Ignoring a sex crime allegation will not solve the challenge you face, and you should address the issue quickly. A criminal record following a conviction can follow you for the rest of your life, hindering the possibility of securing a job, limiting freedom, and affecting your livelihood, finances, social life, and future. Chula Vista Criminal Attorney can listen to you before developing legal strategies. Working with expert witnesses, we can analyze police reports and other evidence to find details supporting your criminal case and defending you in court. You could count on us to aggressively fight for your rights and freedom when you're charged with severe crimes that might include any of the discussed below.
PC 261 makes it illegal to use threats of force, force, or fraud as a way of having non-consensual sexual intercourse with somebody else.
Before convicting you of rape, the prosecutor should establish the following facts of the crime:
- you engaged in intercourse with somebody else,
- you weren't married to the victim at the moment,
- the victim didn't permit the intercourse, and
- you accomplished the conduct by using force, violence, threats of bodily injuries, fraud, retribution, menace, or coercion.
As far as this statute is concerned, sexual intercourse is any penetration of the genitalia or vagina by the penis, notwithstanding how insignificant. Ejaculation isn't required for the conduct to be deemed sexual intercourse.
One of the elements of the crime is that the victim doesn't agree to have sex. To consent, the individual should act voluntarily, freely, and understand the conduct's nature.
An individual who initially consents to sexual intercourse can change their mind during the conduct and deny consent.
Should this take place, intercourse is engaged without consent if:
- the alleged victim communicates no permission through behavior or words to you,
- a reasonable individual could have known that the conduct or words meant no permission, and
- you forcibly went ahead with the intercourse despite the objection.
PC 261 also highlights certain persons that can't consent to intercourse. That means you will be convicted of rape if you have sexual conduct with them. These people include:
- a person that is too drunk to give permission
- an unconscious individual
- a mental-challenged person
PC 261 Penalties
Typically, rape is charged as a California felony that carries formal probation and a maximum of eight years in state prison.
A conviction can carry a sex offender registration for life requirements.
You might spend an additional three (3) to five (5) years in state prison should the victim sustain great bodily injuries during the crime commission.
Additionally, the judge can also enhance the incarceration time if:
- the victim was below 18 (a maximum of eleven years in prison), and
- the victim was below 14 (thirteen years in state prison).
In addition, a conviction can result in loss of firearm rights.
Rape is a crime involving moral turpitude, and a conviction has undesirable immigration consequences. That means a non-immigrant will be marked as inadmissible or deported.
Can You Expunge Your Rape Conviction?
You can only expunge your rape conviction if you are awarded formal probation. The law bans expungement if the accused serves time in prison as opposed to county jail.
Statutory Rape (PC 261.5)
Statutory rape happens when a person (their age does not matter) has sexual intercourse with a child below eighteen years. It is a crime even if the sex was consensual or initiated by the minor child.
To be convicted of this crime, the prosecutor must show proof of the following:
- You engaged in intercourse with somebody else
- You weren't legally married to that person when you broke the law
- The alleged victim was a minor child when you committed the offense
Unlike ordinary rape under PC 261, the prosecution doesn't need to establish that the defendant applied force to achieve the intercourse or the victim didn't permit your sexual conduct.
Age of the Victim
The age of the involved parties plays a significant role when it comes to matters of sentencing.
An individual is a year older one minute after midnight on their birthday.
Please note that criminal charges can also stem from a loving and caring relationship. It is the age of the involved parties that matters.
Penalties for Violating Statutory Rape Laws
Statutory rape is prosecuted as a wobbler. The prosecutor could file the charges either as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the following case circumstances:
- If the alleged victim is younger than the defendant with less than three (3) years, the accused will face a misdemeanor.
- If the defendant is at least three years older than the victim, the crime is a wobbler.
- If you are older than 21 years while the victim is less than 16 years when sexual intercourse happens, the crime becomes a wobbler.
The punishment for a misdemeanor include the following:
- Summary or misdemeanor probation
- A year in jail
- One thousand dollars in fine
On the other hand, a felony attracts:
- A maximum fine of ten thousand dollars
- Probation and one year in jail, or
- Sixteen months, two years, or three years in custody
If you were at least 21 while the alleged victim was less than sixteen year, the sentence is up tofour years.
California Child Pornography Laws
PC 311 is the statute that prohibits sending, duplicating, printing, advertising, transporting, or possessing child pornography or persuading or hiring a minor to engage in making pornographic images.
Child pornography is any matter (photographs, slides, negatives, films, computer-generated equipment, or videotapes) that depicted sexual conduct by a minor.
Sexual conduct can include acts like oral copulation, masturbation, anal intercourse, and sexual intercourse. Oral copulation is any conduct between one person's mouth and another person's anus or sexual organ, regardless of how slight.
Violating PC 311 is a wobbler.
A felony carries three (3) years in state prison.
Penalties for a California misdemeanor include spending a year in jail and paying fines that range between one thousand dollars and two thousand and five hundred dollars.
