 PC)

Do You Need a Statutory Rape Attorney?

In California, it is unlawful to engage in sexual intercourse with a person who is under 18 years old. This is a very serious crime in California known as statutory rape. If you are convicted of statutory rape in this state, you could be sentenced to up to 4 years in state prison.

The statutory rape attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients charged with this serious offense. Call us today at (877) 466-5245 to receive expert legal advice about your case. Be sure to read on to learn more about statutory rape laws so that you can be fully informed about your charges.

Why Hire Wallin & Klarich?

The success of our statutory rape defense firm has helped us achieve the highest of merits, including a 5 out of 5 AV rating on, a 10 out of 10 rating on, and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

For over 30 years, the statutory rape lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have helped many people like you who have been charged with this crime. Here are just a few testimonials provided by some of our previous clients who wanted to share their stories:


“I wanted to express my enormous relief and gratitude to Wallin & Klarich. My son was arrested for statutory rape and domestic battery. The allegations were extremely serious. We were concerned that our son would end up in jail and also be branded a “sex offender” for the rest of his life. What made the case more difficult was that the police claimed that my son admitted to a sexual relationship with a minor.

We didn’t know where to turn. We retained the experienced law firm of Wallin and Klarich to help our son. We knew they would have their work cutout for them. Wallin and Klarich was able to determine that the prosecution might have difficulty with proving certain elements of the crimes charges. The prosecutor was insisting on a 90 day jail sentence and a guilty plea. This would have required our son to miss a semester of school and be exposed to what could happen to him in jail.

Wallin and Klarich, after a very tough battle, was able to convince the judge to dismiss the statutory rape charge. Our son plead guilty to the battery charge only. He was spared any jail time. He has to do an anger management program and eight hours of community work service and some “cal trans” time.

Our family lives out of State and soon after our son was arrested our lawyers arranged for our son to be permitted to return to his home. This case was going on for many months. However, throughout the process whenever we would email or contact Wallin and Klarich they would gladly speak to us and explain what was going on with the case. We felt from day one we were in good hands with Wallin and Klarich.

We would strongly recommend Wallin and Klarich if your family has a loved one facing criminal charges. Going through the criminal process can be a frightening experience. If you are lucky enough to find a law firm like Wallin and Klarich willing to fight for you will be fortunate.”

– Anonymous

“I WAS ACCUSED OF Rape of a child under 12 years of age, sodomy of a child less than 12 years of age and indecent acts with a child under 12 years of age. I faced a maximum of life imprisonment if convicted of these crimes. I was referred to the law firm of Wallin & Klarich, a firm I was told had tremendous experience defending against child molests cases. I was given a Wallin & Klarich attorney who was familiar with my jurisdiction. The attorneys of Wallin & Klarich moved aggressively to present my case in the best light to the court and negotiate with my prosecutor. My Wallin & Klarich attorney filed 8 evidentiary motions in order to put my case in the best possible position when the case went in front of the jury. While the jury was deliberating the prosecutor mentioned to my attorney that upon conviction he would request 28 years in prison. However, after a little more then an hour of deliberating the jury came back not guilty on all counts. I walked out of the courtroom a free man and back to my family and job. Were it not for the attorney of Wallin & Klarich my life would have been ruined. As a result I enthusiastically recommend them for any child molests or criminal matters.”

– J.M.

“I was devastated when police served a search warrant at my home and seized my computers and arrested me for a felony sex crime. I found the law offices of Wallin & Klarich on the internet and immediately made an appointment to meet with my attorney. My attorney listened to my side of the story and I was convinced I hired the right firm after meeting with him. When the case got to court, the District Attorney’s offer was to plead guilty to a felony, serve 1 year in county jail and to register as a sex offender. My attorney was persistent in his negotiations with the DA and was able to convince them to drop my case to a misdemeanor with no jail time and no registration. I was overjoyed with the result and I want to sincerely thank Wallin & Klarich for all of their time and effort on my case.”

– E. B.

Call Wallin & Klarich Today

You can place your trust in Wallin & Klarich. Our knowledgeable California statutory rape lawyers are committed to defending your rights and your freedom. Call us today for immediate help on your case.

For more information on statutory rape laws, read below or simply pick up the phone and speak to one of our skilled attorneys today.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation.


What is California statutory rape?

Under California Penal Code 261.5 it is illegal to engage in sexual intercourse with a minor who is not your spouse. In addition, the sentencing and punishment for engaging in unlawful sex with a minor can be severe. In order to convict you of California statutory rape charges, the prosecution must prove the following:

  1. You had sexual intercourse with the victim  AND
  2. You and the victim were not married at the time of intercourse  AND
  3. At the time of intercourse, the victim was under the age of 18

Defenses to a California statutory rape charge

Are you being accused of California Statutory Rape under Penal Code 261.5 PC? Seek the assistance of our professional attorneys at Wallin & Klarich with over 30 years of experience handlign sex crimes.

Are you being accused of California Statutory Rape under Penal Code 261.5?

There are a number of defenses that a California criminal defense lawyer at Wallin & Klarich can raise on your behalf. Your attorney can argue:

  • You held a good faith belief that the victim was 18 years of age or older
  • You did not engage in sexual intercourse with the victim
  • You were married to the victim
  • The victim was not a minor

Each of these defenses can be raised depending upon the facts of your individual case. Be sure to consult a California statutory rape attorney at Wallin & Klarich to learn more.

California statutory rape sentencing and punishment

According to the California Penal Code section 261.5, the sentencing for a California statutory rape conviction depends upon both your age and the age of the victim at the time of offense:

  • Misdemeanor statutory rape – If you are no more than 3 years older than the victim, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.


  • Felony statutory rape – If you are 21 years of age or older and the victim is under the age of 16, the offense is a felony punishable by 2, 3 or 4 years in county jail and a maximum $10,000 fine.


  • Felony/misdemeanor statutory rape – If you are at least 3 years older than the victim (and the victim is not younger than 16), the offense is considered a “wobbler” which means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the facts of your individual case and your prior criminal history. If charged as a misdemeanor you face up to a year in county jail and a $1,000 fine. If charged as a felony you face 16 months, 2 or 3 years in county jail and a maximum $10,000 fine.

If you are convicted of unlawful sex with a minor in California, you may also face civil penalties and fines in addition to your underlying criminal sentence.

California statutory rape FAQs

Wallin & Klarich understand the stress you are going through after being accused of having sex with a minor in California. Call us today.

You do not have to go through this stressful time alone. Call us today if you are being accused of having sex with a minor.

To help you understand the various aspects of California statutory rape, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding California Statutory Rape Laws in our FAQ section. There, you can find answers to questions such as:

  • Is statutory rape charged as a misdemeanor or felony?
  • Can I be charged with California statutory rape even if I was in a relationship with the minor?
  • Can I be charged with statutory rape for engaging in oral sex with a minor?
  • Can I be convicted of statutory rape if the victim told me that she was 18 years of age or older?
  • Will I have to register as a sex offender in California if I am convicted of statutory rape?

Where can I find the criminal attorneys with most experience in statutory rape defense?

If you are confronted with accusations of California statutory rape, it is essential that you contact a professional criminal defense lawyer who is experienced and knowledgeable about the law pertinent to unlawful sex with a minor cases.

With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Victorville and West Covina, Wallin & Klarich has successfully represented clients facing statutory rape charges for over 30 years. Our skilled attorneys have the knowledge and the experience necessary to win your case.

Call us today at (877) 466-5245 or fill out our confidential form. We will be there when you call.

Was This Article Helpful? Please Share it.

Contact Us

Case Results