June 17, 2011 By Wallin & Klarich

The penalties for violating California’s “lewd acts with a minor” law vary, depending on
1. the age of the child (and possibly the age difference between you and the minor), and
2. the specific facts of the case (for example, did the act involve force or violence?), and
3. your criminal history.

If prosecutors charge you with California child molestation when the alleged victim is 14 or 15 years old and you are at least ten years older than the minor, the charge is what’s known as a wobbler. A “wobbler” can be filed as either a misdemeanor or as a felony.
The only true difference between misdemeanor and felony sentencing for a “lewd acts with a minor” charge lays in (1) the fine, and (2) the potential jail/prison sentence.
Misdemeanor child molestation subjects you to a maximum one-year county jail sentence and a maximum $1,000 fine. Felony charges subject you to one to eight years in the state prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
Otherwise, you face the following penalties violating any California Penal Code 288 PC “lewd acts with a minor” law:

-Penal Code 290 PC registration as a sex offender,
-a requirement that you pay for any medical or psychological treatment that the minor incurs as a result of the offense, and -an additional and consecutive five-year state prison sentence if the minor suffers great bodily injury because you use force or violence during the offense (“great bodily injury” is a significant or substantial physical injury).

It’s also important to understand that each independent act of child molestation is a separate offense, punishable as its own violation. This means that if, for example, an individual were to fondle one part of the minor’s body…and were to then fondle a different part of the minor’s body…prosecutors could charge the perpetrator with two acts of “lewd acts with a child.”

If you or a loved one have been charged with “Lewd Acts with a Minor” contact the experienced Southern California criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. We’ve have been helping criminal defendants for over 30 years. Call us at (888) 280-6839 or visit us at www.wklaw.com.

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