A conviction will also result in:
- Adverse immigration penalties
- Registering as a sex offender
- Loss of firearm rights
Defenses Against a Child Pornography Charge
Due to the severe penalties linked to child pornography conviction, it is essential to seek legal representation regardless of how unfounded your charges might be. Your legal counsel will thoroughly investigate your arrest circumstances, review your case details, and negotiate with the prosecutor and try to get your charge reduced to a less severe crime or even dismissed.
Should the case proceed to trial, your lawyer understands what is at stake and can develop a compelling legal defense that increases the likelihood of avoiding a conviction. Some of the legal defenses they can use include:
- You didn't possess child pornography
- You didn't act knowingly
- You were linked to an issue with a legitimate purpose
- You were entrapped
- You were arrested after an illegal search and seizure
In October 2013, the California Governor signed into law the revenge porn bill SB 255. It is illegal to post sexually explicit videos or images of an individual online without consent, intending to cause the victim severe emotional distress.
To be convicted of revenge porn, the prosecution should verify the following facts of the offense:
- the defendant had a picture of the intimate part of another recognizable individual, or a photo of that individual involved in sexual intercourse, sexual penetration, sodomy, masturbation, or oral copulation,
- the accused deliberately distributed the image,
- there existed an agreement between the accused and the victim that the sexual photos should remain private,
- the defendant was aware or ought to have recognized that the image distribution would result in the other person's emotional distress, and
- the other individual sustained emotional distress.
An intimate body part in this statute is any part of the anus, genitals, or female breasts below the top of the areola.
Assembly Bill 602
If approved, Assembly Bill 602 might give the alleged victims of counterfeit sex videos the entitlement to take legal action against the individual who shared or created them. The entitlement to sue will only exist if the individual portrayed in the video didn't allow its creation or release.
The counterfeit videos that this statute targets are called deep fakes. The recordings graft a person's face into pornographic films without the person's consent.
Penalties for Revenge Porn
Violating revenge porn law is a misdemeanor that carries the following penalties:
- One thousand dollars in fines
- A six-month county jail sentence
These consequences will enhance to a one-year county jail sentence and a maximum of two thousand dollars in fines if:
- the alleged victim was a minor child, or
- you have at least a previous conviction for revenge porn
Legal Defenses to PC 647(j)4
You can fight your criminal charges using one of the following legal defenses:
- One of the elements of the crime is that the accused deliberately distributed the images. It is, therefore, a defense to claim that while you might have distributed the images, you didn't act so intentionally. You can claim that you posted it on social media accidentally.
- The accused consented to the distribution of the explicit images.
- You can also claim that you didn't know that the distribution of the image could cause the alleged victim to undergo severe emotional distress. For instance, you posted the pictures as a prank and believed the other party would find it funny.
Prostitution under PC 647(b) is accepting or paying money or something valuable in return for sexual conduct.
A person solicits California prostitution when then asks another person to engage in prostitution and plan to engage in prostitution with the person. Depending on who started the conversation, the prosecution can file criminal charges against the client or the prostitute.
To be convicted of this crime, the prosecutor must prove that:
- you agreed to engage in prostitution with somebody else,
- you planned to engage in prostitution with that individual, and
- on top of agreeing, you did something to ensure the commission of prostitution.
Consequences and Penalties
Breaking this statute is a misdemeanor. The penalties depend on where the crime occurred and whether it's a first or subsequent crime.
Penalties for Your First-time Crime
If this is your first crime, you will face the following penalties:
- A six-month county jail sentence
- One thousand dollars in fine
Prostitution is a priorable crime in California, and consequences enhance with every subsequent conviction.
A second-time crime carries at least forty-five days in jail. On the other hand, a subsequent crime is punishable by ninety days in jail.
In a Motor Vehicle in a Residential Area
Punishment for California prostitution and solicitation increases if the accused committed the offense while operating a motor vehicle within one thousand feet of a residence.
The court might issue the accused with a restricted license for six months or withdraw the driving privileges for thirty days, on top of ordering hefty fines and a jail sentence. A restricted license lets the accused go to and from school or work or drive for work if operating the vehicle is in the accused's job description.
Does a Prostitution Conviction Require Sex Offender Registration?
PC 647b does not require sex offender registration per Penal Code Section 290 PC.
Nevertheless, the judge has the discretion to require registration if the crime was for sexual gratification or due to sexual compulsion.
Disputing PC 647b Charges
On top of the possible incarceration and fines, a conviction can negatively affect your professional, personal, and social life. Consequently, it is best to work with a seasoned defense lawyer who can work aggressively to achieve the best possible case outcome for you. Your legal counsel will analyze the case details to determine the most effective defense strategy for your case. Possible legal defenses include:
- Insufficient evidence
- Mistake of fact
- Absence of trustworthy proof
The definition of indecent exposure under PC 314 revolves around facts that the prosecution must verify to obtain a conviction. The elements of the offense include:
- you willfully exposed your genitals,
- in the presence of another person who might be offended or upset by your conduct, and
- you intended to draw public attention to the genital to either sexually offend another person or for sexual gratification.
