California Penal Code 288

Are you facing charges for lewd acts with a child under 14? Violation of Penal Code 288 is a very serious offense. If convicted of a sex crime you can expect to become a life time inclusion on California’s sex offender’s registry list. These days, almost anyone has access and there are even mobile applications to help locate convicted sex crime offenders.


At MacGregor & Collins, LLP, our sex crime attorneys in Orange County have decades of experience assisting California defendants. Once retained, a skilled legal professional will begin working on your case right away to expose the prosecution’s flaw’s. Call (888) 250-2865 or fill out our contact form to get help now.


PC 288 Defined


Anyone who knowingly commits lewd acts with a minor under 14 years, with the motive of sexual arousal can be found guilty of violating Penal Code 288.
In order to prosecute for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, the state’s prosecutors will need sufficient evidence to prove that you:


  • Intentionally touched a child’s body or body part or persuaded a child to do so, even if they consented.
  • participated in touching that was intended to gratify or arouse the sexual desires of yourself or the child in question.


The following could be considered an example of someone who has violated CPC 288:


Ramon is at his girlfriend’s house, Jessica, when an emergency comes up and she has to leave. Jessica asks Ramon to watch over her 13-year-old daughter while she is gone and Ramon agrees. While Jessica is out, her 13-year-old daughter begins to engage in conversation with Ramon about sexual satisfaction. Ramon believes that the child is trying to engage in a sexual act with him and begins to do so. Jessica comes home, witnesses Ramon engaging in a sexual act with her daughter, calls the police, and Ramon is arrested.


Regardless of the fact that the child was seemingly consenting to the sexual act, Ramon can be prosecuted for violating PC 288. Children at that age are considered by the court to be children and are not in a position to consent to sexual acts.


CPC 288 Penalties


The penalties or punishment for lewd acts with a child under 14 depends on whether or not you are being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony offense. If prosecutors can prove that you arranged a meeting with a minor with the intention of committing lewd acts, you could be charged with violating PC 288.4 as well. PC 288 is a “wobbler” penal code, which means that those who face charges can face a misdemeanor or a felony depending upon their case circumstance and their prior criminal history.


The following are the maximum penalties that you may face:



  • Up to eight years in a California State Prison and a maximum $10,000 fine
  • Lifetime registry as a sex offender



  • Up to 1 Year in County Jail and a maximum $1,000 fine
  • Lifetime registry as a sex offender


The crime is characterized by several factors, including the age of the child and the age difference between the victim and defendant.


  • Defendants may be required to register as a sex offender


Sex Crime Legal Assistance


Since sexual assault is a serious offense, especially when it involves a minor, it is imperative to work with a skilled defense team in order to prove one’s innocence. Sexual assault accusations can take a toll on one’s reputation, career and life, so tread carefully.


If you are facing lewd acts with a minor under 14 for Penal Code 288, speaking with an experienced attorney may benefit your case. Call today to speak with a sex crime lawyer for up to one hour for free.

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