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California Sex Crime Lawyer

Hire A Sex Crime Attorney With A Proven Track Record

If you are in California and face accusations of a sexual crime, your life can be upended. The allegation that you have committed any sexual crime is not only humiliating and frightening, but it will also disrupt most aspects of your life, even if you are not convicted of the charges. To protect your rights, freedoms, job security, and reputation, it is in your best interest to consult with knowledgeable California criminal defense attorneys who specialize in sex-related crimes. My Rights Law will provide you with those sex crime lawyers, so don’t hesitate. For a free initial consultation, call our law firm today at (888) 702-8882 or leave a message on our secure web form.

Common Sex Crimes

This guide includes a discussion of sex-related criminal offenses that California residents are most likely to be arrested for or that we see the most at our law firm. Our sex crimes defense attorneys are seasoned defense attorneys who have decades of experience. You can trust us with any sex-related charge the state tries to bring against you.

Statutory Rape – Penal Code 261.5 PC

It is against the law for an adult to engage in sexual conduct with a minor in California. Statutory rape is a wobbler offense, which means that the state can charge you with a misdemeanor or felony if there is evidence that you violated this law. In California, you are an adult if you are eighteen or older; you are a minor under the age of eighteen. But bear in mind that other age restrictions may make you guilty of this offense, and these restrictions affect the penalties the state may toss at you.

For the state to successfully charge you with unlawful sexual conduct, a prosecutor must show that:

  • You and the alleged victim are not married.[1]
  • You vaginally or anally penetrated the alleged victim.[2]

Unlike other crimes, here, it does not matter whether you reasonably believed the victim was of age. Furthermore, it does not matter whether the victim willingly participated because the law states that a minor is not mature enough to give you consent.

Learn more about the penalties of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and how My Rights Law’s California sex crime defense lawyers can defend you against the charge.

Child Pornography – Penal Code 311 PC

The accusation of possessing or distributing child pornography is harrowing. But let’s first describe child pornography. Porn is any obscene material that portrays sexual activity in a patently offensive manner that lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific purpose. It is a crime and a felony offense—one that comes with lifelong consequences, including being a convicted sex offender.

Most child porn crimes occur from online viewership, possession, distribution, or advertisement.[3] Child porn charges also arise from cellular devices, personal magazines, and photo albums. In short, anything that can display an image can be evidence used against you. For the state to successfully charge you with child pornography, a prosecutor must show that:

  • You knowingly owned, shared, duplicated, or produced child pornography.[4]
  • You hired, employed, or coaxed a minor into engaging in the production of child pornography.[5]
  • The person is under the age of eighteen.[6]
  • The material is obscene and does not serve a legitimate purpose.
  • The material depicts sexual conduct involving minors.[7]

Find out more about the consequences of child pornography in California and how My Rights Law’s sex crime attorneys can protect your rights in a criminal case.

Sexual Assault And Battery – Penal Code 243.4 PC

In some states, sexual assault and sexual battery are separate charges—the latter coming with heftier and more severe penalties. However, in California, sexual assault and sexual battery are categorized as the same offense, and the state has the discretion to charge it as a misdemeanor or felony.

For the state to successfully charge you with sexual assault, a prosecutor must show that:

  • You touched an intimate bodily area of someone.
  • You touched this person against their will.
  • You touched this person in order to receive sexual gratification, arousal, or to cause sexual abuse.
  • You committed this offense while the person you touched was unlawfully restrained by yourself or an accomplice.[8]

You should know that a judge or jury can find you guilty of this offense, even if you did not unlawfully restrain the alleged victim.

Learn more about the penalties of sexual assault and battery and how My Rights Law’s sex crime attorneys can defend you if you are charged with a sex crime.

Rape – Penal Code 261 PC

For the state to successfully charge you with rape, a prosecutor must show that:

  • You engaged in non-consensual intercourse through force, fraud, or threats,[9] or
  • You engaged in non-consensual intercourse when the other person was incapable of giving consent.[10][11]

A person may be incapable of giving consent due to a physical or mental impairment, intoxication, or unconsciousness.

