In California, it is a crime for any person to commit a lewd act on a child. Specifically, Penal Code Section 288 prohibits a person from willfully committing any lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body of a minor with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child. In simple English, this means a person may be criminally charged for touching the body of a minor child if it was done for sexual arousal or sexual gratification.
If you are found guilty of a violation of Penal Code section 288, then you can be required to register as a sex offender for life under Penal Code section 290. This means that when you are facing a charge of committing a lewd and lascivious act on a child, it is imperative that you contact an experienced sex crimes defense attorney. By doing so, the attorney can raise a number of defenses to fight your criminal charge.
For example, two defenses are that the touching was accidental or there was no touching at all. Since the law only punishes willful touching, any evidence to show that there was no touching or that the touching was accidental will likely result in a dismissal of charges. In addition, the defendant must have committed the act with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of (himself/herself) or the child. In other words, if the touching occurred for any other reason other than for sexual arousal than there is no lewd or lascivious act. However, a child giving consent to be touched, is never a defense
If you are a loved one is charged with committing a lewd and lascivious act on a child, it is very important for you to speak with the experienced defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. The consequences of being convicted of lewd or lascivious acts can involve a lengthy jail sentence. Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience defending clients accused of sex crimes. Call us at (888) 749-0034 to learn more about your legal rights. With offices throughout the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, San Diego and Orange Counties, we will be there when you call.