December 29, 2017

Under California Penal Code Section 261.5, it is illegal to have sexual intercourse with a person who is under the age of 18 and is not your spouse. Let’s further explore the criminal act of having sex with a minor.

What If the Minor Initiates Sex?

When most people think of “rape,” they think of sexual intercourse against the will of the victim accomplished by violence, force or fear. However, that is not always true in statutory rape cases.

Statutory rape can occur when two people agree to engage in sex, but one or both of the participants are under the age of 18. California law does not allow a person under the age of 18 to legally provide consent to sex. Therefore, any act of sexual intercourse between two persons who are not married when one or more of the participants is under the age of 18 is always a criminal act.

This includes cases where the two persons involved in the sexual intercourse are both under the age of 18, and cases where one is an adult and one is a minor.

Statutory Rape Consequences

Under PC 261.5, statutory rape is a “wobbler,” which means it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

One of the factors that the prosecution will consider when determining whether or how to charge you with PC 261.5 is the age difference between you and the alleged victim. If you and the alleged victim are within three years of age, you will likely be charged with misdemeanor statutory rape. If you are more than three years older than the alleged victim, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. If you are 21 years old or older and the minor is under the age of 16, the prosecution can charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony, but the punishment you face will be more severe.

Misdemeanor statutory rape is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. If the minor is 16 or older and you are not over the age of 21, you could face felony statutory rape charges that carry up to three years in county jail. You could face up to four years in state prison and $10,000 in fines if you are older than 21 and the alleged victim is under the age of 16.

Additionally, you could face lifetime registration as a sex offender pursuant to California Penal Code Section 290 if you are convicted of this crime. The judge has discretion to require you to register as a sex offender if you are convicted of this crime. The judge must consider whether you committed a violation of PC 261.5 due to “sexual compulsion or gratification” pursuant to Penal Code Section 290.006.

Contact Our Statutory Rape Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you are accused of statutory rape under PC 261.5, you are facing severe consequences. You should speak to an experienced statutory rape attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, we have been successfully defending clients facing statutory rape and serious sex crime charges for over 35 years. Let us help you now.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich statutory rape defense attorney available near you no matter where you work or live.

Call our law firm today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

Author

Author: Stephen Klarich

Stephen Klarich is a partner at Wallin & Klarich and expert in the field of sex crimes. For over thirty years, Stephen Klarich has been handling criminal cases and matters involving sex offenses. With an unparalleled knowledge of sex crimes defense, Stephen Klarich protects his clients’ rights. Stephen Klarich has experienced significant success in obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation or Governor’s Pardon for his clients. Thousands of clients have put their trust in Stephen Klarich and the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich in their time of legal need.

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