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How Is Child Molestation Defined Under California State Law?

Under California law, child molestation is defined as the touching of a child's private parts with the intent to gratify the child or gratify the perpetrator. This sex crime offense is defined under California Penal Code Section 288.

Child molestation is one of the more serious crimes that are prosecuted in Los Angeles, California. In some cases, the touching of a child pursuant to PC 288 will be charged as a felony and carry a potential prison sentence of five to six years.

Child Molestation

If molestation takes place over an extended period of time and the child is young enough, an individual could face 15 years to life in prison. The penalties for child molestation vary, but in general, someone who is convicted of child molestation can face long prison sentences.

Do I Need a Lawyer Right Away?

If someone is being investigated for a crime—particularly if it's a crime as serious as child molestation—they should obtain an attorney, review all the details related to the case, and then strategize their next steps.

Someone who is under investigation might receive a recorded phone call from the police, or the police might show up at their door and begin questioning them.

Under these circumstances, an individual should have their attorney intervene right away and avoid giving any statements which could later be considered incriminating. Based on 25 years' worth of practicing law, I can say that it's never a good idea to speak to the police when being investigated for such serious charges.

Defenses for Child Molestation Charges

The defenses for child molestation vary on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the nature of the evidence in the police and prosecutor's possession.

A defendant should always discuss with their attorney the details specific to their case in order to determine whether it makes sense to take an offensive position against the prosecutors or accept responsibility and negotiate the best possible resolution. However, if a defendant is not guilty, then they—along with the help of their attorney—will need to figure out how best to defend their case.

For more information on Child Molestation Charges In California, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0979 today.