In Orange County, California, anyone accused of engaging in sexual acts with a child may quickly lose their job, be left by their family, and lose close friends. Child molestation is viewed as a particularly viscious crime, and those who are charged can expect for prosecutors to pursue maximum penalties against them. If convicted, defendants can serve time in prison, pay thousands of dollars in fines, and become a lifetime inclusion on California’s sex offender registry list.
At MacGregor & Collins, LLP, our sexual assault defense attorneys know that there are two sides to every story. By taking advantage of our free case evaluation, you may be able to receive information that can help you avoid making costly mistakes. Call us today or fill out our contact form to reach a skilled legal professional with years of experience assisting sex crime defendants.
Child Molestation Defined
Child molestation offenses in California are governed by multiple penal codes, but here I will be specifically referring to Penal Code 288. According to CPC 288, lewd acts on a minor under 14 years of age, child molestation occurs when a person 18-years-old or older touches a child under 14 somewhere on their body for the purpose of sexual arousal. The offender is not required to touch the victim on their genital area for it to be considered a lewd act.
The following could be used as an example of violating PC 288:
Dennis is babysitting his friend’s 10-year-old daughter. While he is babysitting, he takes the girl into his bedroom and begins to kiss her arms and feet. The actions cause Dennis to become aroused. The 10-year-old girl tells her mother about the incident, including details she had observed regarding Dennis’ arousal. The mom calls the police who arrest Dennis for committing lewd acts on a minor under 14.
Penalties for OC Child Molestation Violations
Those found guilty of molesting a child face a felony offense that can result in the following penalty:
- Up to 16 years in California State Prison depending upon the offender’s criminal history and circumstances surrounding the individual’s case.
In addition to facing lengthy jail terms, individuals who are convicted of child molestation may have to endure other penal code penalties as well. These penalties may include a limit on their freedom of movement, probation, and a lifelong requirement to register as a sex offender in the state of California. It can prove to be extremely difficult to “start over” once a person has been convicted of sexual activity with a minor.
At the Law Offices of MacGregor & Collins, LLP, we are committed to protecting your legal rights because we are fully aware of the consequences a conviction can carry. If you or a loved one has been charged with child molestation – which can include sexual battery, exposing a child to pornographic material, exposing oneself to a child, and non-penetrative sexual activity – it is important that you contact a reputable legal representative. We commit ourselves entirely to our clients’ cases and you can trust that we will do the same for you. Contact MacGregor & Collins, LLP today to schedule a consultation.