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A “sex crime” is a misdemeanor or felony offense that involves some kind of unlawful sexual activity. Sex crime charges are very serious and can be devastating to one’s reputation and future. These types of charges are aggressively investigated and prosecuted by the government.
Under California law, sex crime convictions carry serious, often life-long consequences. These consequences include heavy fines, substantial prison time, and may require lifelong registration as a sex offender. In addition to the potential legal consequences, there is a strong social stigma against sex crimes. Being charged with and possibly found guilty of a sex crime can ruin one’s reputation and negatively affect one’s future opportunities indefinitely.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a sex crime or any other criminal offense, call the Law Offices of David Silldorf today to schedule your free consultation and begin building your defense strategy. Sex crime cases are often complex due to the serious nature of the charges, forensic evidence, and sensitivity of the alleged conduct involved.
It is critical to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who will do everything possible to defend your rights and protect your future. We’ve helped hundreds of clients fight their cases resulting in acquittal, dismissal, reduced charges, and other positive outcomes. Give our sex crime defense attorneys a call today and find out how we will fight to protect your rights.
There are many different types of sex crimes recognized under California law. The penalties for such crimes range drastically depending on the age of the alleged victim and the conduct involved. Any kind of unlawful sexual activity can result in a sex crime charge, from indecent public exposure to statutory rape. You could be charged with a sex crime even if there was no physical conduct involved.
It is important to hire an attorney with knowledge of sex crime laws and experience defending against these types of charges when looking for the right sex crime defense attorney for your case. Below are some of the most common sex crimes you can be charged with in California.
California Penal Code § 314 states that every person who willfully and lewdly either:
(1) Exposes his/her person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place or in any place where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed thereby; or who
(2) Procures, counsels, or assists any person to expose himself/herself or take part in any model artist exhibition, or to make any other exhibition of himself/herself in public view, or the view of any numbers of persons, such as is offensive to decency, or is adapted to excite to vicious or lewd thoughts or acts is guilty of misdemeanor indecent exposure.
Indecent exposure is a misdemeanor offense in California that is punishable by up to six months in county jail and a fine of $1,000. If you are charged with multiple counts of indecent exposure or have previously been convicted of indecent exposure, however, upon the second and each subsequent count, this offense turns into a felony punishable by imprisonment in state prison.
If convicted of indecent exposure, you will be required to register as a sex offender and likely ordered to participate in sex offender counseling or some form of community service.
California Penal Code § 647(a) states that an individual who solicits anyone to engage in or who engages in lewd or dissolute conduct in any public place or in any place open to the public or exposed to public view is guilty of misdemeanor lewd conduct. Lewd conduct includes any act of sexual conduct committed in public for the purpose of sexual gratification. There is no physical contact requirement for this offense.
Lewd conduct is a misdemeanor offense in California that is punishable by up to six months in county jail and a fine of $1,000. There is no mandatory requirement to register as a sex offender if convicted of this crime.
Lewd conduct charges, however, are often filed along with indecent exposure charges because the alleged conduct involves the defendant exposing their private parts or publicly engaging in some kind of sexual activity. As explained above, there is a mandatory requirement to register as a sex offender if convicted of indecent exposure.
Lewd acts with a child are commonly referred to as “child molestation” and are treated as a serious felony offense under California law. California Penal Code § 288 states that a person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act upon 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, is guilty of felony lewd acts with a child.
“Lewd acts” include touching or fondling a child in any manner for the purpose of sexual gratification to either the defendant or the child. If convicted of this crime, the potential punishment is up to eight years in state prison, a $10,000 fine, and a mandatory lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender.
The potential custody time is increased to ten years in state prison if the alleged conduct involves the use of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the alleged victim or another person. It is important to note that any child molestation conviction in California is a “strike” offense and will be used to increase penalties on future convictions.
California Penal Code § 647(b) states that an individual who solicits or who agrees to engage in any act of prostitution with the intent to receive compensation, money, or anything of value from another person is guilty of misdemeanor prostitution. The crime of “prostitution” includes any lewd act between persons for money or other consideration.
