Lewd Acts with a Minor (CA Penal Code 288 PC) is a crime that is committed when an adult willingly touches a child on his or her body for sexual purposes. This type of case usually involves an accusation that the child was touched on a sexual organ, or that some type of child molestation took place.
Being accused of lewd acts with a minor can be devastating and have negative effects on your reputation, home life, and professional life. Many times these accusation are false, and sadly many innocent people have been falsely convicted of lewd acts with a minor.
At the Law Offices of David Chesley we have experts and knowledgeable attorneys that can prove your innocence. Attorney David Chesley with the assistance of the other lawyers in his firm has helped many clients who were facing lewd acts with a minor charges. Having a good attorney by your side will help you understand the charges you are facing, and help you defend yourself against the accusations made against you.
After an accusation occurs, law enforcement agencies immediately get involved. Usually they have a special team that handles child molestation cases. It all start when the police is contacted, either by the child, a parent, or a teacher. Once this is done the police will first interview the accuser.
After the accuser is interviewed, a medical examination and forensic analysis takes place. A trained specialist will examine the child’s body to see if there was any anal or vaginal penetration, the police will test the child’s clothes, body and the location were the alleged sexual acts happened to find any evidence.
Once all this is done, the police will finally ask to hear your side of the story. This can take place out of custody or after you have been arrested. Child molestation is very serious and often leads to police enforcement automatically believing the accuser and trying to make the suspect incriminate himself. Even if you are completely innocent and have nothing to hide, police could use any statement you may give them to prove you are dishonest or untruthful. For this reason we advice that no matter where you are being questioned, you choose to remain silent until you have your attorney present.
The defenses that can be used to prove your innocence depend on the circumstance for your individual case. Your attorney will asses the situation and build the best defense for your particular situation. For example if the case comes down to the accuser’s word, proving that the accuser has a history of being untruthful would be a great defense, this can be done by investigating the accuser’s school, counseling, family and friends.
If convicted of lewd acts with a minor the penalties vary depending on the circumstances of your case. If the child was under 14 at the time the alleged lewd acts happened the penalty is either probation and up to one year in county jail or up to 8 years in a state prison.
If the child was 14 or 15 the crime may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If it is charged as a felony you may face probation and up to one year in a county jail or up to three years in a state prison. If it is charges a misdemeanor you will face probation and up to a year in a county jail. If convicted of lewd acts with a minor, you will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
At the Law Offices of David Chesley we invite you to contact us if you have any questions about a crime you have been accused of. We offer free initial consultations and are waiting to help you prove your innocence. Below is Penal Code 288 in detail.
CA Penal Code 288
288. (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. (b) (1) Any person who commits an act described in subdivision (a) by use of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 5, 8, or 10 years. (2) Any person who is a caretaker and commits an act described in subdivision (a) upon a dependent person by use of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person, with the intent described in subdivision (a), is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 5, 8, or 10 years. (c) (1) Any person who commits an act described in subdivision (a) with the intent described in that subdivision, and the victim is a child of 14 or 15 years, and that person is at least 10 years older than the child, is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for one, two, or three years, or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year. In determining whether the person is at least 10 years older than the child, the difference in age shall be measured from the birth date of the person to the birth date of the child. (2) Any person who is a caretaker and commits an act described in subdivision (a) upon a dependent person, with the intent described in subdivision (a), is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for one, two, or three years, or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year. (d) In any arrest or prosecution under this section or Section 288.5, the peace officer, district attorney, and the court shall consider the needs of the child victim or dependent person and shall do whatever is necessary, within existing budgetary resources, and constitutionally permissible to prevent psychological harm to the child victim or to prevent psychological harm to the dependent person victim resulting from participation in the court process. (e) Upon the conviction of any person for a violation of subdivision (a) or (b), the court may, in addition to any other penalty or fine imposed, order the defendant to pay an additional fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000). In setting the amount of the fine, the court shall consider any relevant factors, including, but not limited to, the seriousness and gravity of the offense, the circumstances of its commission, whether the defendant derived any economic gain as a result of the crime, and the extent to which the victim suffered economic losses as a result of the crime. Every fine imposed and collected under this section shall be deposited in the Victim-Witness Assistance Fund to be available for appropriation to fund child sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse victim counseling centers and prevention programs pursuant to Section 13837. If the court orders a fine imposed pursuant to this subdivision, the actual administrative cost of collecting that fine, not to exceed 2 percent of the total amount paid, may be paid into the general fund of the county treasury for the use and benefit of the county. (f) For purposes of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) and paragraph (2) of subdivision (c), the following definitions apply: (1) "Caretaker" means an owner, operator, administrator, employee, independent contractor, agent, or volunteer of any of the following public or private facilities when the facilities provide care for elder or dependent persons: (A) Twenty-four hour health facilities, as defined in Sections 1250, 1250.2, and 1250.3 of the Health and Safety Code. (B) Clinics. (C) Home health agencies. (D) Adult day health care centers. (E) Secondary schools that serve dependent persons and postsecondary educational institutions that serve dependent persons or elders. (F) Sheltered workshops. (G) Camps. (H) Community care facilities, as defined by Section 1402 of the Health and Safety Code, and residential care facilities for the elderly, as defined in Section 1569.2 of the Health and Safety Code. (I) Respite care facilities. (J) Foster homes. (K) Regional centers for persons with developmental disabilities. (L) A home health agency licensed in accordance with Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 1725) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code. (M) An agency that supplies in-home supportive services. (N) Board and care facilities. (O) Any other protective or public assistance agency that provides health services or social services to elder or dependent persons, including, but not limited to, in-home supportive services, as defined in Section 14005.14 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. (P) Private residences. (2) "Board and care facilities" means licensed or unlicensed facilities that provide assistance with one or more of the following activities: (A) Bathing. (B) Dressing. (C) Grooming. (D) Medication storage. (E) Medical dispensation. (F) Money management. (3) "Dependent person" means any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially restricts his or her ability to carry out normal activities or to protect his or her rights, including, but not limited to, persons who have physical or developmental disabilities or whose physical or mental abilities have significantly diminished because of age. "Dependent person" includes any person who is admitted as an inpatient to a 24-hour health facility, as defined in Sections 1250, 1250.2, and 1250.3 of the Health and Safety Code. (g) Paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) and paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) apply to the owners, operators, administrators, employees, independent contractors, agents, or volunteers working at these public or private facilities and only to the extent that the individuals personally commit, conspire, aid, abet, or facilitate any act prohibited by paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) and paragraph (2) of subdivision (c). (h) Paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) and paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) do not apply to a caretaker who is a spouse of, or who is in an equivalent domestic relationship with, the dependent person under care. (i) (1) Any person convicted of a violation of subdivision (a) shall be imprisoned in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole if the defendant personally inflicted bodily harm upon the victim. (2) The penalty provided in this subdivision shall only apply if the fact that the defendant personally inflicted bodily harm upon the victim is pled and proved. (3) As used in this subdivision, "bodily harm" means any substantial physical injury resulting from the use of force that is more than the force necessary to commit the offense.