Solicitation of a Minor
If you are facing charges of solicitation of a minor or other sex crime involving minors, it is essential that you have an experienced California defense attorney in your corner at every stage of your case.
Sex crimes involving minors – including solicitation of minors – are very serious criminal charges, and an arrest and conviction can be socially stigmatizing.
An experienced attorney will be able to examine all of the facts and circumstances of your case, fight for your rights, and assert legal defenses on your behalf, in order to obtain the best possible outcome.
What Is Solicitation of a Minor in California?
According to the California Penal Code, solicitation of a minor involves the following:
- Exchanging inappropriate messages online (such as in chat rooms or on social media sites and other online venues), for the purpose of sexual satisfaction or gratification.
- Attempting to set up a meeting with a minor for the purpose of engaging in sexual intercourse or some other sexual activity.
An individual may face a charge of solicitation of a minor (17 years of age or younger), even if the meeting never actually occurs.
A conviction for solicitation of a minor may result in a lengthy state prison term, as a well as a large fine. Heavier penalties apply to repeat offenders. Moreover, an arrestee convicted of solicitation of a minor will likely have to register as a sex offender.
An experienced attorney familiar with solicitation of a minor can assert the necessary legal defenses, such as being at the wrong place at the wrong time, for example, in order to help you obtain the best possible outcome.
Child prostitution is a form of sexual exploitation. A child prostitution conviction can result in a sex offender designation.
As in all criminal cases, in California, the State – not the defendant – has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that you are presumed innocent of the charge(s) unless or until you are proven guilty. You may have several legal defenses available to you. These defenses include:
- entrapment (usually by a police officer or other investigator during a “sting” operation)
- lack of knowledge
- illegal or unconstitutional investigations
An experienced solicitation of a minor attorney can hear your side of the story. He advocate the best possible legal defenses on your behalf.
Lewd Acts With a Child and Child Molestation
Lewd acts, criminalized under California Penal Code 288 PC, is a crime committed by touching a child somewhere on his or her body, for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification. The touching doesn’t need to be of a sexual organ and can be done on top the child’s clothing. Child molestation refers to any actions by an adult towards a minor, in order to satisfy the adult offender’s sexual desire. Common defenses include:
- lying accusers
- mistaken identity
- accidental contact by an alleged offender
A convicted defendant may have to face many years of incarceration. He or she must also register as a sex offender with the State. These penalties increase further and may lead to a life sentence if the defendant is a repeat offender.
California law criminalizes child pornography in three ways:
- sales, and/or
- production of child pornography.
An offender may be prosecuted under both state and federal law for possessing, selling, or producing pornographic material depicting children.
A defendant convicted of a child pornography charge must pay a large fine and face a long prison term. He or she must also register as a sex offender in California.
Continuous Sexual Abuse
Section 288.5 of the California Penal Code defines “continuous sexual abuse” as engaging in 3 or more acts of substantial sexual conduct with a child who is under the age of 14 at the time of the offense – and by a person who resides in the same home as the child or who has “recurring access” to the child. The conduct must take place for a period of not less than three months.
“Substantial sexual conduct” means oral sex or masturbation of either the child or defendant. Or it means penetration of the child or defendant’s vagina or rectum by the other person’s penis (or by a foreign object, such as a finger or other object).
Defenses to continuous sexual abuse charges include:
- mental disability or insanity of the offender
- false accusations
- involuntary intoxication
Upon conviction, a defendant may have to serve a 6, 12, or 16-year prison sentence. He or she must also register as a sex offender.
Contact Our California Sex Offender Defense Lawyers
Defendants charged with child sex crimes face harsh penalties – not to mention being ostracized from one’s community, family, and friends. An experienced solicitation of a minor attorney can review your case with you and prepare defenses for trial. Successful defenses can lead to a lesser charge or, in some cases, a dismissal of your case. If you have been charged with solicitation of a minor or other California sex crime, call The Chastaine Law Office at (916) 932-7150.