An allegation of child molestation or child sexual abuse will bring your entire life to a screeching halt. In California, these offenses are typically charged under Penal Code (PC 288), or the ‘lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14’ statute. This is a felony offense that carries significant time in state prison.
At the Law Offices of David Lehr, our California sexual assault defense lawyer has the specialized experience needed to handle lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 charges. If you are facing serious child molestation allegations or child sexual abuse allegations, call our Ventura, CA law office for a free, strictly confidential initial consultation.
California Penal Code 288 (PC 288) makes it strictly illegal to commit a lewd or lascivious act against a child under 14. Here are some of the most important things to know about this statute:
- A lewd act is defined as touching a child or causing a child to touch oneself for the purposes of sexual gratification.
- A defendant can be charged with a lewd act even if there was no contact with sexual organs and/or all touching was over clothes. The intent (sexual gratification) matters.
- If convicted of a lewd and lascivious act under California PC 288, a defendant faces serious criminal penalties, potentially including up to eight years in state prison.
- Under PC 288(b)(1), a defendant who uses ‘force’ or ‘duress’ to commit a lewd or lascivious act will face heightened criminal penalties.
- A conviction requires sexual offender registration. Depending on the background of the offender and nature of the offense, registration may last 10 years, 20 years, or for life.
A lewd and lascivious act charge is a very serious criminal offense. False allegations could ruin your reputation and take away your freedom. If you were accused of or arrested for committing child sexual misconduct under PC 288, it is essential that you call a defense attorney right away. Contact our Ventura, CA law office for a free, fully confidential review of your case.
There are a number of different legal defenses that can be raised against lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 offense. Depending on the specific circumstances of the allegations, any of the following legal defense might apply to a California PC 288 charge:
- Mistaken Touch/Lack of Intent: A lewd and lascivious act occurs when touching is for sexual gratification. If touch is mistaken or there is not ill intent, there may be no criminal offense.
- Perpetrator Substitution: A young child may have been the victim of a serious crime, but they may not be able to correctly identify the offender.
- False Allegation: Unfortunately, false allegations happen. If you are facing an outright false allegation of child sex misconduct, you need legal representation.
If you or your family member is facing a lewd act on a child charge, we are here to listen and help you find the best path forward. Give us a call today for professional guidance and support from an attorney.
If you have been charged with
lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, call 805-477-0070 now.
Our law firm provides free, confidential initial consultations.
At the Law Offices of David Lehr, our Ventura sexual assault defense lawyer provides representation to people facing lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 charges and other serious criminal charges. We serve communities throughout Ventura County, including Oxnard, Camarillo, Thousands Oaks, and Simi Valley. Call us now for immediate help with your case. No specific outcome in a criminal case can ever be guaranteed. This site is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
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