Statutory Rape Punishment, Sentence and Penalties California Penal Code 261.5 PC
The statutory rape punishment and sentence are dependent upon whether the offense is charged as a felony or a misdemeanor under California Penal Code 261.5 PC. Your attorneys at Wallin & Klarich — with over 30 years of experience successfully defending clients facing all types of sex crimes in Southern California — explain the possible penalties attributed to California statutory rape.
Misdemeanor statutory rape punishment – You are no more than 3 years older than the victim
If you are no more than 3 years older than the victim, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.
Felony statutory rape punishment – You are 21 or older and the victim is younger than 16
If you are 21 years of age or older and the victim is under the age of 16, the offense is a felony punishable by 2, 3 or 4 years in county jail and a maximum $10,000 fine.
Misdemeanor/felony statutory rape punishment – You are at least 3 years older than the victim
If you are at least 3 years older than the victim (and the victim is not younger than 16), the offense is considered a “wobbler” which means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the facts of your individual case and your prior criminal history. If charged as a misdemeanor you face up to a year in county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. If charged as a felony you face 16 months, 2 or 3 years in county jail and a maximum $10,000 fine.
Duty to register as a sex offender
If you are convicted of statutory rape under California Penal Code section 261.5, you may be required to register as a sex offender per California Penal Code section 290. If the court requires you to register as a sex offender, you will have to update your registration with a local law enforcement agency for as long as you work, live, or attend school in California. In addition, personal information such as your name, address and photograph are released to the public via a sex offender website run by the Department of Justice.
Also, as a registered sex offender, you may be required to live a substantial distance from any park or school, for most registered sex offenders must live in an “isolated area.” It is often extremely difficult for PC 290 registrants to find places to live because most property owners do not wish to rent their properties to PC 290 registrants.
Further, if you fail to register as a sex offender, you can face an additional criminal charge for violating Penal Code section 290. The stigma of being classified as a sex offender can be devastating for both, your personal and professional life. An experienced attorney at Wallin & Klarich can vigorously fight for your chance to avoid this harmful criminal consequence.
Statutory rape civil penalties
If you are convicted of statutory rape you may also be subject to civil penalties in addition to your underlying criminal sentence. These include:
- If you engaged in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor less than two years younger you are liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $2,000
- If you engaged in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor at least two years younger you are liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000
- If you engaged in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor at least 3 years younger you are liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000
- If you are over the age of 21 and engaged in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under 16 years of age you are liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $25,000
According to California Penal Code section 261.5(e)(2): “The district attorney may bring actions to recover civil penalties pursuant to this subdivision. From the amounts collected for each case, an amount equal to the costs of pursuing the action shall be deposited with the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered, and the remainder shall be deposited in the Underage Pregnancy Prevention Fund, which is hereby created in the State Treasury. Amounts deposited in the Underage Pregnancy Prevention Fund may be used only for the purpose of preventing underage pregnancy upon appropriation by the Legislature.”
Court options at the time of sentencing
If you are convicted of statutory rape, the court has discretion in determining your punishment depending on the circumstances of your case. The court has the following options at time of sentencing:
- Sentence you to one of three terms provided by law:
- Misdemeanor statutory rape: up to one year in county jail
- Felony statutory rape: 16 months, 2 or 3 years in county jail
- Felony statutory rape (You are 21 or older and victim is under 16): 2, 3 or 4 years in county jail
- Place you on probation and impose a sentence of up to one year in county jail
- Place you on probation with no jail time, but order you to do community service, a work release program and attend therapy
- Place you on formal probation and assign you a probation officer
- Order you to register as a sex offender pursuant to California Penal Code section 290
Statutory Rape Probation terms
When you are placed on probation the court will impose specific terms of probation that apply to the crime for which you were convicted. These terms of probation will include:
- Violate no law (other than a traffic infraction)
- Visit your probation officer as often as required by your probation terms
- Perform community service
- Attend sexual addiction or rehabilitation programs
- Random drug testing
- Random searches of your person or home
These are only a few of the probation terms that a court can impose. If you are found to be in violation of any of these terms, the court can sentence you to the maximum time allowed by law.
Finding an experienced statutory rape defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich
The sentencing and punishment for statutory rape in California can be severe and potentially life changing. If you or someone you know has been accused of this offense, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer
who will carefully review the facts and the law to give you the best representation possible. With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Victorville and West Covina, Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience in defending our clients against statutory rape charges. We will carefully review the evidence against you and help you win your case.
Call us today at (877) 466-5245 or fill out our confidential form. We will be there when you call.