How to Fight Child Molest Charges (PC 288)
Under California Penal Code Section 288, you could be convicted of the crime of lewd acts with a minor under the age of 14 if you:
- Willfully committed a lewd or lascivious act against a minor under the age of 14, and
- You committed the act with the purpose of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of yourself or the victim
If you are convicted of this crime, you face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. You will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
These are harsh consequences, which is why you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charges. How can an attorney fight child molest charges? Our experienced lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully defending clients facing child molestation charges for more than 40 years. Here are some defenses we have used to help past clients fight PC 288 charges:
The Touching was Accidental
To be convicted of child molestation under PC 288, you must have acted willfully or purposely when touching the child. You cannot be convicted of this crime if the touch was accidental.
Therefore, your child molest lawyer could attempt to fight the charges by raising doubt that the touch was committed on purpose. To do this, your attorney will present evidence and facts to the court that show you did not willfully or intentionally touch the minor for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.
Lack of Intent
You cannot be convicted of child molest under PC 288 if you did not perform the act with the intent to sexually gratify yourself or the alleged victim. Intent is extremely difficult to prove.
Your PC 288 lawyer could attempt to show that you did not have the intent to sexually arouse yourself or the alleged victim by presenting evidence that you do not fit the sexual profile of a person who would commit this type of crime.
Attacking the Credibility of the Alleged Victim
Many cases involving PC 288 come down to “he-said, she-said,” which means the word of the alleged victim is the only evidence against the word of the defendant. In these types of cases, prosecutors and jury members are inclined to believe that a child would not lie about molestation allegations. However, your PC 288 attorney may be able to show that the alleged victim is not telling the truth by attacking his or her credibility.
In order to show that the alleged victim should not be trusted, your defense attorney will conduct extensive research, bringing up anything in the alleged victim’s past – from behavior at school to social media posts – that shows a tendency to lie and a pattern of bad behavior.
Your lawyer may be able to uncover a motive for lying. For instance, a child may be accusing a teacher of child molest because he is mad at the teacher for giving him or her an “F” on a test.
These defense methods could greatly impact your case. That is why you should not hesitate to speak to an experienced child molest lawyer about your case immediately.
Contact the Sex Crimes Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or someone you love has been accused of child molest, you should contact an experienced PC 288 lawyer right away. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled criminal defense attorneys have over 40 years of experience successfully defending clients facing child molest charges. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich child molest attorney available near you no matter where you work or live.
Contact us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.