Lewd act upon a child charges under penal code 288 are among the most serious child molestation charges one can face in California and a single conviction on one count of this crime can result in a prison sentence of up to eight years and lifetime registration as a sex offender. If you or a loved one is being prosecuted for this crime it is important to know what the law is and potential defenses to this crime. Relevant portions of penal code 288 read as follows:
any 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, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.
There are many potential defenses to this very serious crime and all potential defenses should be considered in defending against penal code 288 allegations. For example, it can be argued that any touching was accidental and therefore not “willful” as required to convict under the law. It is always a good idea to get a psychological evaluation done by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist that can demonstrate that you do not have an abnormal or unusual sexual interest in young children. Expert testimony to this effect would be admissible at trial. Often times law enforcement is very suggestive to young alleged victims in these cases and can lead a young child to make allegations that are completely untrue. A thorough review of the case can uncover this type of conduct by law enforcement and this can have a major impact on the case.
If you or a loved one is facing child molestation charges in Southern California it is important that you contact an experienced sex crimes attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling all types of sex crimes. Our attorneys are highly knowledgeable in sex crimes law. We will aggressively fight to defend your rights and get you the best possible result in your case. Call us today at (888) 749-0034 or contact us on our website at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.