Oral Copulation by Force – Penal Code Section 288(a) PC
When it comes to sex crimes the prosecutors and police are obviously very harsh and tend to jump to conclusions about whether or not a particular person is guilty of the offense they are investigating.
Oral copulation by force obviously is typically charged with other offenses centering around somebody forcibly causing a victim to orally copulate them or do some other act.
The biggest problem with these crimes as far as penalties go and how the police, prosecutors and judges treat them is the force element.
Anytime anybody is being forced to engage in some sort of sexual activity, the police and prosecutors are obviously going to deal with these cases in a very harsh manner and seek long prison sentences, sex registration and a whole host of other penalties.
If you're charged with some sort of oral copulation by force crime, it's imperative that you do not speak to the authorities. Get in front of an attorney who has handled these types of cases before, has been down this path before and can effectively guide you through this type of serious offense.
The key thing to decide in my opinion, having done these types of cases over the course of the last twenty-five years is what type of defense strategy are you going to have dealing with the case.
Developing a Defense Strategy
It's important at the outset of a case to sit down with somebody who has been doing this a long time, give them all the facts, don't put a spin on things, be honest about what actually happened, and then decide okay, where are we going to go from here.
Are we going to vehemently fight this case and do everything we can to get it dismissed or go in front of a jury and get a not guilty verdict?
Of course, if you're innocent, then that's exactly what you should do. If you're not innocent though and you attempt to do that, and the government has the evidence against you, obviously you're going to be treated much more harshly than if you had worked out some sort of a resolution or negotiated a plea bargain with them.
If, on the other hand, you realize the police and prosecutors have the evidence to prove you guilty of oral copulation by force – Penal Code Section 288(a), your best strategy is to figure out how you can mitigate the situation and do some damage control.
That's where your criminal defense attorney comes in to put you in a position to get the best possible resolution. When I deal with these cases, we'll do a 288.1 report which basically assesses whether or not my client is going to be a recidivist, is going to become involved in this type of behavior again.
It also assesses what type of danger they are to the public and really assesses him as a person to hopefully show that this was an aberration and it will never happen again.
When you have an expert – a doctor – writing that and putting reasons why, now you've put yourself in a position to hopefully avoid prison and work out some sort of a lesser charge that's not a strike and does not come with all of the bad ramifications that an oral copulation by force does.
Other things that we do is we will get character letters from people who know you – family, friends, your job.
They don't necessarily have to be told why they're giving a character letter, but just the fact that these people love you, respect you and can speak well of you, will be something that the judges and prosecutors will take into consideration when deciding how they're going to handle your case.
So, there's a number of different strategies that can be utilized and it's not a cookie-cutter approach.
You're going to use the strategy that makes sense for you and your circumstances – for the person you are, for the alleged crime that you have been accused of committing – and they're also going to look at your background and whether you have any prior criminal record and any prior criminal record for sex offenses.
What are the Legal Defenses?
There are all sorts of defenses that apply to an oral copulation by force and any sex crime charged in Los Angeles or anywhere in California. The defense in these type of cases is going to spin around what actually happened in the incident that led to you being arrested and charged with this serious crime.
If the other party is making something up because they're angry with you for some reason or they're trying to gain some sort of advantage against you, obviously we're going to have to show that because that would show a motive for them to lie and be biased against you and make up these charges against you.
f the other party has somehow got themselves intoxicated and they can't even remember what the heck happened and are not even able to consent to any type of behavior related to this offense, then this can also be a defense.
Really, the key is getting your version of events and then assessing your version of events and seeing whether or not that amounts to a defense. If it does amount to a defense, then we litigate the case, we file motions, we investigate and ultimately, we're going to have to go to court and challenge the evidence against you, the witnesses and try and get that not guilty verdict.
If, on the other hand, they've got the goods against you, you can still use some defenses and your version of events to try to mitigate things, get a lesser charge and do damage control in these types of cases.
The key thing to do to begin with is take a step by step approach. Get in front of an attorney who knows what they're doing. Be honest with them.
Give him all the information and let them guide you through a sometimes-difficult situation and figure out exactly what your best defense is, what your best position is and set about getting your case resolved as quick as possible and with the least damage to your reputation, your record, your freedom and your life.
Hedding Law Firm
16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436