Attorney for Child Molestation Charges
Orange County Sex Crime Lawyer
Child molest charges are devastating to the victim and the accused alike.
No charge requires a more competent lawyer that this. Child molestation
claims are often well-founded but very often are the result of pure fabrication.
The motives for a child making up a story of molestation are too many
to list, but include parents trying to get leverage in a divorce case,
a child wanting freedom from too many parental restrictions, a child wanting
attention and so on.
A good lawyer will thoroughly investigate the origin of the claim of molestation,
including interviewing the child’s classmates too see if there are
inconsistent stories, It is essential to find the motive of a false claim,
because juries are not at all sympathetic to defendants on trial for this
charge. As a result, it is very easy to be wrongfully convicted if you
do not have a skilled, dedicated Orange County criminal defense lawyer,
and you can serve up to life in prison.
Sentencing in Child Molestation Cases
Child molest charges can be misdemeanors or felonies, and all require lifetime
registration as a sex offender. The only misdemeanor molest is a crime
called “annoying or molesting a child.” The conduct must be
very minor, and involve no skin to skin contact of any private area. The
vast majority are felonies and carry a sentence of 3 years prison all
the way to 25 years to life.
Basic Molest Charge: Carries a sentence range of 3, 6 or 8 years prison per act of touching.
If there are enough incidents, the sentence can go up to hundreds of years
in prison. A basic molest charge involves a lewd act on a child younger
than 14. A lewd act in any touching of a private area on the child, while
the suspect wishes to become sexually aroused or to sexually arouse the victim.
Older than 14 and younger than 16: If the alleged victim is 14 or 15, and the suspect is at least ten years
older that the victim, the molest can be a misdemeanor or a felony and
carries a sentence of up to one year in county jail to three years in
Continuing Molest: If a person who has continuing access to a child under 14 is accused of
three or more acts of “substantial” child molest on the same
victim within a period of time greater than 3 months, the sentence is
up to 16 years in state prison.
Under 10: If the victim is under 10 and the suspect, being over 18, has sexual intercourse
with the child, the sentence is 25 years to life in prison. If the suspect,
over 18 years of age, engages in oral copulation or penetration of the
child, the sentence is 15 years to life. If there is a valid, provable
claim of molest in this circumstance, it is vital to try to negotiate
some sentence less than life. If the claim is fabricated, the case must
be fought to a dismissal by the DA or an acquittal by a jury.
Unfortunately, these charges are not uncommon. Fortunately, with the right
lawyer, they can be shown to be false or greatly exaggerated well before
the risk of a jury trial arises, and the case can be dismissed or drastically
reduced. Mark McDonald is an expert at defending child molest cases.
Call today at (909) 443-1599 for a
free case consultation with an Irvine criminal lawyer.