Sex Crimes Attorney

If you have been charged with a crime of sexual misconduct in San Diego, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible Sex crimes carry harsh penalties, jail time, and lifelong stigma. Contact our office today to discuss the details of your case.

Learn More

Get in touch

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Sex Crimes Attorney in San Diego, CA

What to do if you’re charged with a sexual offense? If you’re charged with a sex crime, you’re involved in a very delicate matter and will need the help of a criminal defense attorney. Being convicted of a sex crime can permanently turn your life upside down. First, you may have to pay a big fine. Worse, you might face jail time. But one thing is certain: you’ll have to register as a sexual offender, a status you’ll carry for the rest of your life. This may ruin your future opportunities to find a house or a job.

So if you find yourself in this situation, don’t delay in hiring an experienced San Diego sexual offense attorney with The Law Office of Elliott Kanter. Our law firm will handle your case honestly and strategically. If you have questions regarding the charges you are facing, or if you would like to set up a consultation with one of our sexual offense lawyers, contact our law office today.

The Impact of Megan's Law on Sex Crimes

Prosecutors and judges take all charges of sex crimes very seriously. Under the recently passed Megan’s Law, these crimes must be reported. Law enforcement agencies and the District Attorney’s offices have dedicated resources to investigate sexual crime cases. And under Megan’s Law, you will have to register as a sexual offender – a label you will carry for the rest of your life. Megan’s Law is named after a 7-year-old New Jersey girl, Megan Kanka, who was raped and killed by a known child molester who had moved across the street from the family without their knowledge. In the wake of the tragedy, the family sought to have local communities warned about sex offenders in their neighborhoods.

The reporting requirements of the California Sex Offender Registration Act are quite specific. Penal Code 290(b)  requires those who have been declared California sex offenders to register their identifying information with their local law enforcement agency as long as they live, work, or attend school in California. Persons convicted of specified sex crimes are required to register as sex offenders with a local law enforcement agency. A variety of acts fall under the category of erotic crimes and range from misdemeanors to felonies.

  • Rape: Rape is the erotic act either by force, violence, or coercion.
  • Statutory Rape: Statutory rape is defined as sex between an older person and someone below the legal age of 18 years (but above 14 years). Even if the underage individual consents, the charge of statutory rape can still be applied.
  • Prostitution: Prostitution occurs when a person receives payment – either money or something of value – in exchange for erotic acts. Pimping occurs when one person solicits acts of prostitution on behalf of another. Both crimes may be considered felonies or misdemeanors, depending on circumstances.
  • Lewd Conduct: Lewd conduct involves sexual activity in public. These acts may include giving or receiving oral sex, exposure of genitals, or public masturbation. Frequently, undercover officers target public restrooms and the case ends up being a matter of two conflicting statements.

(Click a statute below for additional information)

PC 288 Lewd act with a child - Up to 8 years in prison for each act

PC 311.1 Possession of child pornography - Up to 8 years in prison

PC 261 Rape - Up to 8 years in prison

PC 243.4 Sexual Battery Misdemeanor – Up to 1 year in county jail; Felony – Up to 4 years in prison and sexual registry

Sex Crimes Involving Minor Children

The crime of sex with a child under the age of 10, found in California Penal Code 288.7, is one of the most serious and harshly punished crimes on the books.  An adult who engages in sexual acts with a minor under 10 is prosecuted under this penal code. Most people convicted of this offense will never see freedom again  It represents one of the most serious cases of sexual assault under the law.

Sodomy with a minor under 10 is a felony and penalties can include:

  • 25 Years to Life in the California State Prison
  • Registration as a lifetime sex offender

You will need legal guidance from a lawyer with years of experience in order to fight these charges at trial. If you are facing false accusations, it’s best to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the police have arrested you.

Oral Copulation or penetration with a minor under 10 is a felony and penalties can include:

  • 15 Years to Life in the California State Prison
  • Registration as a lifetime sex offender

Is it a Crime to Send Harmful Matter to a Minor?

California Penal Code 288.2 covers the law that makes it a crime to send the harmful matter to a minor with the intent to seduce.  Today these are usually done by text messages and you can easily be convicted if the text messages are retrieved and used as evidence in court. According to California Penal Code section  313(a)

“Harmful matter” means matter, taken as a whole, which to the average person, applying contemporary statewide standards, appeals to the prurient interest, and is matter which, taken as a whole, depicts or describes in a patently offensive way sexual conduct and which, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.

A first time California Penal Code Section 288.2 conviction can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, but a subsequent child molestation conviction is a felony. Felony convictions come with lifetime registration as a sex offender.

What is considered Sexual Abuse of a Minor?

The law that aims to protect children from any continuous sexual abuse is found in California Penal Code 288.5. A person is guilty of this crime if he/she lives with, or has recurring access to, a child under 14 years old;  and over the course of 3 months or longer, commits (on the child) 3 or more acts of either (a) substantial sexual contact or (b) lewd acts.

Penal Code 288.5 is a felony in California law and if convicted the judge can decide to impose either 6, 12 or 16 years of state prison. In rare cases, a judge might consider granting probation (with a year or less of county jail time).  Penal Code 288.5 is a strike under the California three strikes law and if convicted, a person must register for life as a sex offender.

Why You Need A San Diego Sex Crimes Attorney

It can be very frightening if you or a loved one is accused of a sex crime in San Diego County. But remember: just because you’re charged, you aren’t necessarily guilty. Our sex crime attorneys will work with you to prove your innocence or have your charges dropped or reduced. What we really want to do is prevent you from having to register as a sexual offender for the rest of your life.

Our attorneys have over 40 years of experience in criminal law. Some of our team’s practice areas include sex crimes, indecent exposure, domestic violence, DUI, theft, assault and battery, juvenile offenses, and drug crimes. So please don’t hesitate to contact experienced attorney Elliott Kanter today by phone or email at for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. You can also fill out the online form on this website. During your consultation, our team will review your case, provide you with legal advice, and discuss the legal process with you so you are fully informed of your choices. Come in, tell us your side of the story, and together we’ll get started.

Get in touch

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.