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Sex Crimes

Sexual Abuse Defense Lawyer in San Diego

Proven Sex Crime Defense Team Serving Southern California

Sexual abuse has become a very visible topic in today’s society. Amid this movement, there have been a number of high profile cases involving individuals accused of sexual abuse and other sex crimes, as well as greater support for victims and government agencies tasked with investigating, arresting, and charging suspects. The atmosphere created by this intense focus is one that can make cases involving sex abuse allegations highly complex and very high stakes.

At Premier Criminal Defense, LLC, our San Diego defense attorneys utilize years of experience to provide clients with the guidance and representation they need when facing investigations, questioning, and formal charges involving sexual abuse and other sex crimes. Led by a former prosecutor who also works as Supervising Attorney for one of the nation’s largest defense firms, our team has extensive insight into the “other side,” and the resources to protect clients’ freedoms and futures when it matters most.

Facing sexual abuse or sex crime allegations in Southern California? Learn how Premier Criminal Defense, LLC can fight for you during a FREE and confidential case review. Call (619) 304-9190 today.

Sexual Abuse Charges in California

Sexual abuse is characterized as usually undesired sexual behavior by one person against another. Typically, it involves individuals who use force or their position of trust and authority as a means to abuse others. Sexual abuse differs from sexual assault in that the “force” used by defendants is not as immediate, infrequent, or as short in duration.

The specific charges defendants face, as well as potential penalties, are dependent on the unique circumstances of a case, such as the age of the alleged victim, the nature of the alleged offense, and the defendant’s criminal history. Age, for example, is a major factor in determining charges:

Sexual Abuse of Minors

While each case has its own set of facts, there are several types of charges which can arise from situations considered “sexual abuse” of minors. Examples of these charges may include:

  • Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child – Under California Penal Code 288.5, this offense occurs when a person: (1) either lives with or has frequent access to a child under 14; and (2) has committed 3 or more lewd acts or acts of substantial sexual contact on a child over the course of at least 3 months. This crime is a felony and strike offense under California law. Though penalties vary, it poses some of the harshest penalties of any sex offense, including sentences of either 6, 12, or 16 years or more, and mandatory sex offender registration.
  • Lewd acts with a minor – PC 288 refers to lewd or lascivious acts with a minor, sometimes called child molestation, as any act of (1) touching a child for sexual purposes; or (2) causing a child to touch themselves or another for sexual purposes. While the statute applies to any minor under 16, it is most frequently used in cases involving minors under 14. Penalties vary depending on the factors, including whether force was used and the minor’s age. For example, cases of minors under 14 are more likely to result in sex offender registration and longer sentences, ranging from several years to 10 years or more. Cases involving habitual offenders or bodily harm can result in prison sentences of 25 years or even life in prison.
  • Unlawful sex with a minor – PC 261.5 refers to the crime of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Also referred to as statutory rape, this offense imposes penalties which vary depending on the age difference between the minor and the defendant. As with lewd acts and other sex crimes, cases involving minors under 14 are more likely to result in elevated penalties than cases involving older minors or smaller age gaps.
  • Annoy or molesting a child –PC 647.6, is a crime that makes it illegal to annoy or molest any minor child or any adult the person believed to be a minor child. Under this law, the terms “molest” and “annoy” mean the same thing, and refer to behavior which is: (1) motivated by sexual interest in children / a child; and (2) likely to disturb or be seen by a child. No touching is required for prosecutors to levy this charge as a misdemeanor or a felony. Penalties include fines, up to 1 year of imprisonment, and registration.

Sexual Abuse Involving Adults

Although sexual abuse is commonly associated with minors, it may also involve long-term, undesired sexual conduct between adults, especially when the defendant is alleged to have used their position of authority or power as a means to engage in sexual conduct. California does not have a specific sexual abuse law for adults as it does for minors, but suspects in such situations can be charged with crimes such as sexual battery / sexual assault, oral copulation by force or fear, rape, and others.

Your Defense Options

Defending against sexual abuse charges or any sex crime requires personalized assistance from experienced lawyers. At Premier Defense, LLC, our attorneys meticulously investigate our clients’ cases, and work to customize defense strategies based on the fact and the insight we’ve obtained from years of working in criminal law. Some general issues we commonly focus on include:

  • The classification of charges as misdemeanors or felonies
  • The age of alleged victims / reasonable belief of defendants regarding age
  • Any claims that force was used, which can result in more severe penalties
  • Victim and witness statements, including false allegations
  • Consent, in cases not involving minors
  • Evidence and investigatory tactics of law enforcement
  • Reducing or avoiding penalties, including incarceration and sex offender registration

FREE & Confidential Consultations. Call Now: (619) 304-9190

The serious of sexual abuse charges cannot be understated: these are serious allegations, and they pose what are often life-altering penalties. If you or someone you love are under investigation or have been formally charged, the time to act is now. Premier Criminal Defense, LLC is standing by 24/7 to help. Call (619) 304-9190 or complete an online case evaluation form to tell us more about your case.

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