Find out more about the consequences of rape, including how My Rights Law’s rape defense lawyers can protect your rights if you are charged with rape in California.

Voyeurism, Invasion Of Privacy – Penal Code 647(i)-(j) PC

A voyeur is someone who invades the privacy of another when that person is in an intimate setting (e.g., bedroom, bathroom, changing room). Voyeurism is illegal in California. However, California does not have a voyeurism law per se. Instead, this word is an umbrella term for more specific laws, including:

Peeking While Loitering – Penal Code 647(i) PC

  • You were loitering, prowling, or wandering on private property.
  • You peeked into the door or window of a building, knowing that it was inhabited at that time.
  • You committed this act without having any lawful business with the property owner.[12]

Using A Concealed Device To Record Another Person’s Body Or Undergarments – Penal Code 647(j)(2) PC

  • You used a hidden camera to secretly record or photograph a person to see under that person’s clothes to see this person’s body or undergarments.
  • You could identify this person from the recording or pictures.
  • You did not have this person’s consent.
  • You committed this act to satisfy some sort of sexual desire and to invade this person’s privacy.
  • This person has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the area where you recorded her or him.[13]

Using A Hidden Camera To Record Someone In A Private Area – Penal Code 647(j)(3)

  • You used a hidden camera to secretly record or photograph a person to see that person’s body or undergarments.
  • You could identify this person from the recording or pictures.
  • You did not have this person’s consent or knowledge.
  • You set up the camera in a room where this person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
  • You intended to invade this person’s privacy.
  • This person was fully or partially dressed.[14]

Learn more about the penalties of voyeurism and how My Rights Law’s criminal defense lawyers can defend you if you are accused of a sex crime in CA.

Prostitution – Penal Code 647(b) PC

For the state to successfully charge you with prostitution, a prosecutor must show that:

  • You solicited, agreed to, or engaged in sex work.
  • You committed this act to receive compensation, money, or something of value.
  • You had specific intent to engage in sexual intercourse to receive compensation, money, or something of value.[15]

As the law suggests, the alleged customer doesn’t have to give you cash for the state to bring this case against you. Instead, the alleged customer can give you their collection of anime figurines in exchange for sexual intercourse, and the state can still charge you because the figurines are something of value. The alleged customer can give you a designer purse, but this is still something of value and compensation. Of course, the tables turn on whether you engaged in sex work for the purpose of being compensated or simply because you wanted to have sex, and the person offered you something of value as a kind gesture.

Learn more about the consequences of prostitution and how My Rights Law’s sex crimes defense lawyers can protect your rights in a criminal case.

Pimping – Penal Code 266(h) PC

While films, music, and social media may depict pimping as cool, it’s a very egregious crime. Pimping is illegal. It’s a felony offense with hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences. People are often confused about what is meant by pimping. Being a pimp doesn’t mean that you’re popular with women, and it’s not a crime that only men can commit. Women can be pimps, too. For the state to successfully charge you with pimping, a prosecutor must show that:

  • You knowingly accepted payment from a prostitute.
  • You solicit or receive payment for soliciting a prostitute.[16][17]

Find out more about the penalties of pimping in California and how My Rights Law’s sex crime defense attorneys can defend you in a California criminal case.

Pandering – Penal Code 266(i) PC

In California, the crime of pandering is very similar to pimping. In fact, the state often charges you with both of these crimes after an officer arrests you.

You could be charged with pandering if:

  • You acquired another person to become a prostitute.
  • You acquired another person to live in a house designed for prostitutes and prostitution.
  • You encouraged, persuaded, or induced another person to stay in a house designed for prostitutes and prostitution.
  • You took advantage of your position of authority or used duress or fraud to acquire a prostitute, brought another person to a house designed for prostitution, brought them to this state for the purpose of prostitution, or encouraged them to remain in this state to become a prostitute.[18]

The weight of the crime increases if a minor is involved. For the state to successfully charge you with pandering a minor, a prosecutor must show that one of the factors above is present and show that the prostitute is under the age of eighteen or under the age of sixteen. Whether the person is older or younger than sixteen affects the penalties you’ll face.

