Sexual offenses are always alarming criminal charges for people to face. Even being accused of a sex crime can incredibly damage a person’s life. As a result, if you are facing accusations of a sex crime in California, you should quickly retain Long Beach Sex Crimes Lawyer as soon as possible. In many instances, retaining an attorney early in your case can positively impact the outcome of your case.
Table of contents
- Why You Should Choose Chudnovsky Law?
- Types of sex crimes in California
- What Are the Penalties for Sex Offenses in Long Beach?
- Sex Offender Registration in California
- Sex Crime Defenses Require Complicated Legal Maneuvers
- Seek Sex Crime Defense Help Immediately
- Consult our Long Beach Sex Crime Attorneys Today
Why You Should Choose Chudnovsky Law?
Chudnovsky Law is an award-winning team of experienced criminal defense attorneys with over 75 years of experience. Our firm has handled more than 8,000 cases and trials.
With a legal career spanning two decades, Tsion Chudnovsky has gained distinction as a ‘Top 100 Trial Lawyer’ by The National Trial Lawyers and proficiency in Spanish, French, Italian, and Amharic.
Robert K. Weinberg, a former prosecutor with over three decades of experience, has tackled more than 5,000 cases and 100 jury trials, speaking Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, and Portuguese.
Suzanne M. Crouts brings over 20 years of experience to her work, managing over 1,600 cases, trials, and hearings, and achieving a strong record of acquittals and minimized charges.
David A. Stein focuses on the defense of professional license holders in California, including physicians, nurses, dentists, and others, while also offering criminal defense to noncitizens.
Types of sex crimes in California
The California Department of Justice recently reported 4,183 sex offenses in the state in 2021, and the rape rate increased 8.6 percent from 33.8 in 2020 to 36.7. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that an American is the victim of sexual assault every 68 seconds.
Some of the most common of these sex crime charges in California include:
California Penal Code § 261 defines rape as sexual intercourse under certain unlawful circumstances.
These circumstances include engaging in sexual activity:
- With a person who is not one’s spouse and cannot legally consent due to a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability. The perpetrator must have known or reasonably should have known of the victim’s incapacity. The prosecutor must prove that the victim was incapable of giving consent due to one of these factors, regardless of whether the victim had a conservatorship as defined by the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act. This provision does not preclude the prosecution of a spouse for other violations of the law.
- Against a person’s will through force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury to the person or another.
- With a person who cannot resist due to the influence of an intoxicating or anesthetic substance or a controlled substance, and the perpetrator knew or should have known of the victim’s condition.
- With a person who is unconscious at the time of the act and the perpetrator knew of the victim’s unconscious state.
- With a person who submits under the belief that the perpetrator is someone else known to the victim, and this belief is induced by the perpetrator’s artifice, pretense, or concealment.
- Against the victim’s will through threats of future retaliation by the perpetrator. The threats include extreme pain, serious bodily injury, death, kidnapping, or false imprisonment.
- Against the victim’s will through threats to use the authority of a public official to incarcerate, arrest, or deport the victim or another person. The victim believes that the perpetrator is a public official, and the perpetrator need not actually be a public official.
California Penal Code § 243.4 deals with the offense of sexual battery. It defines sexual battery as any intentional touching of another person’s intimate body parts without consent for sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse. Several specific circumstances qualify as sexual battery, including touching an intimate part of someone restrained, institutionalized for medical treatment, or unconscious due to fraudulent representation by the perpetrator. The punishment for sexual battery varies depending on the severity of the offense and can include imprisonment and fines. Prior convictions for sexual battery against a minor may result in a more severe penalty.
California child molestation laws make it a crime to engage in (or to attempt to engage in) sexual acts with a child under 18 years of age. Depending on the minor’s age and the nature of the sexual contact, the consequences can range from misdemeanor charges to felony charges with life in prison.
Various sections of the California Penal Code Sections address child molestation crimes. Some of the acts that California law prohibits include:
- Committing a lewd or lascivious act on a child under 16. Lewd acts with a minor include:
- Touching a child’s body for sexual purposes (and the touching does not have to be on bare skin), or
- Causing a child to touch him/herself or someone else for a sexual purpose (such as to gratify sexual desires).
- Performing oral copulation with a minor under the age of 18. “Oral copulation” is any contact between the mouth of one person and the sexual organ or anus of another.
- Sending explicit or obscene matter to a minor under 18 with the intent of:
- Sexually arousing the sender and/or the recipient, and
- Seducing the recipient.
- Contacting a minor with the intent to commit a felony.
