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 Offices of Elliott N. 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.
ATTORNEYS IN SAN DIEGO EXPLAIN THE IMPACT OF MEGAN’S LAW
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)
Misdemeanor – Up to 1 year in county jail Felony – Up to 4 years in prison and sexual registry
WHAT ARE SEX CRIMES WITH A MINOR? LOCAL LAWYERS IN SAN DIEGO EXPLAIN
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? YES, SAYS SAN DIEGO LAW FIRM
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 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 DO YOU NEED A SEXUAL OFFENSE ATTORNEY IN SAN DIEGO?
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 30 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 N. Kanter today by phone or email at email@example.com 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.
LAW FIRMS IN SAN DIEGO DISCUSS LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACT CRIMES
Sex crimes in California include many statutes. Some of these crimes are committed toward children and some toward adults. The following are a few examples of sex crimes, covered under California law.
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (i), any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act, including any of the acts constituting other crimes provided for in Part 1, upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child who is under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.
PC 288 – This is a felony charge that carries a penalty of up to 8-years in prison for each act. The state takes many things into consideration. This includes the age of the child, the violence that was waged against the child and the record of the offender.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE CALIFORNIA CHILD PORNOGRAPHY STATUTE
(a) Every person who knowingly sends or causes to be sent, or brings or causes to be brought, into this state for sale or distribution, or in this state possesses, prepares, publishes, produces, develops, duplicates, or prints any representation of information, data, or image, including, but not limited to, any film, filmstrip, photograph, negative, slide, photocopy, videotape, video laser disc, computer hardware, computer software, computer floppy disc, data storage media, CD-ROM, or computer-generated equipment or any other computer-generated image that contains or incorporates in any manner, any film or filmstrip, with intent to distribute or to exhibit to, or to exchange with, others, or who offers to distribute, distributes, or exhibits to, or exchanges with, others, any obscene matter, knowing that the matter depicts a person under the age of 18 years personally engaging in or personally simulating sexual conduct, as defined in Section 311.4, shall be punished either by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison, by a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by the fine and imprisonment.
(b) This section does not apply to the activities of law enforcement and prosecuting agencies in the investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses or to legitimate medical, scientific, or educational activities, or to lawful conduct between spouses.
(c) This section does not apply to matter which depicts a child under the age of 18, which child is legally emancipated, including lawful conduct between spouses when one or both is under the age of 18.
(d) It does not constitute a violation of this section for a telephone corporation, as defined by Section 234 of the Public Utilities Code, to carry or transmit messages described in this chapter or perform related activities in providing telephone services.
PC 311.1 – This crime carries a penalty of up to 8-years in prison. The offender also will pay up to $2500 in fines, and you will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
CALIFORNIA RAPE STATUTE
(1) Where a person is incapable, because of a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability, of giving legal consent, and this is known or reasonably should be known to the person committing the act. Notwithstanding the existence of a conservatorship pursuant to the provisions of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (Part 1 (commencing with Section 5000) of Division 5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code), the prosecuting attorney shall prove, as an element of the crime, that a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability rendered the alleged victim incapable of giving consent.
(2) Where it is accomplished against a person’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the person or another.
(3) Where a person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known by the accused.
(4) Where a person is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act, and this is known to the accused. As used in this paragraph, “unconscious of the nature of the act” means incapable of resisting because the victim meets any one of the following conditions:
(A) Was unconscious or asleep.
(B) Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant that the act occurred.
(C) Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant of the essential characteristics of the act due to the perpetrator’s fraud in fact.
(D) Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant of the essential characteristics of the act due to the perpetrator’s fraudulent representation that the sexual penetration served a professional purpose when it served no professional purpose.
(5) Where a person submits under the belief that the person committing the act is someone known to the victim other than the accused, and this belief is induced by any artifice, pretense, or concealment practiced by the accused, with intent to induce the belief.
(6) Where the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by threatening to retaliate in the future against the victim or any other person, and there is a reasonable possibility that the perpetrator will execute the threat. As used in this paragraph, “threatening to retaliate” means a threat to kidnap or falsely imprison, or to inflict extreme pain, serious bodily injury, or death.
(7) Where the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by threatening to use the authority of a public official to incarcerate, arrest, or deport the victim or another, and the victim has a reasonable belief that the perpetrator is a public official. As used in this paragraph, “public official” means a person employed by a governmental agency who has the authority, as part of that position, to incarcerate, arrest, or deport another. The perpetrator does not actually have to be a public official.
