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Child Molestation

Are You Seeking to Hire a Child Molestation Attorney?

For over 30 years, the child molestation attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have defended clients accused of child molestation charges, such as lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, oral copulation with a minor or soliciting a minor for lewd purposes. Being accused of violating California child molestation laws is a very serious matter that you should not take lightly. You should speak to an experienced child molestation attorney to help you navigate through this difficult process.

A child molestation conviction in California can change your life completely. Upon conviction, you can face up to 15 years in state prison, and a $10,000 fine depending on your charges. What’s more, you will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of your life, placing you in the same category as those convicted of child pornography or rape.

Read below for more information on the child molestation laws or simply pick up the phone and call (877) 466-5245 for free, immediate advice from an expert California child molestation lawyer.

Why Hire Wallin & Klarich?

logosThe success of our child molestation defense firm has helped us achieve the highest of merits, including a 5 out of 5 AV rating on Lawyers.com, a 10 out of 10 rating on AVVO.com, and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

For over 30 years, the California child molestation lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have helped many people like you get the best possible results in their case. Here are just a few testimonials provided by some of our previous clients who wanted to share their stories:

“I had to wait a few moments (actually a few hours) to compose myself to type this email. My heart has been filled with joy since my meeting with Wallin & Klarich and the bail bondsman you referred me too. I cannot express the astonishing simplicity of this transaction. I spoke to you over the phone at 8:52 a.m. this morning. I told you about my challenge to get my son home for Christmas. Your bail bondsman proposed his typical payment plan, which I unfortunately could not do financially. He then stated “Tell me what you can do comfortably.” I told him some dates and numbers and he agreed. He told me that he would bring him home today. That entire conversation took 11 minutes and 58 seconds.

He told me that he would come to me. We met at a local Starbucks at 10:30 for about 22 minutes. I filled out a one-page document, signed in two places and that was it. It is now 2:51 p.m. I just looked on the inmate website and the bail amount says 0. I cannot begin to express the tears of joy that are currently running down my face. From the first email response from Partner Matthew Wallin within minutes of sending an email to the firm, to the follow up calls from Jason Morillo regarding my credit, from the support calls to the quick responses and action from the team, you guys are truly a blessing from God. I finally feel like there is someone out there that cares.

God bless all of you!”

– J. R.

“I was charged with 10 counts of Penal Code Section 288(a) for lewd and lascivious acts upon two children under the age of 14 years; I was also charged with 6 counts of Penal Code section 288.5 for continual sexual abuse of two children under the age of 14 years. Because of the nature of these crimes I was facing 56 years in prison.

I was referred to the law offices of Wallin & Klarich whom I was told are highly experienced in cases where child abuse in alleged; in addition, Wallin & Klarich places particular attorneys in each court so that they become familiar with the court personnel to included the District Attorney and the Judges. My Wallin & Klarich attorney was very familiar with the court my case was in and as a result had a good relationship with the District Attorneys in that court. My Wallin & Klarich attorney negotiated my case with the District Attorney pointing out the shortcomings in their case with the end result that All Charges Were Dismissed in a relatively short period of time after I hired them. This results allowed me to get my life back together and ended an enormous amount of stress. As such I would enthusiastically recommend Wallin & Klarich for any criminal matter.”

-S.C.

Call Wallin & Klarich Today

You can place your trust in Wallin & Klarich. Our knowledgeable California child molestation lawyers are committed to defending your rights and your freedom. Call us today for immediate help on your child molestation case.

For more information on child molestation laws, read below or simply pick up the phone and speak to one of our skilled child molestation defense attorneys today.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation.


 

What Is Child Molestation?

Child molestation
Child molestation is one of the most serious offenses under California law.

Child molestation crimes are prosecuted very aggressively in the state of California. A child molestation conviction can result in a state prison sentence, significant fines, and registration as a sex offender. The stigma of a child molestation conviction can negatively impact your personal, professional, and public life. Therefore, if you are accused of child molestation, it is important to retain a Wallin & Klarich attorney who will fight for you.

There are many different types of child molestation crimes, and they all carry serious penalties. Child molestation crimes include:

  • Penal Code Section 288(a)– Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Child Under the Age of 14
  • Penal Code Section 288(b) – Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Minor by Force or Fear
  • Penal Code Section 288(c) – Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Child Age 14 or 15
  • Penal Code Section 647.6 – Annoying or Molesting a Child
  • Penal Code Section 288a – Oral Copulation with a Minor
  • Penal Code Section 288.4 – Soliciting a Minor for Lewd Purposes
  • Penal Code Section 288.5 – Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child
  • Penal Code Section 288.7 – Sex with a Child Under the Age of 10
  • Penal Code Section 290 – Sex Offender Registration

 

What is a Lewd or Lascivious Act?

