Child Molestation Punishment and Sentence under California Penal Code 647.6 PC
If you are convicted of child molestation, you face a sentence of up to 364 days in jail or six years in prison. Your sentence may also include fines of up to $5,000, and you may be required to register as a sex offender.
We know that you are probably worried about the impact a child molestation conviction could have on you. Our skilled attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully defending clients facing child molestation charges for more than 35 years. We understand child molestation laws and how to defend you against these allegations. To help you understand what is at stake if you are convicted under California Penal Code Section 647.6, let’s take a closer look at the punishment for child molestation:
What is child molestation under PC 647.6?
Under PC 647.6, it is a crime to annoy or molest a child under the age of 18 or someone you believe to be under the age of 18.
To “annoy” or “molest” someone means that you committed conduct that is likely to disturb, irritate or be observed by a child and you did so because you had a sexual interest in the child.
Child molestation is a wobbler offense, which means it could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending upon the circumstances of the case and your prior criminal record.
Penalties for misdemeanor child molestation
In most cases, violations of PC 647.6 are charged as misdemeanors. Misdemeanor child molestation carries a sentence of up to 364 days in county jail and fines of up to $5,000.
Penalties for felony child molestation
You could be charged with felony child molestation if you entered an inhabited dwelling without consent of the dwelling’s owner to commit the crime. If you are convicted of felony child molestation under these circumstances, you face up to three years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.
If you have a prior felony conviction for a sex offense that involved a minor and you are charged with child molestation under PC 647.6, you will face felony charges. A conviction of felony child molestation under these circumstances carries a sentence of up to six years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.
Do you have to register as a sex offender for child molestation?
If you are convicted of annoying or molesting a child under PC 647.6, the court can require you to register as a sex offender pursuant to California Penal Code Section 290. Registering as a sex offender means you will have to update your registration annually with a local law enforcement agency as long as you live, work or attend school in California.
If you are required to register as a sex offender for child molestation, your personal information such as your name, address, photo and conviction are available to the public via a sex offender website run by the Department of Justice.
If you fail to register as a sex offender, you can face a new criminal charge for violating PC 290.
Court options at the time of sentencing for child annoyance or molestation
The court has discretion in determining your sentence for annoying or molesting a child under PC 647.6. The court has the following options at time of sentencing:
- Sentence you to 364 days in jail for misdemeanor child molestation or up to six years in prison for felony annoying or molesting a child
- Sentence you to up to 364 days in county jail and require that you be placed on probation once released
- Place you on probation with no jail time, but order you to do community service, a work release program and/or attend therapy
- Place you on formal probation and assign you a probation officer
- Order you to register as a sex offender pursuant to PC 290
Can you get probation for child molestation?
Whether you are sentenced to jail time or not, you could be placed on probation following a child molestation or child annoyance conviction.
When you are placed on probation, the court will impose specific terms of probation that apply to the crime for which you were convicted. These terms of probation may include:
1. That you violate no law (other than a traffic infraction)
2. You visit your probation officer as often as required by your probation terms
3. You perform community service
4. You attend sexual addiction or rehabilitation programs
5. You submit to random drug tests; and
6. You submit to random searches of your person or your home
If you are found to be in violation of any of these terms of your probation, the court can sentence you to the maximum jail or prison sentence for child molestation.
How do I find an experienced child molestation attorney near me?
The sentencing and punishment for annoying or molesting a child in California can be severe, and a conviction under PC 647.6 could greatly impact your life. That is why you should seek the assistance of an experienced child molestation lawyer if you or someone you know has been accused of violating PC 647.6.
At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys have been successfully defending clients facing child molestation charges in California for more than 35 years. With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, our child molestation attorneys are available near you no matter where you work or live. Let us help you now.
Call our child molestation attorneys today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation about your case. We will be there when you call.
About the author
Paul Wallin is an experienced criminal defense attorney with 40 years of experience representing clients in southern California. His zealous advocacy and extensive knowledge of the law have helped Attorney Wallin achieve numerous case victories, including in cases involving serious sex crimes such as child molestation.
In addition, Mr. Wallin is a respected speaker and legal analyst who has hosted numerous speaking engagements and appeared on media outlets including NBC, Fox News and CNN. Find out more about Paul Wallin here.