According to California Penal Code section 288(a), it is a felony for a person to willfully commit a lewd or lascivious act with a child under the age of 14. A violation of this section is taken very seriously and if convicted, it is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for up to 8 years. Further, pursuant to Penal Code section 290, there is a requirement for life-time registration as a sex-offender.
To prove an individual guilty of lewd act with a child under the age of 14, the prosecutor must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that:
1. The accused willfully touched any part of the child's body;
2. The touching was committed with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of himself or the child; and
3. The child was under the age of 14 at the time of the act.
How can we help?
There are a number of defenses available to an accusation of a lewd or lascivious act. For example, since there are usually no witnesses to this offense, the victim's credibility is at issue, in the appropriate case. In such a case, we will employ a private investigator or other professionals to try and establish a defense based on the untruthfulness of the victim. That can be achieved by investigating the victim's behavior before and after the alleged act, searching for inconsistent statements to family and/or friends and looking into the motive/bias of the victim. Since each accusation of lewd act with a child is unique, a thorough review of the facts must be completed in order to fashion an appropriate defense.
If you have been arrested or charged with lewd or lascivious act in Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Menifee, Lake Elsinore, Perris, Banning, Hemet, Corona, Winchester or Riverside, the first step is to contact an experienced and effective criminal defense attorney. We are ready to help. Since 1999, our office has successfully represented numerous individuals facing such charges. We understand that besides the possible loss of your freedom, a felony conviction can also have serious consequences for future employment opportunities. Don't jeopardize your future by hiring an inexperienced attorney because at the end of your case, you will get what you paid for.
For more information about how we can help you, please call us.