Your life can be devastated by a false or unjust accusation of child molestation. These charges are serious and require a strong defense to help you avoid the harshest consequences under California laws.
Several statutes define child molestation in California. This crime involves engaging in sexual acts with a child under the age of 18. It is a wobbler offense, meaning it may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the age of the child and other facts of the case.
Some offenses that fall under child molestation crimes include:
While anyone under the age of 18 is technically a minor, California’s child molestation laws define “minor” differently. Some of them apply only to children aged 10 and under and others apply to those aged 14 and under. However, the majority of these laws apply to anyone under the age of 18, which is the age of consent to have sex in California.
Some charges are closely related to child molestation offenses in California. They may even be simultaneously charged. They include, but are not limited to:
If you are facing a child molestation charge or related offense, you need to work closely with a Folsom child molestation lawyer who can explain your potential penalties and work to minimize the consequences.
Many of California’s child molestation offenses can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. That makes them “wobbler” offenses. The prosecution will determine whether to charge the offense as a misdemeanor or felony based on the specific facts of the case, such as the age of the alleged victim, whether force was used, and the criminal history of the alleged offender.
If the child molestation offense is charged as a misdemeanor, you could face up to one year in county jail. If you’re facing a felony child molestation charge, you could spend years in state prison.
In addition to incarceration, you could face many other collateral consequences for a child molestation conviction, including:
Child molestation charges are serious. They can ruin your reputation and tarnish your record. Folsom child molestation defense attorney Chris Walsh knows what you’re up against. He understands how the prosecution puts together a case because he used to be a prosecutor. Now he uses that information to develop strong defenses that get charges reduced and dismissed.
Some commonly used child molestation defenses include:
Each statute defines “minor” differently. One defense we can use is that the alleged victim in your case did not meet the legal definition of a minor for the charge of which you are being accused.
Most child molestation charges involve touching that is sexual. However, if you did contact a minor, but not in a sexual manner, then you should not be convicted of child molestation.
This is a frequently used defense in child molestation cases. False accusations can come from adults and children due to misunderstandings, confusion, revenge, anger, and more. This is especially common when there is a pending family law case involving child custody or visitation and the other parent wants to get a leg up.
Some California child molestation offenses do require registration as a sex offender if there is a conviction. Your best option is to avoid this situation entirely by working with a Folsom child molestation defense attorney who can help you avoid the harshest consequences like sex offender registration.
Some child molestation convictions can be expunged in California. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor offense and have served all your jail time and probation, then you may be eligible for expungement. However, if you were found guilty of a felony child molestation offense that resulted in prison time, then your offense is not eligible for expungement.
Many of California’s child molestation offenses are considered “crimes of moral turpitude,” which can harm your status as an immigrant. A conviction may lead to deportation.
The penalties for a child molestation conviction are severe, including incarceration and other consequences that can ruin your life. At Walsh Law, our Folsom child molestation defense attorneys are ready to fight for you. We will do what it takes to clear your name and get your charges reduced or dismissed.