Lewd & Lascivious Acts with a Minor | San Bernardino
The terms lewd and lascivious aren’t used that often, but they’re terms that are informally known to represent obscene, vulgar, or inappropriate sexual desires. For the purposes of California law, any type of sexual attraction to a minor is considered lewd and lascivious.
Further, any type of behavior or action that’s driven by these inappropriate desires is against the law.
Sexual attraction and abuse of minors have been considered a serious crime for centuries, and lewd and lascivious acts with a minor in San Bernardino are no different If you’ve been accused of committing this type of crime, then you need to hire a good sex crimes defense attorney as soon as possible. Not only do these allegations have the potential to take away your freedom, but they’re also likely to harm your professional and personal reputation, too.
Don’t assume that courtrooms in San Bernardino will be able to see your innocence. You need to have a good attorney by your side to help represent your case. Learn everything you need to know about these serious criminal offenses and how to deal with them below.
Defining Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Minor | San Bernardino
Lewd and lascivious acts with a minor can be described as behaviors that are driven by a sexual attraction to a minor. There are tons of ‘acts’ that could fit this umbrella description, though. That’s why there are several different penal codes that criminalize various ‘lewd and lascivious’ acts. Some are more specific than others, and each different penal code comes with different penalties.
PC 288(a) | Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Minor Under 14
This penal code makes it illegal to touch a child under the age of 14 or to coerce a child under 14 to touch you for sexual purposes. This penal code applies even if there is no undressing involved.
PC 288(b) | Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Minor by Force or Fear
If the sexual touching is prompted by force or the threat of force, then you’re guilty of breaking penal code 288(b). This offense is taken more seriously since force and fear are a factor.
PC 288(c) | Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Child Age 14 or 15
This crime deals with the sexual touching of a child who is 14 or 15 years old. This crime can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor.
PC 647.6 | Annoying or Molesting a Child
This penal code makes it a crime to annoy or molest any child under 18 years old. For the purposes of this law, annoying or molesting refers to any conduct that is motivated by a sexual interest in a child and is likely to disturb, offend, or be witnessed by a child. The main difference between the above penal codes and Code 647.6 is that this offense does not require any type of touching for a conviction.
PC 288.4 | Soliciting a Minor for Lewd Purposes
If you attempt to lure a child into a sexual situation, then you could get found guilty of soliciting a minor for lewd purposes. It’s a crime to arrange a meeting with minors with the intent to commit lewd or lascivious behavior.
PC 290 | Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
If you are convicted of a sex crime, you will be required to register as a sex offender on a public list. If you fail to do this, then you’re committing another crime. Keep in mind that you’re also legally required to inform certain individuals about your status as an offender.
Criminal Penalties Associated with Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Child
The severity of your penalties will depend on your exact charges, but here is an overview of what you’ll likely get sentenced to if you are convicted:
- Prison time: 3-10 years
- Fines: up to $10,000 plus penalty assessments and potentially civil damages
- Registering as a sex offender: 10 years-life
Personal and Professional Penalties
When you’re accused of lewd and lascivious acts against a minor in San Bernardino, expect your personal relationships to suffer despite your guilt or innocence. Many people, especially those with kids, will distance themselves from you until the situation gets resolved.
Depending on if you can afford bail, you may end up spending an extended time in jail until your hearing. You’ll likely miss time off of work, which could mean you lose your job entirely. If you work around kids, then expect to immediately lose your job. If you are convicted, then you’ll never be able to work in those fields again.
Common Defense Strategies Against Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Minor Charges
Clearly, the penalties associated with lewd and lascivious acts against a minor are a lot to cope with. If you do end up getting convicted, then you’ll have to contend with these penalties for several years. Depending on your situation, you could even become a labeled sex offender for life.
Here are a few common and successful defense strategies often used after getting charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a minor in San Bernardino:
Mistake of Fact: You Didn’t Commit the Alleged Crime
The most common defense strategy for any crime is – ‘I didn’t do it!’. If you know you didn’t commit the actions you’re accused of, then it’s wise to use this type of defense strategy.
Don’t expect the courtroom or jury to accept your words at face value, though. You’ll need to provide some form of evidence or create some reasonable doubt for this strategy to be successful. The best evidence you could come up with is a solid, provable alibi. If you were at work, for instance, then see if you can find video proof of your location.
Accidental Touching or Lack of Intent
Another type of defense strategy you could use is accidental touching or a lack of sexual intent. Accidental touching could have occurred without any type of sexual motivation. For instance, you may be a gymnastics coach that accidentally touched a private area while attempting to prevent a minor’s fall. The minor could still feel violated, but you didn’t actually commit a crime.
In California, minors cannot legally give consent for sexual acts. Despite that, you might have been lied to about the person’s age. This is especially true if you met the person online or you never met with them face-to-face. Depending on the circumstances of the allegations against you, this could be used as a defense.
Unlawful Search & Seizure
Do you believe that your rights were violated during your arrest or while the police were securing evidence against you? If your rights were violated, then that could invalidate specific evidence or even your arrest itself. When it comes to sex crimes, the most common violation is unwarranted search and seizure. If the authorities failed to seek out a proper search warrant before securing certain evidence for instance, then you may have the opportunity to invalidate that evidence. We have found this to be one of the most common defenses as well as being one of the most effective!
Hire a Skilled Lewd & Lascivious Acts Attorney in San Bernardino
Facing sex crime charges in San Bernardino is devastating both personally and professionally. While it’s natural to assume a courtroom will believe your innocence, it might not be as easy to prove your innocence as you might think. In most cases, you need a good sex crimes defense attorney to help the court understand your side of the story. You’ll also need them to help you compile the evidence that could help secure your freedom.
Simply picking the first attorney you locate near you isn’t a good strategy. You need to make sure you opt for an attorney who has extensive experience representing clients in a similar position that you’re in.
Take Advantage of 40+ Years of Criminal Defense Experience with Wallin & Klarich
Getting accused of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor in San Bernardino is life-changing. The good news is that you have the right to legal counsel and you are considered innocent until you’re proven guilty. The bad news is that your reputation will immediately take a nosedive once the allegations go public.
The best thing you can do after such a damaging accusation is to find an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Bernardino to represent your case. Here at Wallin & Klarich, our team of highly trained attorneys have over 40+ years of experience representing clients accused of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor. Take advantage of our experience and vast knowledge of the law and let us defend you in court. Contact us today by calling (877) 4-NO-JAIL or by visiting us online to discuss your situation in-depth with a skilled San Bernardino defense attorney.