There is no perfect definition of sex crimes since various sex crimes are outlined under different penal codes. But generally, when you touch another person’s intimate parts without their consent, you have committed a sex crime. The law also provides another category for the offenders committing sexual crimes towards minors.

Sex crimes are broad, and that’s why you might have several questions. You want to work closely with a sex crimes attorney to help you handle the sex crime charge you face since every case is unique. By asking the attorney the legal questions you have, you will understand the topic more and learn new things. The following are the common questions and answers several people ask about sex crimes in California:

What is the Maximum Punishment/Penalties for Lewd acts in California?

Lewd acts will attract punishment for at least six months in a county and pay a fine not exceeding $1,000. However, the prosecution team may charge you with an offense outlined under PC 647(a) for a more sex crime. The court will also order you to register as a sex offender for ten years. The court will also impose misdemeanor probation for you to serve as part of your punishment. When you violate the conditions and the terms of the probation, the court will revoke the probation. However, your attorney may help you fight the charge by building a solid defense.

What is the Maximum Penalties Punishment for Child Porn in California?

The punishment for child pornography will always depend on the circumstances surrounding your case. The court prosecutes the case, a misdemeanor in California. When charged as a misdemeanor, the maximum punishment for the crime will involve a jail term for up to 12 months and paying a fine not exceeding $2,000. Alternatively, when the court considers the case a felony, you will remain in jail for a period between 16 months and eight years. You will also pay a fine not exceeding $100,000. The court will also order you to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.

What Statutes Cover California Child Porn Laws?

You may find the state’s child porn statutes in section 311 of the penal code. These sections include:

  • 11 PC, Possession of Child Pornography in California
  • 2 PC, Production, Distribution, or Exhibition of Obscene Matter
  • 4 PC, Employing Children to Sell or Distribute Pornography

Discuss with your sex crimes attorney to help you learn more about the sex crimes laws. Every state comes with different elements of crime, penalties, and even different defenses. Thus you want to understand every statute well and know where your case suits.

What Defenses of Sex Crimes Can I Use in California?

Although every sex offense crime is unique, you may use several valid defenses you might use in your specific case to fight the charges. The competence and the skill of your attorney will determine the success of your case. Also, a competent attorney will help you understand the legal process and guide you accordingly to avoid making further mistakes that might trigger additional penalties. Adequate trial preparation, including broad evidence, and using defense psychologists, investigators, and other forensic professionals will be essential when building a compelling defense. The potential defenses include:

  • You had the victim’s consent
  • Mistaken identity
  • Lack of criminal records
  • Child custody context
  • Mistake of age

What Happens When I am Falsely Accused of Rape in California?

When you face false accusations of rape, it might have devastating impacts on your entire life. The charge will come with harsh penalties, including compulsory state imprisonment. Also, the court will order you to register as a sex offender and pay a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars. The embarrassing stigma which comes with rape will also affect you in various ways. Thus you will not likely be able to seek job opportunities or even enjoy your everyday family life. So, if you face false accusations for rape, you want to speak with your criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charge. The attorney will help you expunge the records upon adhering to the court's order and thus avoid the repercussions that may affect you in the future due to the negative criminal record.

What Happens When I Fail to Register as a Sex Offender When the Law Requires You to Do So?

When you face a sex crime, and the court considers you register as a sex offender but fail to do so, you will be committing a federal crime since failing to register as a sex offender is a federal crime. It also covers the people who fail to update their addresses when they move out of the state. When you are not correctly registered and engage in violent federal offenses, the court might add 30 years to your sentence. Thus to avoid the harsh penalties arising from your failure to register as a sex offender, you want to obey the law and follow the court orders. If you don’t know how to register as a sex offender, you may seek legal help from your defense attorney.

Who Should Register as a Sex offender in California?

The court will require you to register as a sex offender when you face a conviction for committing violent sex offenses. Also, you will have to update your addresses frequently than other people facing convictions for non-violent sex offenses.

