Child Molestation | Lewd Act With Minor | PC 288(a)

Free Criminal Case Review at 888-579-4844

Los Angeles Child Molestation Lawyers Since 1987 | Former LA Sex Crime Prosecutors

Law enforcement aggressively pursues child molestation cases. Although protecting children should be a priority, it should not come at the cost of prosecuting innocent people. If you have reason to believe that you may be the target of a child molestation investigation, it is imperative that you avoid making any verbal or written statements on the matter and retain an experienced child molestation defense lawyer.

Founded over 3 decades ago, Sitkoff & Hanrahan, LLP concentrates exclusively on criminal defense. Our attorneys are former senior prosecutors who were members of the elite sex crimes unit during their tenure with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. We know all of the investigative techniques routinely employed by detectives and can therefore prepare you for what to expect.  Our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome to your charges of child molestation, child annoyance, lewd acts with a minor, or unlawful intercourse with a minor.

Child molestation laws in California

The California Penal Code governs child molestation charges and penalties, and establishes strict sentences for those convicted of sex crimes involving children. The severity of the sentencing is further influenced by the age of the victim, frequency of abuse, criminal history of the offender, as well as other aggravating factors such as being in a position of trust.  Molestation of a child — more specifically, lewd acts with a minor — is prosecuted under section 288(a) of the California Penal Code as a felony that carries a sentence of up to eight years in prison and mandatory sex offender registration.  Furthermore, additional counts or charges could be added to the criminal complaint if the abuse involved specific acts, such as oral copulation, penetration with a foreign object/digit, or sodomy.  These additional counts and/or any special allegations or enhancements, such as continuous sexual abuse, would increase the sentencing exposure beyond the 8 year state prison maximum under PC 288(a).

Sex offender registry requirements

Megan’s Law mandates that convicted sex offenders register with the California sex offender registry every year five business days within one’s birthday with their local law enforcement agency.  Failure to register is prosecuted as a felony under PC 290 and carries a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison. In addition, a person can also be charged with a PC 290 violation for failing to notify local law enforcement of a change in residence.  The California sex offender registry makes a person’s private information public record. If forced to register, the following information will be included in an online database that is accessible to family, friends, neighbors, and employers:

  • Your name
  • Photo
  • Address
  • Penal Code section(s) of the sex crime(s) you were convicted of

For this reason, keeping you off this list is one of our top priorities. For example, in cases better served to be resolved through a plea agreement, we seek plea bargains that involve pleading to lesser offenses, which do not carry mandatory sex offender registration.

Expert sex crimes defense against allegations of child molestation

As former sex crime prosecutors and now expert sex crimes defense lawyers, we have a unique insight into law enforcement’s investigative practices and the prosecution’s case strategies. Because police do not stop working 24 hours per day, seven days per week, neither do we. Call us at now at (888) 579­-4844 for a free consultation to discuss your case and options at our main office in West Los Angeles, or our satellite office locations in Torrance, Pasadena, Glendale, Long Beach, Encino, Woodland Hills, West Covina, Oxnard, Westlake Village, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach.