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California Penal Code 288A PC - Oral Copulation With A Minor

CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE 288A PC – ORAL COPULATION WITH A MINOR

Los Angeles Criminal Defense LawyerCalifornia Penal Code 288a PC covers the crime of oral copulation with a minor, which has different statutes depending on factors such as the age of the victim and the use of force. If you engage in oral copulation with a minor under 18 years old, the prosecutor has the discretion to charge you with a misdemeanor or felony. The penalties for a conviction vary based on the age of the victim at the time of the incident.

It is important to note that consent is not a valid legal defense in cases involving oral copulation with a minor. The age of consent in California is 18 years old, so a minor cannot legally give consent to any sexual activity. This means that even if the minor was a willing participant and consented, you can still be charged under Penal Code 288a.

Being convicted of oral copulation with a minor is a serious sex crime in California, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Sex Crime Division aggressively prosecutes these cases. If convicted, you will likely be ordered to register as a sex offender for life under California Penal Code 290.

WHAT IS ORAL COPULATION CRIME MEANING?

288a:(a) Oral copulation is the act of copulating the mouth of one person with the sexual organ or anus of another person.

Source: https://law.justia.com/codes/california/2017/code-pen/part-1/title-9/chapter-5/section-288a/

There are different laws in PC 288a that deal with cases where the victim is under 14 years old and oral copulation was forced using things like threats, violence, or fear of harm. It’s important to know that there is no legal rule stating that ejaculation has to happen during oral copulation.

ELEMENTS THE PROSECUTOR HAS TO PROVE

In order for someone to be convicted of oral copulation with a minor under California Penal Code Section 288a, the prosecutor needs to prove two things:

  • That the person engaged in oral copulation with someone else.
  • That the other person was under 18 years old when it happened.

In simple terms, it is considered a crime to engage in oral copulation with anyone under 18, even if they gave their consent. If both parties involved are minors, the case will usually be handled in the Los Angeles County juvenile court.

EXAMPLES

John, a 23-year-old, engaged in oral copulation with Sarah, a 15-year-old, without her consent. Despite Sarah being underage, John coerced her into performing the act by threatening to harm her family if she did not comply. The incident occurred at John’s apartment where he had invited Sarah under the guise of studying for a school project.

After Sarah confided in a trusted adult about the incident, law enforcement was notified, and an investigation was launched. John was subsequently arrested and charged with oral copulation with a minor under California Penal Code 288a.

During the trial, evidence such as text messages, witness statements, and forensic examinations supported Sarah’s account of the events. John’s criminal history, including prior convictions for similar offenses, was also presented in court.

Ultimately, John was found guilty of felony oral copulation with a minor due to the use of coercion and the significant age difference between him and the victim. He was sentenced to five years in a California state prison and ordered to pay fines and complete a sex offender rehabilitation program as part of his probation upon release.

PENALTIES, PUNISHMENT, AND SENTENCING

The penalties for a conviction of oral copulation with a minor under Penal Code 288a vary depending on several factors.

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Penal Code 288a is considered a “wobbler” offense, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The decision to file charges as a misdemeanor or felony is typically based on the specific details of the case and the defendant’s previous criminal record.

If the victim was 16 years old or you were 21 or older at the time of the incident, oral copulation is considered a wobbler offense. If convicted of misdemeanor oral copulation with a minor, the potential penalties include:

  • Up to one year in a county jail
  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Summary probation

If convicted of felony oral copulation with a minor, the potential penalties include:

  • Up to three years in a California state prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Felony probation

If the victim was under 14 years old and the age difference between you and the victim is more than 10 years, the state prison sentence can increase to 3, 6, or 8 years. If oral copulation was accomplished by force or fear, the sentence will be more severe, with a potential prison term of up to 12 years.

Other related offenses include lewd acts with a minor by force or fear under Penal Code 288(b)(1) PC, and the habitual sex offender law is defined under Penal Code 667.71 PC. The crime of sodomy is defined by Penal Code 286 PC

DEFENSES

When it comes to fighting Penal Code 288a charges, there is a wide range of defenses that can be utilized. Each case is unique, so it is crucial to closely examine all the details and develop a tailored strategy. Common defenses for oral copulation with a minor charges include:

  • Belief victim was not a minor: It may be argued that you had a reasonable belief that the victim was at least 18 years old. This defense could be supported by the victim’s physical appearance or statements indicating they were not a minor.
  • False accusation: It is not uncommon for false accusations to be made in cases of illegal oral copulation. If there is reason to believe that you were falsely accused as an act of revenge or for other reasons, this can be used in your defense.
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If you have been charged with oral copulation with a minor under Penal Code 288a, it is crucial to seek assistance from experienced criminal defense attorneys who can carefully examine the details of your case and determine the best possible defense strategy. Convictions of such charges can lead to life-altering consequences, and having seasoned attorneys on your side can significantly impact the outcome in court.

IMMIGRATION CONSEQUENCES

A conviction for Oral Copulation with a Minor carries significant immigration consequences. Non-U.S. citizens, including lawful permanent residents, can face deportation if convicted of this offense. Additionally, a conviction can result in inadmissibility, leading to denial of re-entry into the U.S., adjustment of status, or visa issuance. Furthermore, individuals convicted may be ineligible for naturalization due to the offense reflecting poorly on their moral character.

