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.

Accused of child molestation in Folsom, CA? Call Walsh Law today at 916-237-8270 or use our online contact form to speak with an experienced Folsom child molestation defense attorney.

What Is Child Molestation in California?

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:

  • Lewd or Lascivious Act on a Child (California Penal Code Section 288 PC): This makes it illegal to have a sexual purpose while touching a child’s body or to cause a child to touch themselves for sexual purposes.
  • Perform Oral Copulation with a Minor (California Penal Code Section 287 PC): This makes it illegal to have contact between the mouth and sexual organ or anus when one of those people is a minor.
  • Sending Explicit or Obscene Matter to a Minor (California Penal Code Section 288.2 PC): This makes it illegal to send sexually arousing (to the sender or recipient) or seducing images to someone under 18.
  • Contacting a Minor with Intent to Commit a Felony (California Penal Code Section 288.3 PC): This makes it a crime to have any contact with a minor under the age of 18 while intending to commit a “serious felony.”
  • Arranging to Meet with a Minor with Intent to Engage in Certain Sexual Conduct (California Penal Code Section 288.4 PC): This applies to anyone contacting a minor under 18 via phone, email, computer messages, or any other means with the intent of engaging them in certain sexual acts.
  • Engaging in Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child (California Penal Code Section 288.5 PC): This applies to minors under 14 and involves at least three instances of sexual abuse over the course of three months or more.
  • Adult Engaging in Sexual Acts with a Child (California Penal Code Section 288.7 PC): This involves an adult engaging in sexual acts with a child under the age of 10.
  • Annoying a Minor Under the Age of 18 (California Penal Code Section 647.6 PC): This involves conduct that is motivated by sexual interest in a child, and which is likely to disturb, irritate, or be observed by a child.
  • Unlawful Sex with a Minor (California Penal Code Section 261.5 PC): This involves sexual intercourse with any person under the age of 18.

Who Is a Minor in California?

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.

Charges Related to Child Molestation

Some charges are closely related to child molestation offenses in California. They may even be simultaneously charged. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Child Pornography (California Penal Code Section 311 PC): This involves sending, transporting, duplicating, printing, exchanging, advertising, or possessing child pornography. It can also include hiring or persuading minors to participate in making pornographic images or videos.
  • Sexual Assault and Battery (California Penal Code Section 243.4 PC): This involves the nonconsensual touching of an intimate part of another person for purposes of sexual gratification, arousal, or abuse.
  • Kidnapping (California Penal Code Section 207 PC): This involves moving another person a substantial distance without that person’s consent by using force or fear.

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.

Child Molestation Penalties in California

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.

Other Potential Consequences of a Child Molestation Conviction

In addition to incarceration, you could face many other collateral consequences for a child molestation conviction, including:

  • Community service
  • Informal (summary) probation or formal probation
  • Suspension or loss of professional licenses
  • Difficulty finding a job or housing
  • Citizenship or immigration issues
  • Loss of firearm rights for felons
  • Loss of child custody or visitation rights

Defenses for Child Molestation Charges in Folsom

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:

The Alleged Victim Was Not a Minor

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.

The Contact Was Not Sexual in Nature

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.

The Accuser Is Making False Accusations

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.

Child Molestation Charge FAQs

Do I have to register as a sex offender for a child molestation conviction?

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.

Can I get a child molestation conviction expunged?

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.

Can I get deported for a child molestation conviction?

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.

Get Help from a Folsom Child Molestation Defense Lawyer

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.

Call 916-237-8270 today or fill out our secure contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.


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