In California, anyone under 18 is considered a child for a sex crime. There are some states in which the period is lower than 18.
How Does The Age Affect The Type Of Sex Charge?
Several sex crimes fall into different categories based on the child's age.
The younger the individual is, the more likely it is that the perpetrator of the sex crime will be sent to prison.
For example, if someone is under the age of 14 and there is some setback, then specific life sentences could apply. If the sex act was forced, then the charges are life offenses.
This gives the prosecutor a lot of bargaining power because much higher offers will be put on the table with a life hanging over someone's head.
What Factors Would Aggravate A Sexual Assault Against A Child Charge?
Several factors aggravate sex crime charges involving children, one of the biggest being the child's age; the younger the child, the more likely it is that the perpetrator will be sent to jail for a long time.
The next factor has to do with the type of activity itself, such as touching or intercourse.
Any act involving violent force or injury to a child is probably the worst and will carry the most severe punishments.
The perpetrator's prior criminal record will also be considered, mainly if it involves acts of sexual deviance.
What Should I Do If Police contact me To Speak With Them About Child Sexual Abuse?
If the police contact someone regarding a child sexual abuse case, they should not agree to speak with them. Instead, they should set up a meeting with an attorney and prepare a list of questions and any relevant information.
They should be honest with the attorney and tell them everything they know, even if they do not hire the attorney; whatever is said will be protected by the attorney-client privilege. An attorney will contact the investigator on the suspect's behalf and inquire about the investigation.
The attorney will then be able to go over everything with the suspect. Under certain circumstances, an attorney may have the suspect or defendant join the conversation with the investigator, but providing the investigator with a statement is not a good idea in the vast majority of cases.
This is because words can be twisted, perceived as incriminating, and ultimately used against the person who spoke them.
How Can I Defend Myself From A False Allegation Of Child Sexual Abuse?
Without the assistance of a criminal defense attorney who handles sex crimes, an individual who has been accused of a sex crime would likely have a difficult time defending themselves.
These cases often boil down to “he said, she said” situations, but the prosecutors are going to need evidence to convict someone. Once a skilled defense attorney has all of the information about a case, they will strategize and develop the best defense method.
I Am Accused Of Molesting A Child 10 Years Ago. Isn't There A Statute Of Limitations For Sex Crimes In California?
There is a statute of limitations on all sex crimes in California, but it depends upon the age of the involved child. If the child was young enough, then the statute of limitations might not begin until the authorities find out about the allegation, which is a way for prosecutors and law enforcement to go back in time and capture people.
If someone is being accused of a sex crime that was alleged to have happened several years in the past, then they should speak to an attorney about whether or not the statute of limitations applies.