(b) As used in this section, “duress” means a direct or implied threat of force, violence, danger, or retribution sufficient to coerce a reasonable person of ordinary susceptibilities to perform an act which otherwise would not have been performed, or acquiesce in an act to which one otherwise would not have submitted. The total circumstances, including the age of the victim, and his or her relationship to the defendant, are factors to consider in appraising the existence of duress.
(c) As used in this section, “menace” means any threat, declaration, or act which shows an intention to inflict an injury upon another.
PC 261 – Rape. Rape carries a penalty of up to 8-years in prison. It is also a law that will apply a strike towards the California 3-strikes. The crime of rape requires an offender to serve at least 85% of his or her time. Upon release, they are likely to be placed on probation and monitored with an ankle monitor for a period of time.
WHAT IS SEXUAL BATTERY? A SAN DIEGO SEX CRIMES ATTORNEY EXPLAINS
(a) Any person who touches an intimate part of another person while that person is unlawfully restrained by the accused or an accomplice, and if the touching is against the will of the person touched and is for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, is guilty of sexual battery. A violation of this subdivision is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, and by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000); or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, and by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
(b) Any person who touches an intimate part of another person who is institutionalized for medical treatment and who is seriously disabled or medically incapacitated, if the touching is against the will of the person touched, and if the touching is for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, is guilty of sexual battery. A violation of this subdivision is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, and by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000); or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, and by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
(c) Any person who touches an intimate part of another person for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse and the victim is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act because the perpetrator fraudulently represented that the touching served a professional purpose, is guilty of sexual battery. A violation of this subdivision is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, and by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000); or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, and by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
(d) Any person who, for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, causes another, against that person’s will while that person is unlawfully restrained either by the accused or an accomplice, or is institutionalized for medical treatment and is seriously disabled or medically incapacitated, to masturbate or touch an intimate part of either of those persons or a third person, is guilty of sexual battery. A violation of this subdivision is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, and by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000); or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, and by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
(e) (1) Any person who touches an intimate part of another person, if the touching is against the will of the person touched, and is for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, is guilty of misdemeanor sexual battery, punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment. However, if the defendant was an employer and the victim was an employee of the defendant, the misdemeanor sexual battery shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding three thousand dollars ($3,000), by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any amount of a fine above two thousand dollars ($2,000) which are collected from a defendant for a violation of this subdivision shall be transmitted to the State Treasury and, upon appropriation by the Legislature, distributed to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing for the purpose of enforcement of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Part 2.8 (commencing with Section 12900) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), including, but not limited to, laws that proscribe sexual harassment in places of employment. However, in no event shall an amount over two thousand dollars ($2,000) be transmitted to the State Treasury until all fines, including any restitution fines that may have been imposed upon the defendant, have been paid in full.
(2) As used in this subdivision, “touches” means physical contact with another person, whether accomplished directly, through the clothing of the person committing the offense, or through the clothing of the victim.
(f) As used in subdivisions (a), (b), (c), and (d), “touches” means physical contact with the skin of another person whether accomplished directly or through the clothing of the person committing the offense.
(g) As used in this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Intimate part” means the sexual organ, anus, groin, or buttocks of any person and the breast of a female.
(2) “Sexual battery” does not include the crimes defined in Section 261 or 289.
(3) “Seriously disabled” means a person with severe physical or sensory disabilities.
(4) “Medically incapacitated” means a person who is incapacitated as a result of prescribed sedatives, anesthesia, or other medication.
(5) “Institutionalized” means a person who is located voluntarily or involuntarily in a hospital, medical treatment facility, nursing home, acute care facility, or mental hospital.
(6) “Minor” means a person under 18 years of age.
(h) This section shall not be construed to limit or prevent prosecution under any other law which also prescribes a course of conduct that also is proscribed by this section.
(i) In the case of a felony conviction for a violation of this section, the fact that the defendant was an employer and the victim was an employee of the defendant shall be a factor in aggravation in sentencing.
(j) A person who commits a violation of subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d) against a minor when the person has a prior felony conviction for a violation of this section shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years and a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
PC 243.4 – Sexual battery. Sexual battery is touching someone against their will, for your sexual arousal. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Conviction of a misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to 1-year in county jail. If convicted of a felony, the sentence is up to 4-years in state prison and he or she must register as a sex offender for the rest of their life.