Oral Copulation FAQs – California Penal Code Section 288a

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Can you define oral copulation?
Oral copulation is any contact, no matter how slight, between the mouth of one person and the sexual organ or anus of another person. Penetration is not required.

What if she told me she was over 18 years old?  Can I use that as a defense?
Having a good faith belief that the other person was over 18 years of age can be used as a defense in some circumstances.  This defense can be used if you are charged with Penal Code 288a(b)(1) – Oral copulation with a person under 18 years old, and Penal Code 288a(b)(2) – Oral copulation with a person under 16 years of age while the defendant is at least 21 years of age.

This defense is not available for a charge under Penal Code 288a(c)(1) – Oral copulation with a minor under 14 years of age.

What if we were in a relationship with each other?  Can I use that as a defense?
Being in a relationship with the other person is not a defense to an oral copulation charge.  The other person must have consented and must have been legally able to consent.

What if the person was under 18 years old, but she consented?
Under California law, a person must be at least 18 years of age to legally consent.  Therefore, if the person was under 18 years of age and allowed you to perform oral sex, you can still be charged and convicted of a crime.

Will I have to register as a sex offender if I am convicted of committing the act of oral copulation with a person under 18 years old?
Committing an act of oral copulation with a person under the age of 18 years, under PC 288a(b)(1), is not listed under PC 667.71(c).  This means that if you are convicted of this crime, you will not be sentenced as a habitual sex offender.  However, oral copulation is listed under PC 667.71(c) in certain circumstances.  It is important that you speak with an experienced sex crimes attorney at Wallin & Klarich if you are facing a charge of oral copulation.  Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 , and we can speak with you directly about the facts concerning your charges.  We will be there when you call.

Can I be sentenced to life in prison as a habitual sex offender if I was convicted of oral copulation with a person under 18 years of age under PC 288a(b)(1)?
Although PC 288a is listed under PC 290 as a crime that requires mandatory registration as a sex offender if convicted, the court has held that PC 288a(b)(1) does not require mandatory registration as a sex offender.  See People v. Hofsheier, (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1185.  However, registration as a sex offender is discretionary if convicted of this crime.  It is up to the court to decide whether you will register as a sex offender.

Call Wallin & Klarich Today

If you or a loved one is facing oral copulation charges, it is critical that you speak with an experienced sex crime attorney right away. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 40 years of experience successfully defending sex crimes cases.

With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino,Ventura, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks, we have been able to help many of our clients avoid being put on the sex offender registry.  If you have already been convicted of a sex crime, we can also assist you in relieving you of your lifetime duty to register as a sex offender.

Call us today at 877-4-NO-JAIL. We will get through this together.

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