An individual agrees to engage in an act of prostitution when, with the specific intent to so engage, the individual manifests an acceptance of an offer or solicitation by another person to so engage, regardless of whether the offer or solicitation was made by a person who also possessed the specific intent to engage in an act of prostitution.
A manifestation of the acceptance of an offer or solicitation to engage in an act of prostitution does not constitute a violation of this subdivision unless some act, in addition to the manifestation of acceptance, is done within the state of California in furtherance of the prostitution by the person manifesting an acceptance of an offer or solicitation to engage in that act.
In prostitution cases, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was some kind of agreement that went beyond mere consent to engage in sexual activity. There must have been actual steps taken to perform the act of prostitution, such as the payment of money or going to a hotel to engage in sexual acts.
In 2016, the California legislature signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 1322, which protects minors under the age of 18 from being prosecuted for prostitution under PC § 647(b). Instead, a minor caught engaging in the act of prostitution is labeled as a “commercially sexually exploited child” and will likely be made a dependent of the state and placed in temporary state custody or foster care.
Prostitution is a misdemeanor offense in California that is punishable by up to six months in county jail and a fine of $1,000.
If, however, the alleged person solicited for sexual activity was a minor at the time of the offense, and the defendant knew or should have known that the person solicited was a minor at the time of the offense, there is a mandatory two-day sentence and a maximum punishment of up to one year in county jail and a fine of $10,000.
Unlike other sex crimes, there is no requirement to register as a sex offender if convicted of prostitution.
California Penal Code § 311.11(a) states that every person who knowingly possesses or controls any matter, representation of information, data, or image, including, but not limited to, any:
that contains or incorporates in any manner, any film or filmstrip, the production of which involves the use of a person under 18 years of age, knowing that the matter depicts a person under 18 years of age personally engaging in or simulating sexual conduct, is guilty of possession of child pornography.
In more simple terms, “child pornography” is defined as any matter or material depicting sexual conduct by a person under the age of 18.
Possession of child pornography is a wobbler offense in California and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the alleged conduct involved. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you face up to one year in county jail and a fine of $2,500. If convicted of a felony, you face up to three years in state prison and a fine of $2,500.
There are aggravating factors often involved in these types of cases, which increase one’s potential custody time by up to five years in state prison. Such factors include:
(1) If the matter contained more than 600 images of child pornography and ten or more of the images involved a minor under the age of 12; or
(2) If the matter portrayed sexual sadism or sexual masochism involving a person under the age of 18.
For purposes of this section, “Sexual Sadism” is defined as the intentional infliction of pain for the purpose of sexual gratification. “Sexual Masochism” is defined as intentionally experiencing pain for the purposes of sexual gratification or stimulation.
If you are charged with multiple counts of possessing child pornography or have previously been convicted of this crime, upon the second and each subsequent count, this offense turns into a felony punishable by up to six years in state prison and a fine of $2,500.
Any type of child pornography conviction carries a mandatory sex offender registration requirement that will vary in length depending on the circumstances of the alleged conduct.
California Penal Code § 647(j)(4) states that any person who intentionally distributes or causes to be distributed the image of the intimate body part or parts of another identifiable person or an image of the person depicted engaged in an act of sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation, sexual penetration, or an image of masturbation by the person depicted or in which the person depicted participates, under circumstances in which the persons agree or understand that the image shall remain private, the person distributing the image knows or should know that distribution of the image will cause serious emotional distress, and the person depicted suffers that distress, is guilty of misdemeanor revenge porn.
A person “intentionally distributes” an image when that person personally distributes the image. A person “intentionally causes an image to be distributed” when that person arranges, specifically requests, or intentionally causes another person to distribute the image. “Distribute” includes exhibiting in public or giving possession. “Intimate body part” means any portion of the genitals, the anus, and, in the case of a female, also includes any portion of the breasts below the top of the areola that is either uncovered or clearly visible through clothing.
Revenge porn is a misdemeanor offense under California law that is punishable by up to six months in county jail and a fine of $1,000. California Assembly Bill 602 gives victims of fake sex videos the right to sue the person who created or shared the video for additional compensation in civil court.
