Molestation or Child Annoyance Law FAQs – Penal Code 647.6
Is annoying or molesting a child charged as a misdemeanor or felony?
It depends. If this is your first offense for a sex-crime involving a minor, annoying or molesting a child will be charged as a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail under California’s Child Annoyance law pursuant to Penal Code 647.6. If you have any prior misdemeanor convictions for annoying or molesting a child on your record, the offense is punishable by up to a year in state prison rather than county jail. However if you have any prior felony convictions for any sex-crime involving a minor, the offense will be charged as a felony punishable by 2, 4 or 6 years in state prison. Also, if you are found guilty of this offense after having entered an inhabited dwelling without consent, you will be convicted of a felony and face time in state prison.
Can I be convicted of annoying or molesting a child even though I never touched the victim?
Yes. The crime of annoying or molesting a child does not require that you make physical contact with the victim. All that is required is some sort of conduct, directed at the victim, of which a reasonable person would find offensive or annoying. Examples of non-physical conduct that can lead to criminal liability include verbal insults, offensive body language and even taking a photograph of the minor. However practically any offensive conduct directed at a minor, either physical or verbal, can lead to criminal liability under California Penal Code section 647.6.
Can be convicted of annoying or molesting a child if the victim told me that she was 18 years of age or older?
You are not guilty of the crime of annoying or molesting a child under California Penal Code section 647.6 if you had a good faith belief that the victim was 18 years of age or older. Although the victim may have lied about her age and you honestly believed that she was not a minor, the jury must also find that a reasonable person in your shoes would have held the same belief. In making this determination the jury will consider all the circumstances present at the time of the alleged offense, including the physical characteristics of the victim and any statements that she made to you. If a reasonable person would have believed that the victim was 18 years of age or older, you cannot be convicted of this offense.
Will I have to register as a sex offender if I am convicted of annoying or molesting a child?
Yes. Annoying or molesting a child is listed under PC 290 as a crime that requires mandatory registration as a sex offender if you are convicted of this offense. This means that you will be required to annually register with local law enforcement agencies and provide them with your whereabouts on a consistent basis. In addition, your personal information and status as a sex offender will be posted online and made available to anyone with internet access. If you are charged with annoying or molesting a child under California Penal Code section 647.7, it is imperative that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you fight the potentially devastating consequences of a conviction.
If I have been charged with annoying r molesting a child under California Penal Code section 647.6, who should I call?
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Victorville and West Covina, Wallin & Klarich has over 40 years of experience in successfully representing Southern California residents who have been charged with annoying or molesting a child. Drawing from our extensive years of experience, we are available to answer any questions you have and are willing to go the extra mile in your defense.
If you are facing prosecution for annoying or molesting a child, call our talented and professional defense attorneys today at (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call.