There are both federal and state registries, and the court may order you to register on either one or both. All the state registries are accessible to the general public. You should note the state registrants are mainly required to show up for the respective offices for the professionals to obtain their photos and new tattoos. Observe the court order and register as a sex offender to skip additional punishments.

What Happens When I am Caught Distributing Child Porns in California?

Due to the advancements in technology, there is a significant concern to address the issue of distributing indecent or obscene materials like sexting to seduce a child. The law dramatically prohibits you from sending harmful materials over the internet. California penal code 288.2 will penalize you for sending harmful materials to juveniles. To avoid these punishments, you want to keep away from processing or distributing child pornography in the state.

What Happens When I am Caught Downloading Child Pornography?

The laws in California protect underage children from exploitation coming with pornographic materials, and the criminal courts inflict heavy penalties when they find you guilty of downloading or selling porn materials to children below the age of 18 years. According to the laws, an arrest for porn-related crimes might result in a felony or misdemeanor charge based on the facts surrounding your case. You might even remain behind bars for up to 8 years or pay a fine not exceeding $100,000. Also, the repercussions of the arrest will significantly affect you, starting from your career up to your relationship with society.

How Does the Court Determine a Sex Crime as a Felony or Misdemeanor?

Dividing sex crimes as either a felony or misdemeanor will not be an easy task. The felony sex offenses will come with severe penalties and involve violent or children sexual felonies, like digital penetration or rape. The sex crimes categorized as a misdemeanor will include touching the victim’s intimate parts, sexual batteries, solicitation, lewd misconduct, amongst other less serious sex crimes. The two groups also come with different elements and punishments. The felony charges carry severe penalties as compared to the misdemeanor charges.

What if I am Charged with Felony Revenge Porn?

The charges for felony revenge porn are harsh in California. You may face a misdemeanor charge for committing the crime. The crime will attract penalties, including probation terms, jail terms, and heavy fines. Aloud you will have a criminal record. A negative criminal record will extend beyond the hectic fines and jail terms; it will even deplete the quality of your life.

What are the Categories of Child Pornography in California?

Child pornography comes in various categories in California. Each separate offense comes with different punishments and elements. Speak with your sex crimes attorney to help you understand the elements of each separate crime. The following is an outline of the several possible crimes which might involve child pornography:

  • California Penal Code 311.1(a), possessing or distributing materials showing sexual behavior by a minor
  • Sexual exploitation of a child
  • Promoting or advertising or distributing child pornography
  • Controlling or possessing child pornographic materials
  • Use or employment of minors to engage in prohibited acts as per Penal Code 311.4(a).

I Was Caught Annoying or Molesting a Child Under the Age of 18

According to the California PC 647.6, it’s illegal to molest or annoy a minor while driven by abnormal or unnatural sexual desires in the child. Thus you will face severe penalties and punishments for the crime. For instance, you will spend 12 months in county jail and pay a fine not exceeding $5,000. Sometimes the court might charge you with a felony charge. Thus you will spend up to 36 months in a county jail or pay a fine of up to $5,000. But you still stand a chance to fight the charge by working closely with a criminal defenses attorney. The attorney will listen to the side of your story, the prosecutor’s evidence and build a solid defense to challenge the prosecution team’s evidence.

I was Caught for Arraigning Meetings with Minor for Lewd Purposes in California

Arranging meetings with a juvenile to commit lewd acts is a wobbler. Thus the prosecution team may either charge you with a felony or misdemeanor charge. They will make their decision depending on the circumstances of the case. Also, they will consider the facts surrounding the case, as well as your criminal record. When you have no prior conviction, they will file your case as a misdemeanor. Then you will face harsh penalties, including a jail term of 12 months in a county jail or a fine not exceeding $5,000.

