Oakland Defense Attorney for Lewd Acts With A Minor
Being accused of lewd acts with a minor can destroy your reputation and life. You must take action now to build a robust defense, so you can clear your name and avoid the devastating penalties associated with a conviction.
An experienced Oakland, CA lewd acts with a minor defense lawyer like Seth Morris could help you protect your freedom and your future. Call our office today at 510-225-9955 to discuss the charges against you and what is next for your defense.
What are Lewd Acts with a Minor?
Under California Penal Code § 288, for the state’s prosecuting attorney to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, they must meet three key elements. These include:
- You willfully touched a child’s body in any way or intentionally caused them to touch a part of their own body
- The child was under the age of 14 or was the age of 14 or 15, and a minimum of 10 years younger than you
- You did so with the intention of sexually arousing the child or yourself
The state will work to prove that you acted willfully to commit the lewd acts in question. This means that any accidental touching of a child, without regard to the effect on the child or you, should not warrant the charge of lewd acts with a minor in Oakland, CA.
California Penalties for Lewd Acts with a Minor
All sex crimes carry harsh penalties. The penalties for lewd acts with a minor are potentially more severe than other sex crimes because the state has a strong interest in protecting children. The extent of the penalties you face range depending on how old the child was at the time of the incident and what specific acts you are alleged to have performed.
Penalties for Lewd Acts with a Minor Under 14
If the child in question was under the age of 14 at the time of the lewd act, you could face felony lewd acts with a minor charges. Depending on the details of your case, if charged with a felony, you could spend eight years in prison for every act alleged.
Penalties for Lewd Acts with a Minor 14 or 15 Years of Age
If you were a minimum of 10 years older than the alleged victim, and the child in question was 14 or 15 years of age at the time of the lewd act, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the details of your case.
Cases like these are known as “wobblers” because certain aggravating factors can impact whether your case is tried as a misdemeanor or a felony. If you are convicted of misdemeanor lewd acts with a 14- or 15-year-old minor, you could spend up to one year in jail and be required to complete probation.
However, a conviction for felony lewd acts with a 14- or 15-year-old minor could result in up to three years in prison and other criminal penalties.
Penalties for Lewd Acts with a Minor 16 or 17 Years of Age
There is no formal charge for lewd acts with a 16- or 17-year-old minor. If a minor was 16 or 17 years old or less than ten years younger than you, you could face different charges.
Instead of facing lewd acts with a minor charges, you could be charged with statutory rape under California Penal Code § 261.5 or sexual battery under California Penal Code § 243.4. A conviction could result in up to four years in prison and fines as high as $10,000.
Aggravating Factors in California Sex-Crime Cases
Several aggravating factors could result in increased penalties and additional criminal charges. For example, if there was a use of force or violence to commit a lewd act, you could expect an additional prison term of anywhere between 5 to 10 years.
Additionally, habitual offenders could face anywhere from 25 years to life in prison.
Seth Morris has secured dismissals and no-time deals for those facing life in prison. He can fight to dismantle the prosecution’s argument against you and clear your name.
Duty to Register as a Sex Offender
California Penal Code § 290 previously required that anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony sex crime, including lewd acts with a minor, must register as a sex offender for the rest of their life.
However, legislation in 2021 changed that. Now, most sex offenders are allowed to register for 10 to 20 years instead of the rest of their lives under the new three-tier sex offender registry system.
Additional Fallout from Registering as a Sex Offender
If you are required to register as a sex offender, you can expect to face several challenges, including:
- Child custody issues
- Residence restrictions
- Being ordered to stay away from public parks or schools
- Immigration or citizenship issues
- Random drug and alcohol testing
- Other probation requirements
- Your name and address will be public information on the California sex offender registry
The penalties associated with lewd acts with a minor convictions are daunting. Your entire life could be derailed if you are found guilty of such harsh charges. Make sure you get a solid criminal defense attorney to advocate for your freedom.
Defenses Against Lewd Acts with a Minor Charges
Your attorney can craft a compelling defense strategy to pursue the best outcome in your case.
Common defenses used in a lewd acts with a minor trial in Oakland, CA include:
- There was accidental touching, with no intent
- The person who accused you had a motive to lie
- You intentionally touched the child, but there was no intent to arouse either you or the child
False Accusations of Lewd Acts With a Minor
You can’t control another party’s actions, but you can take steps to protect yourself from being falsely accused of lewd acts with a minor.
Some of the more common precautions daycare employees, teachers, and other individuals who work in close contact with children include the following:
- Always have at least two adults present
- Always have a witness in all adult/child interactions
- Take steps to reduce the likelihood that an adult is left alone with a child
- Install security cameras throughout the property
- Avoid any touching that could be considered inappropriate
The second you become aware that false allegations of lewd acts with a minor have been made against you in Oakland, CA, you must get a criminal defense attorney on your side.
Allegations like these could destroy your reputation and leave you at the mercy of the court to decide your fate. Take control of your defense before you end up behind bars.
Contact a Defense Lawyer for Lewd Acts with a Minor
If you’ve been charged with lewd acts with a minor in Oakland, CA, you could be facing considerable criminal and collateral consequences if convicted. If you hope to protect your future and avoid the fallout of a guilty verdict, be sure to contact Morris Law.
Attorney Seth Morris is ready to fight for your freedom and rights. Contact our office today by calling 510-225-9955 to schedule your confidential case evaluation.