PENAL CODE SECTION 288a CONTROLS THE LAW RELATED TO ORAL COPULATION WITH A MINOR
This type of offense can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony and carries with it some serious consequences that can be life altering. The crime can be accomplished by an adult using their mouth on the private area or anus of a minor and the level of punishment that the adult is exposed to will vary depending on the person’s criminal record, the specific facts of the subject case and the age difference between the two parties involved. There are a number of defenses and mitigating circumstances that can apply in any given case, depending on the facts of the case and a host of other factors that should be discussed with a sex crime criminal defense attorney who is familiar with these type of crimes and the courthouse where your case is pending.
When I meet with clients and their families we go over all of the details of the client’s case and family background and then map out all of the defense steps that are going to be taken in order to come out with a successful resolution. As you might guess, not all cases are the same and not all people are similarly situation. In my opinion, the plan must be designed for the particular client and their life circumstances and the things that are most important to them. The crime of oral copulation with a minor can be an extremely embarrassing and troubling situation to discuss, but a straight forward approach is always the best and I try and give the client and their family a solid perspective on what they face and the things that can be done to make a difference in the case.
DEFENSES TO ORAL COPULATION WITH A MINOR CASES IN LOS ANGELES
In some of these cases a person is charged with this crime and reasonably believed that the other party was an adult. If the facts are such that an average person would have believed that the minor was at least 18, then this fact can act as a complete defense to the crime. In evaluating whether this defense is viable in your particular case, it is best to sit down with a seasoned criminal defense attorney and go over all of the details surrounding your case and then you can make an educated and informed decision on how the case will be handled.
It is not a defense to oral copulation with a minor to say that the minor consented to whatever act amounts to the crime. I see many defendants in these sex related offenses indicating that because the minor either agreed or even instigated the sexual contact, they do not believe they should be held responsible for the charges they face. Minors do not have the ability to consent to any type of sexual touching or intercourse with an adult. Hence, this would not be considered a defense to this crime and in fact these are the cases that we see filed quite often and the prosecutors do not care if the minor consented or not, they are going to look at the situation and decide what is necessary to protect the public from the subject defendant.
DO YOU HAVE TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER IF YOU ARE CONVICTED OF ORAL COPULATION WITH A MINOR?
If a person is convicted of the crime of oral copulation with a minor, then they will have to register as a sex offender with the local police department where they live for the rest of their life. This registration requirement must be done on their birthday each year or within 5 days of their birthday. When the person first registers with the police, they are given a paper to sign that lays out all of their requirements and if they violate their registration requirements they will be charged with a new felony and be facing prison time.
Are you or someone you know being charged with oral copulation of a minor under California Penal code section 288(a)? If so, it is important that you contact a sex crime defense attorney to aggressively pursue your case to get you the best results possible.
Our Los Angelessex crime defense lawyers have a combined 75 years of experience and have handled thousands of sex crime cases including oral copulation with a minor. We have unmatched credentials in all of Los Angeles county and the protection of our client’s legal rights and freedom is our top priority.
Oral copulation with a minor is the act of touching of the mouth of one person with the sexual organ or anus of another person.
Oral copulation with a person under 18 years old is known as a wobbler charge, which means that the prosecution has the discretion to charge it as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity and circumstances of the crime.
Oral copulation with a person under 16 years old carries a punishment of as a felony with imprisonment in state prison for up to 3 years. If the victim is under 14 years old or it was done by force the crime is a felony and punishable by imprisonment in state prison for three, six, or eight years.
PENALTIES FOR ORAL COPULATION WITH A MINOR
In this area of the law the punishments can be very harsh and depend on a number of different facts. First, the judge and the prosecutor will look at what happen in the particular case that the defendant is charged with. Depending on the number of contacts and the period of time that has passed, this will be one of the biggest factors in determining the extent and severity of the punishment imposed. As indicated above, another big factor is the age of the alleged victim and the age of the perpetrator. The larger the age gap and the younger the alleged victim, the more serious the case will be viewed and the larger the exposure for the defendant. See related: Oral Copulation by Force or Fear.
The penalties you may face as a result of a conviction of oral copulation with a minor depend on a number of circumstances and our sex crime defense attorneys will explain everything to you in detail and use our skill, knowledge, and legal strategy to get you the best possible results.
WHAT DOES THE GOVERNMENT HAVE TO PROVE?
In order to convict a person of Oral Copulation with a Minor, the government must prove…
- The person participated in an act of oral copulation with another person; AND
- The other person was under the age of 18 when the act was committed
The law defines oral copulation as any contact, no matter how slight, between the mouth of one person and the sexual organs of another. For any illicit acts with a minor, consent is not a defense. However, a reasonable belief that the minor was over the age of 18 is a defense. The government must prove, BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that the person thought the other party was under the age of 18. This means that you may have defense if the woman told you that she was over the age of 18, such as being given a fake ID, or being told in person.
Our Los Angeles sex crime defense lawyers are here to hear your side of the story and do the best we can to protect your legal rights.
Contact our lawyers in L.A.and set up a free face to face consultation.