Learn more about the penalties of pandering and how My Rights Law’s sex crime defense lawyers can protect your rights.

Sex Crime Penalties, Including Sex Offender Registration

Penalties for sex crimes in California could include stiff prison sentences, lofty fines, mandatory sex offender registration, a criminal record, and more. Not all sex crimes carry the same consequences, though. Penalties are generally based on the severity of the offense (e.g., rape vs. indecent exposure) and whether you are a repeat offender (you have a prior conviction). With a misdemeanor sex crime, for example, you may face little-to-no time in county jail and pay a small fine. However, with certain felony offenses, you could face nearly a decade behind bars. Convicted sex offenders don’t just face lofty prison sentences, but they must also meet the sex offender registry requirements. Depending on the sex crime conviction, mandatory sex offender registration could require sex offenders to register for life. Sex crimes defense attorneys can help you understand what is at stake in sex crime cases.

Also, some sex crimes cases involve the federal government bringing charges in federal courts, so your punishment for an unlawful sexual act or sexual contact might be determined under federal law—not California law.

Possible Defenses To Sex Crime Charges

Innocent people are accused of sex crimes all the time. For example, you could be falsely accused of lewd acts or sexual assault by someone with a vendetta against you. Not every sex offense case occurs between people who know each other. Mistaken identity may be a viable defense, especially in cases where the alleged victim does not clearly see the alleged perpetrator.

Consent is a defense for most sex offenses, but not all. Other defenses could be based on violations of your rights, such as your right to be free from illegal searches and seizures. To determine the defenses that apply in your particular legal matter, speak with a sex crimes attorney. Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A sex crimes lawyer can help establish doubt in the mind of a jury and weaken the prosecutor’s case against you.

Why Choose A Sex Crimes Attorney At My Rights Law

When the state accuses you of committing a sex-related crime, you need someone experienced with the criminal process who’ll fight aggressively on your behalf. My Rights Law experienced sex crimes attorneys are here for you. While our legal team can’t guarantee you a specific outcome, the chances of you having a more favorable outcome increase significantly when you hire knowledgeable defense attorneys who have decades of experience. When it comes to providing you with formal legal advice, put your trust in a reputable sex crime lawyer with a winning track record. For a free consultation with a skilled attorney at My Rights Law, call us at (888) 702-8882 or contact us on our secure form.

FOOTNOTES
[1] Cal. Pen. Code § 261.5
[2] Even slight penetration constitutes penetration. People v. Karsai (1982) 131 Cal.App.3d 224
[3] Cal. Pen. Code § 311.1
[4] Cal. Pen. Code § 311.3
[5] Cal. Pen. Code § 311.4
[6] Cal. Pen. Code § 311.1
[7] Cal. Pen. Code § 311.3
[8] Cal. Pen. Code § 243.4
[9] Cal. Pen. Code § 261 (a)(2)
[10] Cal. Pen. Code § 261
[11] Any penetration—even slight penetration—is considered penetration. People v. Karsai (1982) 131 Cal.App.3d 224
[12] Cal. Pen. Code § 647 (i)
[13] Cal. Pen. Code § 647 (j)(2)
[14] Cal. Pen. Code § 647 (j)(3)
[15] Cal. Pen. Code § 647(b)
[16] Cal. Pen. Code § 266(h)
[17] Soliciting is defined as tempting, luring, or attempting to get something from someone else. People v. Smith (1955) 44 Cal.2d 77.
[18] Cal. Pen. Code § 266(i)

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I had a difficult case that I was trying to fight from outside the state it was turned down twice. Once by the DA, and the second time by the judge, they continued to fight for me, and got the results I was looking for. They really do care about their clients and will not stop fighting till they get you the results you want.
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