Under California Penal Code Section 2881, child molestation is referred to as a “lewd or lascivious act.” A lewd or lascivious act is the touching of the body in a sexual manner. The touching does not have to be on a sexual organ nor does the touching have to be on bare skin.

Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Child Under the Age of 14 – California Penal Code Section 288(a)

Under California Penal Code Section 288(a) it is illegal to engage in any lewd or lascivious act with a child under the age of 14.

To be convicted for committing a lewd or lascivious act with a child under the age of 14, the prosecution must prove:

  1. You willfully and lewdly touched any part of a child’s body, or you willfully caused the child to touch your body or the body of someone else;
  2. You committed the act with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying your lust, passions, or sexual desires, or the lust, passions, or sexual desires of the child; and
  3. The child was under the age of 14 at the time of the act.

 

Under California Penal Code Section 288(a), a conviction for committing a lewd or lascivious act with a child under the age of 14 is a felony punishable by up to eight years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.

Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Minor by Force or Fear – California Penal Code Section 288(b)

child molestation 2
Have you been arrested for child molestation in California?

Under California Penal Code Section 288(b), it is illegal to commit a lewd or lascivious act with a minor by force, fear, violence, threat or duress. A minor is defined as a person who is under 18 years of age.

A conviction for committing a lewd or lascivious act with a minor by force or fear under California Penal Code Section 288(b) is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.

Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Child Age 14 or 15 – California Penal Code Section 288(c)

Under California Penal Code Section 288(c), it is illegal to commit a lewd or lascivious act with a 14- or 15-year-old child. If the victim is 14 or 15 years of age and you were at least 10 years older than the victim at the time of the act, you will be facing serious consequences.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, committing a lewd or lascivious act with a child 14 or 15 years of age under California Penal Code Section 288(c) can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to one year in county jail. A felony conviction is punishable by up to three years in state prison.

Annoying or Molesting a Child – California Penal Code Section 647.6

Under California Penal Code Section 647.62, it is illegal to annoy or molest a child under the age of 18. This occurs when a person is motivated by sexual interest in a child.

To be convicted for annoying or molesting a child, the prosecution must prove:

  1. You engaged in conduct directed at a minor;
  2. A normal person, without hesitation, would have been disturbed, irritated, offended or injured by your conduct;
  3. Your conduct was motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in the minor; and
  4. The minor was under the age of 18 years at the time of the act.

 

Depending on the circumstances of your case, annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 under California Penal Code Section 647.6 can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to one year in county jail and a $5,000 fine. A felony conviction is punishable by up to three years in state prison.

Your sentence for annoying or molesting a child can increase if you have a prior criminal history involving sex offenses with a minor. If you have a previous misdemeanor annoying or molesting a child conviction, your second conviction is punishable by up to one year in state prison instead of county jail. If you have a previous felony conviction for a sex offense involving a minor, a felony annoying or molesting a child conviction is punishable by up to six years in state prison.

Oral Copulation – California Penal Code Section 288a

Child molestation 3
You could be facing up to 10 years in prison for an oral copulation conviction.

Under California Penal Code Section 288a, it is unlawful to commit the act of oral copulation with a minor or by force or fear. Oral copulation is defined as any contact, no matter how slight, between the mouth of one person and the sexual organ or anus of another person.

Under California Penal Code Section 288a(b)(2), if the defendant was 21 years of age or older and the minor was under the age of 16 at the time of the oral copulation, the oral copulation charge is a felony punishable by up to three years in state prison.

Under California Penal Code Section 288a(c)(1), if the victim was under the age of 14 and the defendant was at least 10 years older than the victim at the time of the oral copulation, the oral copulation charge is a felony punishable by up to eight years in state prison.

If the victim was under the age of 14 and the defendant was less than 10 years older than the victim at the time of the act, the defendant can be charged with performing lewd acts with a minor under California Penal Code Section 288. If found guilty for this felony offense, you could be sentenced to up to eight years in state prison.

Under California Penal Code Section 288a(c)(2)(3), oral copulation of a minor by force, fear or threats under California Penal Code Section 288a(c)(2)(3) is a felony offense. If the victim was between 14 and 17 years old at the time of the act, a conviction is punishable by up to 10 years in state prison. If the victim was under 14 years old at the time of the act, a conviction is punishable by up to 12 years in state prison.

Soliciting a Minor for Lewd Purposes – California Penal Code Section 288.4

Under California Penal Code Section 288.4, it is illegal to arrange to meet a minor for sexual purposes. The defendant must be motivated by a sexual interest in the child and must have arranged the meeting for the purpose of engaging in lewd or lascivious acts with the child.

