Sex Crimes

SEX CRIMES

YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE

Being arrested, forced to post steep bail before being formally charged with any Sex Crime (let alone convicted) is the single worst thing you will ever experience in your life. 

Nearly all Sex Crimes are treated as “Serious and Violent” crimes if charged (as most are) as a Felony.  Unlike most Felonies, if convicted of a Sex Crime you will have to serve 85% of the jail sentence imposed rather than 50%. 

Additionally, many Sex Crimes count as a “Strike” under California’s 3 Strike law meaning that if you have 2 prior “serious and violent” Felony convictions (even if unrelated to a Sex Crime), you will be sentenced to 25 years to life and serve the sentence in state prison.

Whether you are convicted or not, you will shunned and ostracized by family, friends, colleagues, lose your job (especially an occupation which requires a license) because Sex Crimes are regarded as a “crime of moral turpitude”. 

It gets worse.  Your picture and address will be listed on a the state run Megan’s Law Registry as well as on a private website Megan’s Law for everyone to see. 

You will also be required to register as a “Sex Offender”.  Registration is mandatory in California.  

Failure to do so or report that you have moved in a timely manner will lead to new charges and lengthy additional jail time than what was originally imposed. 

Currently, sex offenders are required to register with the CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) for lifeHowever, starting in 2021, under California Senate Bill (SB) 384 a new three (3) Tier system will be established for different sex crimes.

Tier one  

Requires registration as a sex offender for at least 10 years. This is for people convicted of the lowest level sex offenses such as misdemeanor sexual battery, indecent exposure, prostitution, etc..

Tier two

Requires registration as a sex offender for at least twenty (20) years. This is for people convicted of mid-level sex offenses such as committing a lewd act with minor under 14, non-forced sodomy with a minor under 14 years old, etc..

Tier three

Requires lifetime registration as a sex offender. This is for people convicted of the most serious sex offenses including rape, committing a lewd act with a minor by force or fear, sex trafficking children, sex crimes against children 10 and younger, and repeated sex crimes.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Whether you are falsely accused (innocent) or  the act you are charged with is not as bad as the victim makes it out to be, the DA will not dismiss the charges against you.  Even if the charges against you are true, there may be mitigating circumstances/other factors that can result in a reduced sentence.  

Either way, you need a skilled and experienced Trial Attorney like Mr. Karas who knows Sex Crime law and all applicable defenses, the rules governing admissibility of evidence, how to confront and cross-examine the victim or other witnesses expected to testify against you, etc. to systematically “break down” and exploit every weakness in the DA’s case and fight for you to get the best outcome.  

Contact John Karas Law now.

951-405-0555
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Sexual assault law is touching the intimate part of another person for purposes of sexual gratification, arousal or abuse.

Penalties

Sexual battery is a “wobbler” meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. 

A misdemeanor conviction carries 6 months or up to 1 year jail time (depending on the circumstances) and a fine of up to $2,000 (or up to $3,000 if the victim was your employee).

Misdemeanor convictions of sexual battery also carry a minimum ten-year requirement to register as a tier one sex offender. 

If charged as a felony, you are facing 2, 3 or 4 years jail time, a $10,000 fine and lifetime requirement to register as a tier three sex offender.

Accused of Sexual Battery or Assault?  Contact attorney John Karas.

951-405-0555

“Rape” as non-consensual sexual intercourse accomplished by means of 1) threats, force, or fraud, or 2) with a victim who is unconscious or incapable of consenting.

Penalties

If you are convicted of Rape, you are facing  a minimum of 3, 6 or 8 years jail time.  

If the alleged victim was a minor, the minimum sentence is 7 years and the maximum is 13 years. 

In addition, you could be sued by sexual the assault/rape victim for, among other damages, their medical bills; psychological counseling; lost wages and/or, lost earning capacity; anxiety, insomnia and pain and suffering; and punitive damages.  

It is not necessary for the defendant to be convicted in order for the alleged victim to sue for damages for sexual assault. The defendant does not even need to be charged with a crime.  

All the victim needs to do is convince nine of the 12 jurors in a civil case that it is “more likely than not” that the defendant committed an unlawful sexual act and as a result the victim suffered damages.

Accused of Rape? Contact attorney John Karas now.

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Yes, Spousal/Marital Rape actually exists.

Penal Code 262 makes forcing your spouse to engage in sex against their will “rape” which is punished as just as harshly the rape of a stranger. “Spousal rape”  not only falls under the umbrella of California’s rape laws but also falls under California’s Domestic Violence laws as well.