The right to sue exists only if the alleged victim in the video did not consent to the video’s creation or public release. Any civil action by the alleged victim must be commenced no later than three years from the date the unauthorized creation, development, or disclosure was discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of reasonable diligence.
California Penal Code § 288.5 states that any person who either resides in the same home with the minor child or has recurring access to the child, who over a period of time not less than three months in duration, engages in three or more acts of substantial sexual conduct with a child under the age of 14 years at the time of the commission of the offense, or three or more acts of lewd or lascivious conduct with a child under the age of 14 years at the time of the commission of the offense is guilty of felony continuous sexual abuse of a child.
For purposes of this section, “sexual conduct” includes oral copulation, masturbation, or penetration to either the alleged child involved or the defendant. “Oral copulation” includes any contact between the mouth of one person and the sexual organ or anus of another person. Penetration is not required for oral copulation.
To be found guilty of this offense at trial, the jury must only unanimously agree that the requisite number of acts occurred, not as to which acts constituted the requisite number. Continuous sexual abuse of a child is a serious felony offense, and if convicted, one faces up to sixteen years in state prison and a fine of $10,000. This offense also carries a mandatory requirement to register as a sex offender for life and is classified as a “strike” offense used to increase penalties on any future convictions.
Also known as sexual assault, sexual battery is defined in California Penal Code § 243.4 and results if a person touches an intimate part of another person while that person is unlawfully restrained by the accused or an accomplice and if the touching is against the will of the person touched and is for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse. Sexual battery can also result if the alleged victim is unconscious and does not consent to the touching or if the alleged victim is either medically incapacitated or seriously disabled and incapable of consenting to the touching.
For purposes of this section, “touching” means any kind of physical contact with the skin of another person, whether accomplished directly or through the clothing of the person committing the offense. “Intimate part” means the sexual organ, anus, groin, or buttocks of any person and the breast of a female. It does not matter if the alleged victim was a man or a woman to be charged with sexual battery.
Sexual battery is a wobbler offense in California and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the alleged conduct involved. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you face a potential punishment of up to one year in county jail and a fine of $2,000.
If convicted of a felony, you face a potential punishment of up to four years in state prison and a fine of $10,000. Almost all convictions for sexual battery require mandatory sex offender registration with the length of time depending on the age of the alleged victim and the circumstances of the case.
California Penal Code § 261 defines rape as non-consensual intercourse with another person. The statute lists several situations that constitute rape, including
(1) Where the sexual intercourse was accomplished against the alleged victim’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on another person;
(2) Where the alleged victim was incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse due to a mental disorder or medical incapacitation;
(3) Where the alleged victim was incapable of consenting due to their level of intoxication;
(4) Where the alleged victim was incapable of consenting because they were unconscious;
(5) Where the alleged victim was threatened or their loved ones were threatened unless they submitted to the sexual intercourse; or
(6) Where the alleged victim consented to the sexual intercourse believing it was with somebody else other than the accused, and this belief was induced by artifice, pretense, or concealment practiced by the accused, with the intent to induce the belief.
PC § 261 lists a seventh situation that constitutes rape: where the sexual intercourse was accomplished against the alleged victim’s will by threatening to use the authority of a public official to incarcerate, arrest, or deport the victim or another, and the victim has a reasonable belief that the perpetrator is a public official.
For purposes of this section, “public official” means a person employed by a governmental agency who has the authority, as part of that position, to incarcerate, arrest, or deport another. The perpetrator does not have to be an actual public official to be convicted of this crime.
The penalties for rape are set forth in California Penal Code § 264, which states that rape is a felony offense punishable by up to eight years in state prison. Rape is considered a violent felony under California law and is classified as a “strike” offense that will be used to increase penalties on any future convictions. Rape is also considered a “crime of moral turpitude,” which means it is recognized under California law as morally wrong. Licensed professionals such as lawyers, doctors, or nurses may have their professional licenses revoked or suspended if convicted of rape charges.
Finally, a rape conviction will require mandatory registration sex offender registration with the length of time depending on the circumstances of the case.
