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Child Molestation

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What is Child Molestation?

Child Molestation is illegal under California Penal Code 288. These acts could be anything indecent or of a sexual nature. If someone is charged with child molestation it can also be known as lewd or lascivious acts with a minor.
In order to be guilty of this crime, the following have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You willfully touched any part of a minor’s body
  • You did so with the intent to cause arousal for you or the minor
  • The minor was under the age of 14 at the time

Child Molestation by Force or Fear

If force or fear were used to accomplish a lewd act on a minor then it heeds greater penalties. Force or fear can refer to:

  • Force
  • Violence
  • Duress
  • Menace
  • Threats that cause fear of immediate bodily injury to the minor or someone else

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Penalties for Child Molestation

This crime is always a felony, but the penalties vary based on the following:

  • The minor’s age
  • Whether or not force or threats were used
  • The defendant’s criminal history
child molestation
lewd or lascivious acts with a minor
No Threat or Force Was Used

If no threat or force was used then the penalties include:

  • Imprisonment time, and
  • Up to $10,000 fine

It’s possible to have the penalties dropped to felony probation, but it is still a felony sex offense.

Force or Threat Was Used

If force or threat were used to perform lewd or lascivious acts on a child then the possible penalties include:

  • Longer imprisonment time, and
  • Up to $10,000 fine

When force or threat are used, the criminal defendant is NOT up for felony probation in place of a prison sentence.

child molestation
The Minor Was Harmed

If the minor is harmed, then the punishments increase substantially. It ranges from a 5-year sentence enhancement to life in prison for inflicting harm on a minor under 14 years of age because of lewd acts.

The Minor Was 14 or 15

It’s illegal for someone at least 10 years older than the 14 or 15-year-old minor to commit lewd acts against them. This crime is a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony based on the facts of the case and the defendant’s criminal history. If charged as a misdemeanor the penalties include:

  • Imprisonment time
  • The defendant must register as a sex offender
unlawful contact with a minor

Legal Defenses for Child Molestation

The minor has to be a credible witness and if not, it can be used as a defense strategy. If the minor has lied in the past about false accusations or evidence is found that they already don’t like the person they’re are accusing, then the case could be dismissed.

A minor could be touched inappropriately but not know the identity of the person who did it. This could lead to a mistaken identity.

In order to guilty of this crime, it has to be done willfully. It could be that the defendant accidentally touched a minor and was then accused of child molestation.

The defendant can’t be guilty if he or she did not intend to sexually arouse or gratify him or herself or the minor.

Have you been legally accused of committing child molestation? If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, it is essential to obtain legal council for help. It’s important to take your charges seriously. Don’t just hope for the best. Hire an attorney who understands your situation and the consequences you face.

local criminal defense lawyer, closeup of fingerprints, hand, ink

Your Defense Attorney for Child Molestation

I’m Mark A. Broughton and I’m here to fight for you. I have been a defense Attorney for 40+ years and have represented thousands of people accused of crimes. I have extensive experience representing citizens charged with Sex Crimes such as RapeKidnappingProstitution/Solicitation, and Child Molestation to name a few.

10.0Mark A. Broughton
fresno lawyer

Your Defense Attorney for Child Molestation

I’m Mark A. Broughton and I’m here to fight for you. I have been a defense Attorney for 40+ years and have represented thousands of people accused of crimes. I have extensive experience representing citizens charged with Sex Crimes such as RapeKidnappingProstitution/Solicitation, and Child Molestation to name a few.

10.0Mark A. Broughton
Mark A. BroughtonReviewsout of 23 reviews

About Mark Broughton:

Compassionate, highly experienced, exceptional reputation, ethical and honest:

Mark Broughton has been practicing law for over 40 years. He estimates that he has conducted over 200 jury trials – everything from DUIs, drug cases, sex cases, domestic violence, assaults, “three-strikes,” dozens of cases involving criminal street gangs, gun/deadly weapons, drive-by shootings, robberies, attempted murders, and murders, including special circumstance murder cases.

He has received many outright Not Guilty verdicts for his clients in all of these types of cases, including several murder cases – at one time between 2005-2007, the jury found his clients Not Guilty in four separate cases in a row.

Mark Broughton is qualified as a death penalty lawyer and is on the special circumstances/death penalty panel of attorneys in Fresno, California, where he is regularly appointed to special circumstances/death penalty murder cases by the Fresno County Superior Court.

Other Qualifications:
  • Certified Specialist Criminal Law, State Bar of California
  • Board of Trustees, State Bar of California
  • Chairman, Fresno County Bar Association, Criminal Law Section

Mark Broughton enjoys close relationships with his clients.  He sees every individual’s situation with compassion and empathy and believes that every person has the right to a fair trial and is innocent until proven guilty.

Above all, he enjoys helping reunite his clients and their families during and after dealing with perhaps the most difficult time in their lives, going through the challenging criminal process with them.

Practice Areas

  • Federal Crime 40%
  • White Collar Crime 20%
  • Violent Crime 20%
  • Criminal Defense 10%
  • Sex Crimes 10%

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