At a recent family party, you spent time “catching up” with your 17-year old niece. You considered your behavior to be completely appropriate, but are now being charged with annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 in violation of California Penal Code section 647.6.
You do not have to face this charge alone. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have an impressive record of successfully defending PC 647.6 cases and have the skill needed to help you win your case.
Annoying or Molesting a Child Under the Age of 18
According to California Penal Code section 647.6, it is illegal to annoy or molest a child under the age of 18 while motivated by an unnatural sexual interest in the child.
To convict you under PC 647.6, the prosecutor will need to prove the following 4 elements:
- You engaged in conduct directed at a minor;
- Your conduct would have undoubtedly disturbed or offended a normal person;
- Your conduct was motivated by an unnatural sexual interest in the child; AND
- The person was under 18 years of age at the time of the alleged conduct.
Punishment for a PC 647.6 Conviction
If you are convicted of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18, you will face up to 1 year in county jail and up to $5,000 in court fines. If you have a prior misdemeanor PC 647.6 conviction, a second PC 647.6 offense may be charged as a felony. If you are convicted of a felony offense, you will serve time in state prison rather than county jail.
If you are convicted under PC 647.6 and have a prior felony conviction for a sex crime involving a minor, the offense will be considered a felony punishable by up to 6 years in state prison and up to $5,000 in court fines.
If you are convicted under PC 647.6 after having entered in inhabited dwelling, building or trailer coach without consent, the offense will be considered a felony punishable by up to 3 years in state prison and up to $5,000 in court fines.
A conviction under PC 647.6 will also require you to register as a sex offender since PC 647.6 is an enumerated offense under PC 290(c).
Defenses to a PC 647.6 Charge
The experienced attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have raised the following defenses successfully in past cases:
- The prosecutor may not convict you of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 if you reasonably believed that the victim was 18 years of age or older at the time of the alleged conduct.
- Example: You met the alleged victim at a music festival where the minimum age to enter was 18. Furthermore, the victim represented herself as a legal adult. Your reasonable belief that the alleged victim was 18 years of age or older at the time of the conduct may be a defense to a PC 647.6 charge.
- You may be released from criminal liability if you can show that your actions were not motivated by an unusual sexual desire in the child.
- Example: You coach a youth basketball team. You congratulated one of your players after he made a game-winning shot by patting him on the buttocks. You may not be convicted under PC 647.6 since your conduct was likely not sexually motivated.
- If your conduct would not have disturbed or offended a normal person, you may not be convicted under PC 647.6.
- Example: Your elbow briefly brushed up against your niece’s breasts while you were sitting in the backseat of a vehicle. The prosecutor may not convict you of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 if a normal person would not find your conduct to be disturbing or offensive.
Why You Should Retain the Law Offices of Wallin & Klarich
The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have successfully defended clients accused of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 for over 30 years. When you are accused an offense under PC 647.6, there is too much at stake to retain any law firm other than Wallin & Klarich. Our attorneys will aggressively defend your rights and keep you informed of any developments in your case. We have the skill and experience needed to help you win your case. Call (888) 280-6839. We will get through this together.