Oral Copulation | PC 287 and PC 288

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Los Angeles Oral Copulation Defense Attorneys – PC 288a

What Is Oral Copulation?

Being accused of committing any crime in Los Angeles is a serious matter, however, the stakes are much higher when the accusations involve the alleged commission of a sex crime. Among the most serious sex offenses are crimes involving Oral Copulation. Defined under California Penal Code section 288a, Oral Copulation is described as the act of copulating the mouth of one person with the sexual organ or anus of another person. The penalties and consequences are significant, and can be enhanced depending on factors such as your age, the age of the victim, whether the victim was unable to consent, or whether violence or the threat of violence was used in the commission of the act. Given the immense sentencing exposure you face if convicted, it is critical that you consult a criminal defense attorney with experience defending sex crimes in Los Angeles.

PC 287 currently refers to the penal code section in the California legal system that addresses the offense of oral copulation. This was changed in 2019 when the state legislature renumbered PC 288(a) to PC 287. The definition of the crime of oral copulation and penalties defined by the state legislature have stayed the same.

Definition of PC 287

PC 287 is a California statute that criminalizes nonconsensual oral copulation, or oral sex, with another person without their consent. The law specifically applies to instances where the victim is someone other than the offender’s spouse. The act is considered a felony offense and carries severe legal consequences for the offender.

Elements of the Offense

To get a conviction against someone under PC 287, the prosecution must show guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements typically include nonconsensual engagement in oral copulation; the presence of force, duress or fear; and the absence of a spousal relationship between the offender and the victim. If the prosecution fails to prove these elements, it may weaken its case against the accused.

Penalties and Consequences

PC 287 imposes significant penalties on those guilty of oral copulation without consent. The offense is generally classified as a felony and can result in lengthy prison sentences, ranging from 3-8 years. Moreover, offenders may also be registered as sex offenders, face substantial fines, and undergo court-mandated counseling or rehabilitation programs upon release from prison.

Legal Defenses

Accused individuals facing oral copulation charges can mount a legal defense. Several defenses may be applicable depending on the circumstances of the case, including:

  • Consent: If the defendant can demonstrate that the act of oral copulation was consensual, this can serve as a strong defense against the charges.
  • Lack of evidence: Insufficient evidence or inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case can be used to challenge the accusations and cast doubt on the defendant’s guilt.
  • Mistaken identity: In cases where mistaken identity is a possibility, the defense can argue that the accused wasn’t the perpetrator of the offense.
  • Intoxication: If the defendant can show that they were involuntarily intoxicated at the time of the incident, it may serve as a defense by negating the required intent.

Understanding the elements of the law, potential penalties, and available legal defenses is vital for those facing oral copulation charges and their criminal defense attorneys to mount an effective legal strategy and protect their rights.

Call Former LA Sex Crimes Prosecutors At (888) 579-4844 For A Free Case Review

With almost 70 years of combined California criminal trial experience, sex crimes defense attorneys Eugene Hanrahan and Stephen Sitkoff have specialized in defending individuals accused of committing sex offenses. As former senior prosecutors within the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office’s elite sex crimes special prosecution unit, both Mr. Hanrahan and Mr. Sitkoff utilize their unique background and experience to zealously defend all misdemeanor and felony Oral Copulation charges. As a client of our firm, you will be represented by either Mr. Hanrahan or Mr. Sitkoff, not an inexperienced associate or contract lawyer. Please call us now at (310) 312-8055 or toll free at (888) 579-4844 for a free no-obligation consultation to review the facts of your case and each of your potential outcomes.

California Penalties For Oral Copulation

PC 288a is considered a “wobbler” offense meaning it can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony, and the penalties can vary in severity depending on whether aggravating factors exist. An Oral Copulation conviction can result in long state prison sentences, but worst yet, lifetime registration as a sex offender pursuant to PC 290. The specific circumstances of the Oral Copulation allegations against you directly influence your sentencing exposure. The following are a few examples and the associated jail and/or state prison sentences you potentially face:

  • The victim was under 18 years old (Up to 1 year in State Prison or County Jail)
  • You were over 21 years old and the victim was under 16 years old (Up to 1 year in State Prison or County Jail)
  • The victim was under 14 years old and you were more than 10 years older (Up to 8 years in State Prison)
  • You committed the act through the use of force, fear, or threat (Up to 8 years in State Prison)
  • You committed the act through the use of force, fear, or threat and the victim was under 14 years old (Up to 12 years in State Prison)
  • You committed the act through the use of force, fear, or threat and the victim was over 14 years old (Up to 10 years in State Prison)
  • You committed the act through the threat of future retaliation against the victim or another (Up to 8 years in State Prison)

Placing your freedoms and liberties in the hands of an inexperienced lawyer can have grave consequences. Sex crimes defense is a highly specialized criminal defense practice area and while any lawyer can claim to be an expert, both Mr. Hanrahan and Mr. Sitkoff are among the very few in Southern California who can truly be considered Los Angeles sex crimes defense experts. As former sex crimes prosecutors and law enforcement instructors, we have the experience and expertise to mount a winning legal defense. During your free consultation with us, we will focus on providing you with the answers you seek and offering you our unique insight and perspective into the police investigative process, as well the criminal court procedure. Not only that, we will outline the path ahead and review potential defense strategies after patiently reviewing each of the facts of your case. Contact us now at (888) 579-4844 for a free no-obligation case review.