Expose Private Parts
The legal phrase to expose yourself means revealing the naked body while your private parts imply showing the bare genitals.
However, you cannot be found guilty of indecent exposure if you:
- Reveal your bare female breast (irrespective of whether you revealed it while nursing your baby or for a sexual purpose)
- Expose your underwear regardless of how revealing
Penalties, Sentencing, and Consequences
A first-time PC 314 conviction is a California misdemeanor. If convicted, you might face:
- A six-month county jail sentence
- Fines of one thousand dollars
- Mandatory registration as a sex offender for at least ten years
Aggravated Indecent Exposure
A defendant commits aggravated indecent exposure if they expose themselves in an inhabited home, structure, or trailer and they get into the structure, trailer, or home without permission. It is charged as a wobbler.
You will face the same consequences highlighted above if charged with a California misdemeanor, but the maximum time in jail is a year.
If the aggravated indecent exposure is filed as a felony, you will face the following penalties:
- Up to three years in state prison
- Ten thousand dollars in fine
- Registration as a sex offender for ten years
If you're either:
- sentenced for PC 314 for a subsequent time, or
- it is your first PC 314 conviction, but you have previously being convicted of lewd conduct with a child,
you will face felony penalties. The punishment is the same as the penalties for felony aggravated indecent exposure.
While the penalties of indecent exposure are severe, there are numerous legal defenses that your criminal defense lawyer can use to get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed, including:
- You are a victim of mistaken identity
- You did not know that any other person being present would be offended
- You did not expose yourself
Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child
Before convicting you of PC 288.5, the prosecutor must prove the facts of the crime below:
- you had recurring access to or lived in one house with a child below 18,
- you engaged in at least three specific sexual abuse acts with the minor,
- within three months, and
- the minor child was below fourteen years when you committed the offense
What are the Penalties and Consequences?
Violating PC 288.5 is a California felony that attracts a maximum of sixteen years in prison.
The crime is a strike.
A conviction also leads to adverse immigration effects and loss of firearm rights.
Finally, a convicted person cannot be awarded an expungement. PC 1203.4 prohibits expungement if time is served in prison.
How to Fight PC 288.5 Charges
You can beat the criminal charge with either of the following legal strategies:
- The involved minor was at least 14 when the sexual conduct happened
- Your contact with the minor wasn't sexual
- You falsely accused
Arranging a Meeting with a Minor for Lewd Purposes
PC 288.4 makes it illegal to arrange a meeting with a child intending to engage in a sexual act during your appointment.
The intended sexual act that might support the charges include:
- The accused person exposing their rectal or pubic area or genitals
- The accused having the child expose their rectal or pubic area or genitals
- The accused touching the minor anywhere on their body for sexual arousal purposes
Please note that you could be found guilty of this crime even when you did not:
- meet with the child, or
- engage in a sexual act with the juvenile.
What are the Possible Penalties?
Generally, violating this statute is a misdemeanor. If found guilty, you will spend a year in jail and pay fines of five thousand dollars. Additionally, you should register as a tier one sex offender for at least ten years.
The crime becomes a felony if one of the below is correct:
- You went ahead to attend the meeting with the juvenile (not just arranging the meeting), or
- You have a previous California conviction requiring you to register as a sex offender
The potential consequences for a felony are a maximum of four years in prison and ten thousand dollars in fines. The defendant should also register as a sex offender for life.
Fighting the Criminal Charges
Depending on your case circumstances, you can use any of the legal defenses below:
- You weren't aware that the other individual was a child
- You didn't intend to get involved in lewd conduct during the meeting
Sending Obscene Material to Seduce a Minor
PC 288.2 makes it illegal to exhibit, send, or distribute obscene material to a minor child intending to arouse and engage in sexual conduct with this child.
To be convicted of this crime, the prosecutor should prove that you knew or ought to have known that the recipient was below eighteen years old.
A material is harmful when:
- it describes or reveals a sexual act offensively,
- a prudent individual would believe that there is an absence of serious artistic, political, scientific, or literary value for children, and
- a reasonable adult individual would believe it appeals to a prurient interest (interest in excretion, sex, or nudity).
Violation of this statute is a wobbler. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you will pay a fine of one thousand dollars and spend a year in jail. A felony attracts a maximum of three (3) years in prison, ten thousand dollars of fine, and registering as a sex offender as a tier-three offender for life.
Finally, a conviction might have damaging immigration repercussions.
Some of the defenses you can use to beat the criminal charges include:
- You were falsely accused
- You didn't have criminal intent
- You didn't send the harmful material
Find a Qualified Sex Crime Defense Attorney Near Me
Sex crimes carry a negative stigma that an allegation alone is enough to destroy your reputation permanently. Other penalties you could face include hefty fines, serving time, registering as a sex offender, and probation. These consequences not only affect you but also those around you, making legal representation a necessity.
If facing sex crime charges, every minute counts. Start building your defense today by calling the Chula Vista Criminal Attorney today at 619-877-6894. We give all our clients the personalized attention they deserve. We can analyze your case, discuss the available options, determine the way forward, and stand with you throughout the criminal justice process.