What Determines How Much Jail Time a Person Will Get for Lewd Conduct with a Minor Pursuant to Penal Code Section 288a
A lot of people who are charged with this crime are family members who are trying to help somebody with lewd conduct with a minor in Los Angeles or anywhere in California. They are usually concerned about a person facing a long prison sentence.
There's a number of different factors that go into the prosecutors deciding what to offer in these type of cases. Of course, judges can sometimes weigh-in on the cases and then the defense will obviously have an opportunity to present their version of events and any mitigating factors that might assist their client.
I recently had a case where my client was charged with lewd conduct with a minor under California Penal Code 288a and we had worked out a probation deal, and we went to try to do the plea in the case and the judge said that she was not going to accept the plea.
So, when it comes to these type of cases where minors are involved, sometimes you need every facet of the legal system working in your favor in order to ultimately get a good resolution. Judges have to agree to take pleas in criminal cases.
Most of the time they will accept what the prosecutor has offered to settle the case but there are some occasions where they won't and then other angles need to be pursued in order to get a good result for your client.
In this particular case, we had to go to another judge in a different court because that judge simply would not accept a probationary deal, and it's very difficult in a case where somebody is charged with lewd conduct with a minor (CALCRIM 1110) get a probation resolution.
Even if you do get a probationary resolution that does not necessarily mean that you don't go to jail. You could get anywhere from zero time in custody up to 365 days in jail and still be placed on either felony or misdemeanor probation.
Age of the Victim and Prior Record in Penal Code 288a Cases
One big factor that determines whether or not you go to jail or prison is obviously the age of the alleged victim and your age. So, if the alleged victim is a certain age and you're ten years older than that individual, obviously that's likely going to be an extra enhancement that will apply against you, exposing you to more prison time and making it more likely you're going to get a prison sentence.
Another factor is your prior criminal record. If you have no prior criminal record that would certainly put you in a good spot as far as trying to make the argument that his was a first-time, never to happen again event.
In other words, an aberration and you're not likely to be a recidivist. Obviously, other big factors that are looked at is they're going to do a static 99 on you to see what your likelihood is to commit this type of offense or any other sexual offense in the future and that's another big thing that prosecutors and judges will look at in determining what happens to you in a lewd conduct with a child case.
Also, a lot times what I will do is get what is called a Penal Code 288.1 report which is an evaluation by a psychiatrist who is specially trained to test people who are charged with sex-related offenses.
Then they specifically render an opinion so the prosecutor and judge can look at it related to whether or not the person is likely to commit any future sex offenses and explain to the judge and the prosecutor maybe committed this particular sex crime.
So, you start to get a feel that these are the type of things that the prosecutors and judges are looking at when deciding how long of a prison or jail sentence they're going to attempt to impose against a criminal defendant.
Multiple Acts of Lewd Conduct with Minor
Another big factor — and this is where you start to get into areas where people are potentially looking at life sentences — is when you have a young victim and a person that is ten years or more older than that victim.
There's multiple acts of lewd conduct or some sort of sexual touching pursuant to Penal Code Section 288a, you're going to get an extra charge that's going to apply that could subject you to life in prison.
So, that would give the prosecutors a lot of power because if you were to go to trial and lose the judge would likely have no choice but to give you a sentence where you're facing life in prison. So, in that circumstance that would be a real good indicator that the prosecutors are going to probably seek a significant prison sentence for you.
So, these are some of the factors that apply when you're looking at a lewd conduct with a child charge. Of course, the defense is going to give your version of events. They're going to look to see whether or not the child involved consented.
Obviously, if there's multiple children involved that would make things much more difficult for you to stay out of prison. They're also going to look at the facts and circumstances surrounding the case.
Obviously, these are usually different in each case so they have to be dealt with in a different manner. There's no one size fits all solution to these problems and that's why I get the client in and we sit down and go over everything and we really try to design a plan that makes sense for you, your circumstances, your criminal record and the facts and circumstances surrounding your case.
Hedding Law Firm is a top-rated criminal defense law firm located at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. We also have an office downtown at 633 West Fifth Street Los Angeles, CA 90071. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.