The Crime of Having Sex With a Minor in California
This is obviously one of the charges that the police, prosecutors, judges and society frown upon to a high degree. There are different levels of severity, depending on what you are alleged to have done and the age difference of the parties.
California Penal Code 261.5 defines the crime of statutory rape. Penal Code 288(a) defines the crime of lewd acts with a minor.
If the subject person is close in age to the alleged victim and the sexual contact was consensual, then the person will be in a much better position and the case will be much easier to deal with, than a circumstance where the victim is underage, there is a wide age difference and / or force is used.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are either being investigated or charged with a sex related offense related to sexual contact with a minor, you should get to an attorney immediately. Say nothing, do nothing and let your attorney dictate your next steps.
It is almost always unwise for a person to deal with the police or prosecutors without the benefit of an attorney when it comes to a sex crime case. The police and prosecutors are in the competitive business of ferreting out crime and when it comes to a sex crime case, they have a one track mind that does not have any mercy for someone they think is involved with this subject matter.
Penalties for Having Sex With a Minor in California
Having sex with a minor, often referred to as statutory rape, is a serious offense and can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. Penalties for misdemeanor statutory rape consist of probation, up to a year in jail, and $1,000 in fines. A felony conviction can result in probation, up to 4 years in state prison, and $10,000 in fines.
There are defenses to assert on your behalf if you happen to be charged with having sex with a minor and our sex crime defense lawyers are here to make sure that we claim any and all defenses that can be asserted.
We are aggressive in our fight for you and our lawyers in Los Angeles do place every effort to get you the best possible results.
Our duty to you as your sex crime defense lawyer is to use all our skill, knowledge, and experience to protect your legal rights. We understand how devastating and embarrassing it can be to be charged with a sex crime and we truly do work hard for our clients in getting them favorable results.
In order to convict a suspect of Sex with a Minor the government must prove that:
- The suspect had sexual intercourse with the other person. AND
- The parties were not married at the time.
- The suspect was at least 21 years old, and the other person was under the age of 16 at the time of intercourse OR
- At the time of intercourse, the other person was under the age of 18, and more or less than 3 years younger than the suspect.
If the suspect was less than 3 years older than the other party, yet the other party was under the age of 18, this crime is charged as a misdemeanor. A genuine, good faith belief that the other party was over the age of 18 is a defense to these crimes, and the government must prove that this is not the case.