November 22, 2013 By Stephen Klarich

Statute of Limitations for Annoying or Molesting a Child – Penal Code Sections 647.6 and 802

A statute of limitation is a law that prevents you from being prosecuted for a crime beyond a specified period of time. The general purpose of statutes of limitation is to make sure convictions occur only upon evidence (physical or eyewitness) that has not deteriorated with time. After the period of the statute has expired, you cannot be prosecuted for a criminal offense.

If the prosecution waits too long to file a criminal charge against you, your experienced criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich can make a motion to have your case dismissed. For example, there is a one year statute of limitations for most misdemeanors in California. The “clock starts running” from the date of the alleged crime.

If the alleged victim, who is age 14 or older, informs the police that on Jan. 1, 2013, she was annoyed or molested by you, the prosecution must file criminal charges no later than Dec. 31, 2013 or the case will be barred forever from being brought against you.

Statute of Limitations for Annoying or Molesting a Child under 18 – PC 647.6, PC 801, et seq.

Statute of Limitations for Annoying or Molesting a Child
The statute of limitations for annoying or molesting a child is typically one year for misdemeanors and three years for a felony. If you are facing child molestation charges, call the experienced attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today.

California law under Penal Code section 647.6 (PC 647.6) makes it a crime to annoy or molest a minor under the age of 18. You need to understand that a violation of this law can be broadly defined to include a variety of unlawful behavior directed towards a minor. For example, simply making crude sexual comments to a child could lead to serious consequences for you if you are prosecuted for “child molestation” under PC 647.6.

A felony violation of annoying or molesting a child must be prosecuted within three years after you allegedly committed the crime.1

A misdemeanor charge of child molestation must be prosecuted within one year after commission of the offense if the minor is 14-17 years old.2

If the child is under 14, the District Attorney’s office has up to three years to prosecute you for allegedly committing a misdemeanor violation of child molestation.3


  • The statutory periods do not begin until your offense is or should have been discovered.4
  • If you are not in California, the statute of limitations for prosecution of a criminal charge may be extended up to three years.5

Sentencing and Punishment for Child Molestation Pursuant to PC 647.6

PC 647.6 is typically a misdemeanor in California. If you are convicted of annoying or molesting a child pursuant to PC 647.6 (a), you can be punished by imprisonment in jail not exceeding one year, a fine of up to $5,000, or by both a fine and imprisonment.

A second or subsequent conviction of child annoyance or molestation is a felony punishable by either 16 months, or two or three years in prison. If you have already been convicted of any other felony sex offense involving a minor, a violation of PC 647.6 will likely be charged as a felony punishable by two, four or six years in prison.

Child molestation under PC 647.6 is a lifetime registerable sex offense in California regardless of whether you are convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony.

Contact Wallin & Klarich Today if You Have been Charged with a Violation of PC 647.6.

If you or someone you love has been charged with child annoyance or molestation under Penal Code Section 647.6, you need to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich today. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 40 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing child molestation charges.

We will examine every aspect of the allegations against you to determine whether there is enough evidence to prosecute you beyond a reasonable doubt or if the statute of limitations has expired to exempt you from prosecution. We may be able to argue that your charges should be reduced or dismissed.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, Wallin & Klarich will give you the personal attention you deserve so that your constitutional rights are protected. We will spend the time and effort necessary to get you the best result possible in your case.

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

1. [Pen. Code § 801]
2. [Pen. Code § 802 (a)]
3. [Pen. Code § 802 (b)]
4. [Pen. Code § 803 (c)]
5. [Pen. Code § 803 (d)]

AUTHOR: Stephen Klarich

Stephen Klarich is a partner at Wallin & Klarich and expert in the field of sex crimes. For over thirty years, Stephen Klarich has been handling criminal cases and matters involving sex offenses. With an unparalleled knowledge of sex crimes defense, Stephen Klarich protects his clients’ rights. Stephen Klarich has experienced significant success in obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation or Governor’s Pardon for his clients. Thousands of clients have put their trust in Stephen Klarich and the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich in their time of legal need.

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