Mandatory detention is required for non-U.S. citizens considered removable for committing certain offenses, such as sexual crimes involving minors. Aggravated felony classification under Penal Code 288a can bring about the most severe immigration repercussions, including almost guaranteed deportation without relief options. Even if not classified as an aggravated felony, the offense may still be deemed a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT), potentially resulting in inadmissibility or deportation.

For individuals with DACA or TPS, a conviction for this offense could lead to the termination of their status and benefits under these programs. It is vital for those facing such charges to seek legal guidance to understand the immigration implications and explore avenues for defense to safeguard their immigration status. If you do not have or know of an immigration lawyer, the Tabibnia Law Firm can refer you to one.

EXPUNGEMENT

Expungement in California, governed by Penal Code 1203.4, allows for certain convictions to be dismissed from an individual’s record under specific conditions. However, the eligibility for expungement does not uniformly apply to all offenses, especially those involving sex crimes against minors. Under California law, offenses under Penal Code 288a, Oral Copulation with a Minor, can be particularly challenging when it comes to sex crime expungement for several reasons.

  • Sex Offender Registration: Many offenses that require registration as a sex offender under California’s Megan’s Law (Penal Code 290) are not eligible for expungement. If the offense under Penal Code 288a requires the offender to register as a sex offender, it significantly diminishes the chances for expungement under PC 1203.4.
  • Seriousness of the Offense: The nature and seriousness of the offense play a crucial role in determining expungement eligibility. Crimes involving sexual conduct with minors are considered severe, and the courts may not grant expungement for these offenses as readily as they might for less serious crimes.
  • Specific Statutory Exclusions: Certain statutes explicitly exclude specific offenses from eligibility for expungement. While Penal Code 1203.4 provides a general framework for expungement, individual offenses, especially those of a sexual nature involving minors, may be specifically excluded by other legal provisions.
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RELATED CRIMES

There are various sex crimes and related offenses under California Penal Code 288a, including:

  • Penal Code 288a(c)(1) – Oral copulation with a minor under 14
  • Penal Code 288a(b)(2) – Oral copulation with a minor under 16
  • Penal Code 288a(b)(1) – Oral copulation with a minor under 18
  • Penal Code Section 288a(c)(2)(B) – Oral Copulation with child under 14 by force
  • Penal Code Section 288a(c)(2)(C) – Oral Copulation by force 14-17
  • Penal Code Section 288a(d)(1) – Oral Copulation in concert
  • Penal Code Section 288a(d)(2) – Oral Copulation with child in concert
  • Penal Code Section 288)a(d)(3) – Oral Copulation with child 14-17 in concert
  • Penal Code 288a(c)(2)(A) – Oral copulation using force or fear
  • Penal Code 288a(c)(3) – Oral copulation with the threat of retaliation
  • Penal Code 288a(e): Oral copulation while in jail or prison
  • Penal Code 288a(f): Oral copulation of an unconscious victim
  • Penal Code 288a(i): Oral copulation of an intoxicated victim
  • Penal Code Section 288a(k) – Oral Copulation by threat of arrest or deportation
  • Penal Code 288(b)(1) – Lewd acts with a minor by force or fear
  • Penal Code 288(i) – Lewd acts with a minor causing harm
  • Penal Code 286 PC – Sodomy
  • Penal Code 667.71 – Habitual Sex Offender
  • Penal Code 261.5Statutory rape
  • Penal Code 288Lewd acts with a minor
  • Penal Code 288.5 – Continuous sexual abuse of a child
  • Penal Code 289 – Forcible penetration with a foreign object
  • Penal Code 288.3 – Contacting a minor with the intent to commit a felony

Each offense carries different penalties and can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances.

SPEAK WITH CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER FROM TABIBNIA LAW FIRM

If you are under investigation or have already been charged with oral copulation with a minor, it is crucial to seek the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer immediately. It is important to avoid making statements to police detectives without legal representation.

Cyrus Tabibnia at Tabibnia law firm understands the situation and he has a wealth of experience in defending clients who are facing similar charges.

However, before he can provide guidance on the best legal options available to you, he needs to take a closer look at the specifics of your case. Please contact Cyrus Tabibnia at Tabibnia Law Firm by phone at 866-713-2159 to discuss your circumstances further.

Sources:

Section 288a
California’s Extension of Force Under Penal Code Section 288
California Code, Penal Code – PEN § 288
Cal. Pen. Code § 288a

Cyrus Tabibnia

Cyrus Tabibnia

Cyrus Tabibnia, also known as Shahrooz Tabibnia, is a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, California. With a law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, he has been practicing law since 2005 and holds license #237348. With over 18 years of experience, Cyrus specializes in various misdemeanor and felony criminal Law including Domestic Violence, Theft Crime, Sex crime, DUI & DWI, Personal Injury, Employment Law, and Cannabis & Marijuana Drugs Law. Being bilingual in English, Persian, and Spanish enables him to effectively communicate with a diverse range of clients. From 2014 to 2018, he served as a board member of the Iranian American Bar Association. An expungement attorney in Los Angeles who can assist you in clearing your criminal record in the state of California.

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