Penalties

If you are convicted of “spousal rape”, you are facing 3, 6 or 8 years jail time. In addition, in some cases of spousal rape you may be required to register as a California sex offender.

Accused of Spousal Rape? Contact attorney John Karas now.

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Unlawful Intercourse with a minor (commonly referred to as “statutory rape”)  is a crime regardless of whether the sex was consensual or even initiated by the minor (the supposed “victim” of the crime).  Simply put, under the law a minor (under 18) does not have the capacity to consent to intercourse.

 

Penalties

“Statutory rape’ is a “wobbler” meaning it can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances.

The age difference between the defendant and the minor is one of the major factors determining how the crime is charged.  If you are no more than 3 years older than the alleged victim, statutory rape is likely to be charged as a misdemeanor.

If you are more than 3 years older than the alleged victim, the offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

If you are charged with misdemeanor statutory rape under any of the circumstances above, you are facing a 1 year jail sentence and a $1,000 fine.

If “statutory rape” is charged as a felony, you are facing 16 months, 2 or 3 years jail time.  If you are 21 or older and the “victim” was under 16, the jail time is maximum penalty increases to 4 years.   

In addition to the above punishment, you can also be sued and forced to face civil penalties. These are non-criminal fines that you can be forced to pay in addition to serving time and paying criminal fines but only if you are over 18.

Civil penalties depend on the age difference between the parties. The maximum penalties are:

  • $2,000) if the so-called victim is less than two (2) years younger than the defendant;
  • $5,000 if the “victim” is at least two (2) years younger than the defendant;
  • $10,000 if the “victim” is at least three (3) years younger than the defendant; and
  •  $25,000 if the “victim” was under 16, and the defendant was over 21.

Accused of Sex with a Minor? Contact attorney John Karas now.

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“Lewd acts on a child” means any willful touching of a child accomplished with the intent to sexually arouse the perpetrator or the child.

The touching need not be done in a lewd or sexual manner. Contact with the child’s bare skin or private parts is not required under Penal Code 288. Any part of the child’s body or the clothes the child is wearing in a “lewd” manner can constitute Child Sex Abuse.

Penalties

Penalties for child molestation depend on a combination of factors, including 1) the age of the child, 2) whether the lewd act was accomplished by force, violence, duress, or threats, 3) whether there was a pattern of lewd acts, and 4) if the child is 14 or 15, the age of the defendant.

Child under 14, no force used (Penal Code 288 (a))

3, 6 or 8 years in state prison, formal felony parole/probation and a fine of up to $10,000

Child under 14, force used (Penal Code 288 (b)(1))

5, 8 or 10 years in state prison, a fine of up to $10,000

Child under 14, bodily harm inflicted (Penal Code 288(i) / PC 12022.8)

Up to life in prison if the child is 14 or 15-year-old and the defendant is 10 years or more older.

Child 16-17 – (Penal Code 288, 288(c)(1))

1,2 or 3 years in state prison, a fine of up to $10,000; or up to 1 year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000.   The offense can also be prosecuted as PC 261.5(a) statutory rape, or PC 243.4 sexual battery (more below)

Habitual sex offender – (Penal Code 667.71(b))

25 years to life in prison

Lewd act with force by caretaker of a dependent person – (Penal Code 288(b)(2))

5, 8 or 10 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.

Accused of Lewd Acts with a Minor? Contact attorney John Karas now.

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Under California law, a person can be charged with Child Sexl Abuse if he or she 1) lives with, or has recurring access to, a child under 14 years old and 2) over the course of 3 months or longer, commits (on the child) 3 or more acts of either substantial sexual contact or lewd acts.

“Substantial sexual contact” means oral copulation with a minor, or masturbation of either the child or the perpetrator, or penetration of the child’s or perpetrator’s vagina or rectum by the other person’s penis or by any foreign object. Oral copulation is separately defined in Penal Code 288a as any contact between person’s mouth and the other person’s vagina, anus or sanctum.

“Lewd acts on a child” means any willful touching of a child accomplished with the intent to sexually arouse the perpetrator or the child. The touching need not be done in a lewd or sexual manner. Contact with the child’s bare skin or private parts is not required under Penal Code 288. Any part of the child’s body or the clothes the child is wearing in a “lewd” manner can constitute Child Sex Abuse.

Penalties

Child Sex Abuse is a felony and a jail sentence of 6, 12 or 16 years of state prison can be imposed.   Child Sex Abuse is also a “strike” under California three strikes law and if convicted, a person must register for life as a tier three sex offender.