Alternatively, the court will require you to register as a sex offender when you have a previous conviction. The prosecutor will file the case as a felony. Thus the felony charge of arranging meetings with a minor will include remaining behind bars in a state for up to 4 years and paying a fine not exceeding $10,000.

What if I was Charged with a Human Sex Trafficking?

Many of the sexual human trafficking crimes are prosecuted at the federal level. The states courts are well known for handling prostitution prosecutions. That’s why the crimes are often mistaken for human sex trafficking. However, they come with heavy penalties, including hefty fines and long jail terms.

What to Do if I am Accused of Date Rape?

When you know someone has accused you of date rape, you need to discuss the matter with your criminal defense attorney. Avoid engaging in further conversations with the police or the accuser. The authorities are more likely to conduct a secretly recorded pretext call to attempt to trick you into a sort of incriminating statement. Please don’t attempt to converse with them; only trust your criminal defense attorney. Alternatively, when you are the victim of the crime, inform the police about the matter immediately. Also, you may inform a personal injury lawyer to help you guard your rights during the legal process. The attorney will even help you understand your rights and guide you to ensure you don’t make mistakes.

What to Do if I am Accused of Rape?

Rape is one of the severely punished sex crimes in California. A conviction for the crime will carry a sentence of 8 years, with the sentence raging around 13 years when the victim is a minor. Also, the crime will attract a life sentence registration as a sex offender. Remember, the prison sentence will be compulsory. So, it's recommended you work closely with a criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charge. A conviction for the crime will adversely affect your future, especially when seeking a job. You will even find it challenging when you seek to obtain a professional license.

What are the Potential Defenses to Use When I Face a Rape Charge in California?

Facing a rape charge might be a devastating situation. However, working with a competent criminal defense attorney will help you put your mind at ease. Choose a criminal defense attorney with a proven track record in defending sex crime offenders. Discuss with them and examine the facts and the evidence of your case to help the attorney develop a strong defense for the best outcome of your case. When the prosecutor has insufficient evidence, the court will more likely drop your case. The potential defenses for a rape charge include false accusations, mistaken identity, consent, and inadequate evidence.

If I Report, I Have Been Sexually Assaulted, What Will Likely Happen?

You might report any case of sexual assault immediately by calling 911. The emergency call operators will inform you what to do next. The law enforcement officers will arrive, talk to you, investigate the situation and create a report. A professional plain clothes law officer will also examine the situation. If the alleged sexual assault took place in the last three days, the law enforcement officers might recommend you seek assistance from a sexual assault care center. Suppose you are aged below 16 years and have been assaulted by a family member. In that case, a children's aid worker may participate in a joint investigation with the law enforcement officers to ensure you are safe.

Can I Sue someone that Raped Me?

Under California laws, the law allows you to sue the alleged defendant for their damages. The offense will serve as the basis for your lawsuit. It doesn’t matter whether the defendant has a prior rape case or not. As long as you are a victim of rape in California, you are free to file a lawsuit against the defendant. You will be subject to both punitive damages and compensatory damages. However, ensure you work closely with your criminal attorney to help you include all the damages available for your compensation. You might seek to recover a huge amount for the following injuries:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Psychological suffering
  • Scarring
  • Insomnia
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma

Can I Sue Someone that Molested Me?

The law allows your child or you as a parent to sue for child sexual abuse. The alleged child represented by their guardian or parents may sue for emotional, physical, or any other harm attracted by the abuse. The child’s caregiver may also for their emotional distress related to the abuse. You may also hire a criminal defense attorney for your child to help them sue the claim.

Find a California Criminal Defense Lawyer Near Me

For more questions about sex crimes in California, you want to seek legal help from a competent criminal attorney. At Sex Crimes Attorney, we are ready to help you understand, learn more about sex crimes and obtain the answers to the questions you have about sex crimes. So, obtain the answers to the legal question you want to ask by calling our skilled attorney if facing a sex crime charge in California at 866-853-2106 right away.