- Arranging a meeting with a minor with the intent to engage in sexual acts
- Engaging e in the continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 years of age
- Engaging in sexual acts with a child under ten years of age
California Penal Code § 647(b) prohibits engaging in or soliciting prostitution. Under the law, prostitution means performing a lewd act of having sexual intercourse in exchange for compensation. Importantly, both a person paying for sexual acts and those performing them can face convictions for prostitution under the law. A violation of California Penal Code § 647(b) is a misdemeanor.
Under California Penal Code § 647(a), any person who solicits anyone to engage in or who engages in lewd or dissolute conduct in any public place or any place open to the public or exposed to public view commits a misdemeanor. A person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child who is under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child, commits a felony under California Penal Code § 288.
Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
California Penal Code § 290 makes failure to register as a sex offender a misdemeanor when the underlying crime was also a misdemeanor. The same offense is a felony when the underlying crime is also a felony. Sex offenders must notify authorities any time they move, and failure to do so can lead to criminal penalties.
California Penal Code § 314 makes it a misdemeanor for a person to willfully and lewdly expose their person, or their private parts, in any public place or where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed.
What Are the Penalties for Sex Offenses in Long Beach?
Consequences of sex crime convictions can vary depending on the alleged offense.
In general, these crimes can result in serious penalties:
- Rape, California Penal Code § 261. When an alleged victim is 18 or older, rape can result in eight years in prison and sex offender registration for 20 years or life. If an alleged victim is between 14 and 17, the crime becomes punishable by up to 13 years in prison and lifetime sex offender registration. When an alleged victim is less than 14, the crime is punishable by up to 11 years in prison and lifetime sex offender registration.
- Sexual battery, California Penal Code § 243.4. Misdemeanor sexual battery can result in one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000 (although alleged victims who are employees can make fines $3,000). Felony sexual battery can result in up to four years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- Child sexual abuse or molestation, California Penal Code § 647.6. Violations of California Penal Code § 647.6(a)(1), California Penal Code § 647.6(a)(2), and California Penal Code § 647.6(b) can result in one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Continuous sexual abuse of a child is punishable by up to 16 years in state prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and/or restitution to the alleged victim.
- Prostitution, California Penal Code § 647(b). Misdemeanor prostitution offenses can result in six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. A pimping crime is punishable by up to six years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- Lewd conduct, California Penal Code § 647(a). Misdemeanor lewd conduct cases can result in six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. A violation of California Penal Code § 288 involving a child under 14 years of age but no force is punishable by up to eight years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. When a violation involves a child under 14 years of age and force is used, the crime is punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If a violation involves a child under 14 years of age and bodily harm occurs, the crime is punishable by life in prison. When a child is 14 or 15 years of age, and an alleged offender is ten years or more older than the child, the offense is punishable by up to three years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Lewd acts with force by caretakers of dependent persons are punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- Failure to register as a sex offender, California Penal Code § 290. Misdemeanor failure to register as a sex offender cases can result in one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. A felony case can be punishable by up to three years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- Date rape, California Penal Code § 261(a)(3). Punishable by eight years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- Indecent exposure, California Penal Code § 314. Misdemeanor punishable by one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Sex Offender Registration in California
People who a court convicts of certain sex crimes may be required to register as sex offenders with their local law enforcement agency annually within five days of their birthday or within five days of changing residences. Sex offenders can face many restrictions, such as being unable to live near schools or work in certain jobs.
Proposition 83, more commonly known as Jessica’s Law, created predator-free zones and prohibited registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of any public or private school or any park where children regularly gathered. When a person moves from California to another state, they will still be required to comply with the new state’s sex offender laws.
Sex offenders do not have to notify other people about their status, but sex offender status may be publicly available through the Megan’s Law website.
Sex Crime Defenses Require Complicated Legal Maneuvers
Many people who are facing allegations of sex crimes believe they are innocent and want to fight their criminal charges. It can be difficult to challenge sex crime charges, but defenses may be available if you have the right legal help.
When allegations are exaggerated or manufactured, an experienced attorney for criminal defense can examine an alleged victim’s statements and possibly discover inconsistencies that may help call their credibility into question.
Seek Sex Crime Defense Help Immediately
You should not delay seeking legal help to defend yourself against any sex crime charge. It is in your best interest to retain a lawyer as soon as possible so they can start building your defense. In addition, you should be sure to retain an attorney before you talk to the police, as things you may say without legal counsel are much more likely to hurt your case than help it.
Consult our Long Beach Sex Crime Attorneys Today
Were you arrested, or do you think that you are under investigation for an alleged sex crime anywhere in California? If so, contact Chudnovsky Law as soon as possible.
Our firm knows how distressing sex crime allegations can be, and we are committed to providing every client with a zealous defense. Call (562) 800-4080 or consult with our Long Beach criminal defense attorneys online to take advantage of a free consultation.