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If you are facing charges involving sexual contact with a minor, it is essential that you have an experienced California defense attorney in your corner at every stage of your case. Sex crimes involving minor, 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 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?
Solicitation of a minor involves the following:
- Exchanging inappropriate messages online for the purpose of sexual satisfaction or gratification
- Attempting to set up a meeting with a minor for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity
An individual may face a charge of solicitation of a minor (17 years of age or younger), even if the meeting never occurs. A conviction 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 charges can assert the necessary legal defenses in order to help you obtain the best possible outcome.
Child prostitution is a form of sexual exploitation. A 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:
- Lack of knowledge
- Illegal or unconstitutional investigations
An experienced attorney can hear your side of the story and advocate the best possible 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 toward 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
- Lack of intent
Someone convicted of such case may have to face many years of incarceration up to a life sentence. They must also register as a sex offender. These penalties increase further if the accused is a repeat offender.
State and federal law criminalizes child pornography in three ways:
- 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 may face a long prison term and very restrictive conditions upon release. 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 three 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 penetration of the child or defendant’s vagina or rectum by penis or foreign 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 a Sacramento Area Sex Crime Lawyer Today
Defendants charged with child sex crimes face harsh penalties, not to mention being ostracized from one’s community, family, and friends. An experienced sex crime 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.
At Chastaine Jones, we understand how scary and confusing it can be to be charged with a sex crime. The stigma of the charges can be overwhelming. The decision on how to proceed is difficult and requires guidance from a skilled and experienced attorney. Talk to one of our attorneys by calling our office at 916-894-8431 or by sending an email.