Rape and statutory rape are two different crimes. California Penal Code § 261.5 defines statutory rape as the unlawful act of sexual intercourse with a minor who is not the spouse of the perpetrator. A “minor” is a person under the age of 18 years, and an “adult” is a person who is at least 18 years of age.
It is important to note that the government does not have to prove that force or fear was used to accomplish the sexual intercourse or that there was a lack of consent. You can be convicted of statutory rape even if the alleged minor willingly participated in the sexual intercourse because California law deems anyone under the age of 18 as legally incapable of consenting to sex.
Statutory rape is a wobbler offense under California law. The sentence for a statutory rape conviction will depend heavily on the age of the alleged victim in comparison to the age of the person accused.
Any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is not more than three years older or three years younger than the perpetrator is guilty of a misdemeanor statutory rape. Any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is more than three years younger than the perpetrator is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony statutory rape depending on the alleged conduct involved.
If convicted of a misdemeanor statutory rape, you face up to one year in county jail and a fine of $1,000. If convicted of a felony statutory rape, you face up to four years in state prison and a fine of $10,000. California law does not require mandatory sex offender registration for a statutory rape conviction. Statutory rape charges, however, are frequently filed along with other charges that do require mandatory sex offender registration, such as rape or lewd acts with a child.
Sex crime charges are very serious and can result in heavy fines and prison time. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable and up-to-date on California sex crime laws can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
Below are some common defenses that can be raised against sex crime charges depending on the circumstances of the alleged conduct:
In any sex crimes case or any other criminal offense, it is critical to hire an experienced defense attorney to identify potential defenses and protect your rights at every step of your case.
At the Law Offices of David Silldorf, we have experience successfully defending against sex crime charges and understand the complexity involved with these types of cases.
We also understand the sensitivity associated with sex crime charges and the negative impact they can have on one’s life. We will work tirelessly to put together a solid defense strategy and fight to protect your rights, your reputation, and your future.
Our attorneys have helped hundreds of defendants receive favorable outcomes in their cases. Every case is different, and no attorney can guarantee an outcome, but we always try to see if we can:
Our attorneys are passionate about defending your rights and will fight for you every step of the way to minimize or eliminate any potential negative consequences you face.
If you have been charged with any type of sex crime or related offense, it is essential to call an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of David Silldorf, we will fight to protect you and your rights to achieve the best possible result in your case. No matter what the charges are, you have the right to effective legal representation before speaking to anyone, including the police, at every stage of the proceedings.
When you work with the Law Offices of David Silldorf, you get peace of mind knowing you are in experienced and trusted hands. Our reputation is to represent our clients fearlessly and aggressively, and we will do just that. We care about each of our clients and are determined to help. We are available 24/7 and will keep you updated on everything happening with your case. Call today for your free consultation so we can start fighting for your rights.
During your initial consultation, we will walk you through the charges and allegations, explain our representation process, answer any questions you may have, and let you know what the next steps of your case should be. After our consultation, we will get to work right away to examine your case and start building a solid defense.
At the Law Offices of David Silldorf, we work tirelessly to gather evidence, identify helpful witnesses, look for holes in the prosecution’s case, conduct our own investigation, establish a strong defense strategy, and do everything we can to get the best possible result for your case.
If you are looking for an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who will stop at nothing to help you get the best possible outcome for your case, you have come to the right place.
David Silldorf and his associates have more than 45 years of experience defending people accused of all types of crime.
When you choose David Silldorf Law, you can rest assured you are doing everything you can to best position yourself against the government. Do not hesitate to call today so we can begin putting together your legal defense and start fighting for you.
People v. an Individual
Client, a college student at SDSU, was being investigated for various allegations of sexual assault, rape, oral copulation, and use of an intoxicating substance in furtherance of the sexual assault. Investigation was closed and no charges filed due to defense investigation, evidence, and case work-up.
NO CHARGES FILED
People v. an Individual
Client, a juvenile, was under investigation for sexual assault pursuant to CA PC 243.4. Sheriff agreed to DROP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION and NO CHARGES FILED due to early intervention by defense team and defense investigation and work up.
We’ll fight for you so you get the results you deserve.