To be convicted of soliciting a minor for lewd purposes under California Penal Code Section 288.4, the prosecution must prove:

  1. You arranged a meeting with a minor or a person you believed to be a minor;
  2. You were motivated to arrange the meeting with a minor by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in the minor;
  3. You had a specific intent to engage in lewd or lascivious acts with the minor.

 

Under California Penal Code Section 288.4, soliciting a minor for lewd purposes can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. If you have no prior criminal record and it is your first offense, you may be charged under Penal Code Section 288.4 with a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to one year in county jail and a $5,000 fine. A felony conviction is punishable by up to one year in county jail or 16 months, two or three years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.

Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child – California Penal Code Section 288.5

Sex offender registration - child molestation
You must register as a sex offender each year following your conviction.

Under California Penal Code Section 288.5, it is unlawful to repeatedly sexually abuse a child.

To be convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a child under California Penal Code Section 288.5, the prosecution must prove:

  1. The defendant resided in the same home with the child, or had “recurring access” to the child (the ongoing ability to approach and contact the child time after time);
  2. The defendant engaged in three or more acts of “substantial sexual conduct” (oral copulation, masturbation or penetration) with the child OR engaged in three or more “lewd or lascivious acts” with the child;
  3. The three or more acts occurred over a time period of three months or longer; and
  4. The child was under the age of 14 at the time of the acts.

 

A conviction for the continuous sexual abuse of a child under California Penal Code Section 288.5 is a felony punishable by 6, 12, or 16 years in state prison. A conviction under Penal Code Section 288.5 is considered a violent or serious felony and will count as a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes Law.

Sex with a Child Under the Age of 10 – California Penal Code Section 288.7

Under California Penal Code Section 288.7(a), it is illegal to engage in sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child under the age of 10. A conviction under Penal Code Section 288.7(a) is a felony punishable by 25 years to life in state prison.

Under California Penal Code Section 288.7(b), it is illegal to engage in oral copulation or sexually penetrate with a foreign object, a child under the age of 10. A conviction under Penal Code Section 288.7(b) is a felony punishable by 15 years to life in state prison.

Sex Offender Registration – California Penal Code Section 290

If you are convicted of any felony child molestation offense, you will be required to register as a sex offender according to California Penal Code Section 2903. Sex offenders must renew their registration every year for the rest of their life.

Registration as a sex offender can have a major impact on where you live or work, and your standing in the community. Failing to register as a sex offender or violating registry requirements can result in more prison time.

Defenses to Child Molestation Charges

Child molestation 4
You need an experienced attorney to defend your rights.

If you are facing child molestation charges, it is important to retain an experienced Wallin & Klarich attorney who will fight for you. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a skilled and knowledgeable sex crimes attorney may be able to argue for a reduction or dismissal of the charges against you with a viable defense. Defenses to these charges include:

  • The touching was accidental: You did not intentionally or willfully intend to touch the child to sexually gratify or arouse yourself or the child.
  • Lack of intent: There was no intent to sexually gratify or arouse yourself or the child.
  • There was no use of force, fear, violence, duress, menace or threats (if you are accused under Penal Code Section 288(b)).
  • The accuser’s accusations are false and lack credibility.

 

Call Wallin & Klarich Today

If you or a loved one is facing a child molestation charge, it is critical that you speak to an experienced sex crimes attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients accused of child molestation. Our attorneys will fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich Southern California criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you are located.

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


All of the information provided on this page was retrieved from the following sources:

1. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=00001-01000&file=281-289.6

2. http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/647.6.html

3. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=00001-01000&file=290-294

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I would enthusiastically recommend Wallin & Klarich for any criminal matter.
I was charged with 10 counts of Penal Code Section 288(a) for lewd and lascivious acts upon two children under the age of 14 years; I was also charged with 6 counts of Penal Code section 288.5 for continual sexual abuse of two children under the age of 14 years. Because of the nature of these crimes I was facing 56 years in prison.I was referred to the law offices of Wallin & Klarich whom I was told are highly experienced in cases where child abuse in alleged; in addition, Wallin & Klarich places particular attorneys in each court so that they become familiar with the court personnel to included the District Attorney and the Judges. My Wallin & Klarich attorney was very familiar with the court my case was in and as a result had a good relationship with the District Attorneys in that court. My Wallin & Klarich attorney negotiated my case with the District Attorney pointing out the shortcomings in their case with the end result that All Charges Were Dismissed in a relatively short period of time after I hired them. This results allowed me to get my life back together and ended an enormous amount of stress. As such I would enthusiastically recommend Wallin & Klarich for any criminal matter.
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