Oral Copulation by Force or Fear – Penal Code 288a

“Oral copulation by force or fear” is the non-consensual contact between someone’s mouth and another person’s genitals or anus if the act occurred as a result of force, violence, duress, menace, fear or threat or because the victim is intoxicated, unconscious or otherwise legally unable to consent.

Penalties

Oral copulation by force or fear is a felony and you face  3, 6 or 8 years jail time and a fine of up to $10,000.

If the victim is a minor under 18, these penalties increase to 6, 8 or 10 years jail time if the victim is a minor 14 years of age or older or 8, 10 or 12 years in prison if under 14.

In addition, an oral copulation by force or fear conviction subjects you to California’s lifelong tier 3 sex offender registration requirement.

Accused of Child Sex Abuse? Contact attorney John Karas now.

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The statute governing sodomy law  punishes “unlawful acts of sodomy” (anal sex) which includes 1) forcing someone to have sodomy against his/her will; or 2) acts of sodomy involving minor children.

Penalties

Most unlawful acts of sodomy charged in California are “wobblers” meaning they can be charged either as a misdemeanor or as a felony.

If charged with sodomy as a misdemeanor, you are facing 1 year jail time and a $1,000 fine.

If charged as a felony, you are facing 16 months, 2 or 3 years jail time and $10,000 fine.

Regardless of whether charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony, a sodomy conviction requires the defendant to register as a California sex offender.

Accused of Sodomy? Contact attorney John Karas now.

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“Forcible Sexual Penetration” is defined as 1) committing an act of sexual penetration with another person, 2) penetration is accomplished using a foreign or unknown object, 3) without the other person’s consent, 4) through the use of force, violence, duress, menace, fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury, or a threat to retaliate.

A person can also be charged with Forcible Sexual Penetration with a foreign object by 1) committing sexual penetration on a person who is unable to legally consent because of a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability; 2) committing sexual penetration on a person who is unconscious of the nature of the act; or 3) committing sexual penetration on someone who is too intoxicated to resist.

Penalties

Forcible acts of sexual penetration is a felony and if you are convicted you are facing a jail sentence of 3, 6 or 8 years and a fine of $10,000.

In addition, in most cases a conviction under this section will also make you subject to California’s lifelong sex offender registration requirement as a tier 3 offender.

Accused of Forcible Sexual Penetration? Contact attorney John Karas.

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Child pornography (“kiddie porn”) laws are set forth in different sections of Penal Code 311.  These laws make it a crime to send, transport, duplicate, print, exchange, advertise or possess child pornography, and to hire or persuade minors to participate in making child pornography.

Penal Code 311.1 and 311.2 make it a crime to knowingly send, transport, produce, possess or duplicate any child pornography, with intent to distribute it;

Penal Code 311.3 (“sexual exploitation of a child”) makes it a crime to knowingly develop, duplicate, print or exchange any child pornography;

Penal Code 311.4 makes it a crime to knowingly hire, employ, use, persuade, or coerce a minor to participate in the production of child porn;

Penal Code 311.10 makes it a crime to knowingly advertise obscene child porn for sale or distribution; and

Penal Code 311.11 makes it a crime to knowingly possess or control any child pornography that was produced using a person under 18.

Penalties

The penalties for child pornography in California vary depending on the specific child pornography statute you allegedly violated.  Many are “wobblers’ meaning they can be charged as either a misdemeanor or as a felony.

If charged as a misdemeanor, you are facing 1 year jail time and a fine of up to $2,500.

If charged as a felony, however, jail can run anywhere from 16 months to 8 years and fines can amount to $100,000.

Any child pornography conviction subjects you to California’s lifelong sex offender registration requirement.

Accused of Child Pornography? Contact attorney John Karas.

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Penal Code 314 prohibits the sex crime of “indecent exposure” which  means willfully exposing your genitals to someone else, motivated by a desire to sexually gratify yourself or offend the other person.

Penalties

In most cases, a first indecent exposure conviction is charged as a misdemeanor with up to 6 months jail time and a fine of $1,000.   

However, a second offense is a felony and can lead to a California state prison sentence of 16 months, 2 or 3 years.

An “Indecent Exposure” conviction will also result in a minimum 10 year requirement to register as a Tier 1 California Sex Offender. (SB384 recently created a three-tier sex registration system that reduced the registration requirement for indecent exposure to ten (10) years; it used to be for life.)

Accused of Indecent Exposure? Contact attorney John Karas.

