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When is it a crime to engage in an act of sodomy in California?

For many years it was a crime to engage in an act of sodomy in California. Believe it or not that meant that you could be prosecuted and sent to prison for engaging in a consensual act of sodomy with another adult. Luckily, those days have passed and consenting adults are free to engage in whatever sexual acts they prefer.

However, sodomy is still a very serious crime in California if it is performed with a minor. You can go to prison for many years if convicted. You will have to register as a sex offender under Penal Code Section 290 for the rest of your life. Of course this means that you always must be 100% certain of the age of the person you are engaging in sexual conduct with.

In addition you can be prosecuted and convicted of sodomy, even if the act is with another adult if the other adult did not “legally consent”. Legal consent in California is a tricky matter. It is easy to see that it is against the law if you force a person to engage in sodomy against their will. What is more problematic are the cases where a sexual act of sodomy takes place and one party to the sex act claims they “did not legally consent” because they were drugged or so intoxicated that they could not provide legal consent.

It is also a crime to commit an act of sodomy upon your spouse, if your spouse did not consent to the sex act.

The bottom line is a simple one. Of course you should always practice safe sex. However, safe sex means more than wearing a condom. To avoid being prosecuted for the sex offense of sodomy, penal code 286, you need to make 100% certain that you are not engaging in an act of sodomy with a minor and that if you are engaging in an act of sodomy with an adult you are certain you have that persons legal consent.

If you or your loved one is accused of sodomy under penal code 286, you must contact a criminal defense lawyer from Wallin & Klarich. We have defended thousands of clients accused of various sex crimes in California. We know what you are going through and you do not have to go through this process alone. Call us now at 888-280-6839. With offices in San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange County, we will be there when you call.

About Wallin & Klarich

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.