I HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH RAPE IN CALIFORNIA. WHAT NOW?
California's rape statute (Penal Code 261 PC) defines rape as the nonconsensual sexual intercourse accomplished by means of threats, force, or fraud, or with a victim who is unconscious and/or otherwise incapable of providing consent.
An accusation of rape is serious and can have life-altering consequences particularly if a conviction results. There are, however, several commonly used defenses to a charge of rape that can, in some instances, clear a defendant. These include proving that the accusations are false, showing that there was consent, insufficient evidence of the rape, and mistaken identity or mistaken eyewitness identification. Any of these can contribute to a successful defense against a charge of rape.
There are also different types, or categories, related to rape that are also included in the CA Penal Code. These include: statutory rape (Penal Code 261.5 PC: having intercourse with someone under the age of 18), forced oral sex (Penal Code 288a PC) or sexual battery (Penal Code 243.4 PC: when an individual touches the intimate part of another without consent).
While the possible consequences for a rape conviction vary greatly on a case by case basis, it is a serious crime and a conviction will likely result in a prison sentence. California state laws punish a conviction of rape with a sentence of either 3, 6 or 8 years in prison. The sentence is typically increased when the accuser is a minor.
I HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH MOLESTATION IN CALIFORNIA. WHAT NOW?
Child molestation is treated as an extremely serious crime in California. It is punishable by not only a potentially lengthy prison sentence but significant fines and inclusion on the sex offender registry. There are multiple Penal Code sections involved with child molestation and the consequences vary with the extent of the interaction and the relationship of the parties. Typically, sentences range widely from 3-16 years in prison and will include fines and sex offender registration.
There are, however, defenses available to the accused charged with molestation. Specifically, these include producing evidence that the touching was accidental and not meant for the purposes of sexual gratification or to arouse the defendant or the accuser. Also, if there was no intent to sexual gratify or arouse and no use of force, fear, violence, duress, menace or threats, evidence of such can provide mitigating circumstances.
I HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY IN CALIFORNIA. WHAT NOW?
Child pornography charges are brought under Penal Code 311 and its multiple subsections. The law makes it a crime to knowingly send, transport, produce, possess or duplicate any child pornography with the intent to distribute it. The penalties for a conviction vary a great deal depending on the specific child pornography statute that has allegedly been violated. They are either misdemeanors or felonies based on the severity of the crime. Convictions can result in anywhere from 16 months to 8 years in prison as well as fines and sex offender registration.
There are, however, defenses available to the accused. These include entrapment, not acting with knowledge or the required intent, false accusation, and evidence being obtained through illegal search and seizure. Further, a diagnosed psychological addiction can sometimes offer mitigating circumstances and impact sentencing.
For each of these offenses, the impact of a conviction can be devastating in the short term but can also permanently derail a defendant's social, professional and financial prospects for the rest of their lives. Seasoned counsel with experience in this area and an understanding of how to present a rational, compassionate defense is essential to minimizing the catastrophic implications of a conviction.
Sexual Addiction Resources in Los Angeles, CA
Sex Offender Resource Database
Information on Certification of Rehabilitation (Court Packet)