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Engaging in lewd conduct in any public place or solicitation of someone else to do so is defined as touching your private parts (or another’s private parts) when you do so for the purpose of sexual gratification or to annoy or offend someone else.

Penalties

Violation of Penal Code 647(a) is a misdemeanor.  It is punishable by up to 6 months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Currently, a conviction for lewd conduct in public does not require registration as a sex offender. However, prosecutors often charge it together with Penal Code 314 “indecent exposure” (Penal Code 314) which does trigger lifetime sex offender registration.

Accused of a Lewd Act in Public? Contact attorney John Karas.

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For purposes of this law, “annoy” and “molest” mean the same thing:  conduct which is 1) motivated by sexual interest in a child, or in children generally and 2) which is likely to disturb, irritate or be observed by a child or children.

Unlike Penal Code 288 (Lewd Acts with a Child), Penal Code 647.6 does not require any touching whatsoever. Words alone may constitute annoying or molesting a child.

Penalties

Absent aggravating circumstances, a first offense under Penal Code 647.6 PC is a misdemeanor and you are facing 1 year jail time and a fine of up to $5,000.  

If you violate PC 647.6 after entering an inhabited dwelling without consent, it becomes a “wobbler” meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony in the DA’s discretion.  Either way, you are facing 1 year jail time.

However, any violation of Penal Code 647.6 (even a first offense) is a felony if you have a prior felony conviction for certain specified sex offenses such Penal Code 261 (Statutory Rape), Penal Code 288.5 (Sexual Abuse of a Child and Penal Code 288 (Lewd Acts with a Child).

If you have a previous felony conviction for one of the offenses listed above, you are facing 2, 4, or 6 years jail time.

Accused of Child Molestation? Contact attorney John Karas.

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Prostitution and solicitation is a misdemeanor for anyone 18 or older to 1) pay or accept money or other consideration in exchange for a sexual act (“prostitution”), 2) offer to engage in an act of prostitution (“solicitation”), or 3) agree to engage in an act of prostitution.  The penalties apply to both the prostitute and the customer.

Penalties

First offense:  Up to 6 months jail time and a fine of $1,000.

Penal Code 647(b) is a “priorable” offense. This means punishment for prostitution/solicitation increases with each subsequent conviction:  

Second offense: Mandatory minimum of 45 days jail time.

3rd or subsequent offense:  Mandatory minimum of 90 days jail time.

Additional penalties to the customer (if committed in a vehicle at the time of the crime and within 1,000 feet of any residence), the “customer’s” driver’s license being suspended  for up to 30 days or a restricted driver’s license for up 6 months.

Accused of Prostitution/Solicitation? Contact attorney John Karas now.

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“Pimping” is defined as 1) knowingly receive financial support or maintenance from the earnings of someone engaged in prostitution or 2) receive or try to receive compensation for soliciting for a prostitute (finding customers for the hooker).

Pandering occurs when someone 1) procures another person for the purposes of prostitution; 2) persuades or encourages another person to become a prostitute, through promises, threats, violence or any other means; 3) finds another person a job in a house of prostitution; 4) persuades or encourages another person to continue working in a house of prostitution; 5) uses fraud, artifice, duress, or abuse of position to procure another person to become a prostitute, or to enter a place where prostitution is allowed or encouraged, or to enter or leave California for prostitution purposes; or 6) receives, gives, or agrees to receive or give any money or compensation for persuading someone to become a prostitute.

Penalties

Both pimping and pandering are felonies and include 3, 4 or 6 years jail time and a fine of up to $10,000.

However, if you are convicted of pimping or pandering a minor under the age of 18, the jail time increases to 8 year and you will be required to register for life as a Tier 3 sex offender under California’s sex offender registration act.

Accused of Pimping or Pandering? Contact attorney John Karas.

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California’s Sex Offender Registration Act requires anyone who lives in California after being convicted of a sex crime to register with the police of the city or county where they live.  This registration has to be renewed every year (within 5 working days of the person’s birthday) and every time that person moves to a new address. Failure to meet this requirement (even once) will lead to charges under Penal Code 290(b) being filed against you.

Penalties

If the sex crime conviction that requires you to register as a sex offender was a misdemeanor, then failure to register as a sex offender under Penal Code 290(b) will also be a misdemeanor and you are facing 1 year jail time.

However, if the conviction that subjects you to the sex offender registration requirement was a felony OR this is not your first conviction under Penal Code 290(b) PC, then failure to register will be charged as a felony and you are facing 16 months, 2  or 3 years jail time.

Failure to Register as a Sex Offender? Contact attorney John Karas.

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