SAN DIEGO CHILD MOLESTATION DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Sex Crimes Defense from The Law Office of George Gedulin
The issues and emotions that surround a molestation case are some of the most complicated of any criminal charge. Someone charged and arrested for any sex crime will have their life altered forever. Accusations of sexual molestation or abuse of a child brings immediate stigma and presumption of guilt. It is a sad fact but also a reality that should be understood quickly when entering the criminal justice system. A sexual molestation case often involves the testimony of close family members that can destroy the lives of everyone involved in the case.
Allegations of child molestation are serious and can have a lasting impact on your life if you don’t take steps to protect yourself. The accusations can come out of nowhere and catch you off guard, and most people don’t know how to respond to the problem. The steps that you take after you become a suspect are critical and can play a major role in how your case turns out.
If you are accused of a sex crime it’s important to seek the counsel of a child molestation attorney in San Diego who can support you and defend your rights aggressively. The impact of a child molestation charge can continue through your entire life.
If you want to learn about the laws related to child molestation so that you can choose the option that is right for you, the following information will help. You will then be able to move forward with confidence and have the best odds of reaching your desired outcome.
THE LAW ON CHILD MOLESTATION Defined
As far as protecting yourself from accusations of child molestation are concerned, learning what the term covers is a good place from which to start. In California, Child molestation is engaging in a sex act with a minor but does not have to involve intercourse; a person who tries to get a child to participate in sexual touching can also be convicted of this crime.
According to this definition, examples of molestation include:
- Exposure of genitalia
- Touching of private parts
- Taking pornographic photos
- Inducement of sexual act
Some people believe that the touching must happen on the skin for a conviction to occur, but that is not the case. If a person touches a child with the intention of getting sexual gratification, then the court can charge and convict that person of a crime.
The majority of child molestation laws are found in PC 288 relating to lewd and lascivious acts with a child. The law distinguishes between sexual acts committed on children older or younger than 14 years. Sexual assault and most other sex offense convictions can enhance and increase the penalties for a molestation case. Increased jail time, fines, and probation restrictions are all possible if you have a previous criminal conviction.
Types of child molestation include:
- Sexual Assault and Battery: Touching a minor under the age of 14 in any way against his or her will and for sexual gratification could be considered battery. Sexual battery could be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. Regardless of the charge, a conviction will require the defendant to register as a sex offender.
- Statutory Rape: Having sex with a minor under the age of 18 under any circumstance is considered statutory rape. It does not matter if the minor consented to or solicited the act. This type of rape could be considered a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the age of the defendant and victim and other circumstances of the case.
- Continuous Sexual Abuse: In any case where a child under the age of 14 lives under the same roof as the defendant and the prosecution has evidence of three or more sex-related offenses, the defendant could face this type of charge.
- Lewd Acts: Touching a child or persuading a child under the age of 14 to touch him or herself, you, or someone else for the purpose of sexual gratification is considered a lewd act. The presence of clothing does not change the nature of the act and almost any act involving a young child for sexual gratification may be covered under the laws in California. Depending on the age of the child, the nature of the act, and the use of force, a lewd act against a child could be considered a misdemeanor or a felony.
Facts & Statistics
- 66% of molestation victims under age 18 are between 12 and 17 years old.
- Almost 2 million American children live as survivors of sexual assault.
- Roughly one-third of all females who report rape as a child under the age of 18 also experience an act of rape as an adult.
- According to RAINN , 93% of all child sex abuse offenders have some form of relationship with the child (as an acquaintance or family member) and 80% are parents.
- Children often avoid or delay telling someone about their experiences, and they may only give hints or indirect disclosures.
Possible Defenses to SEXUAL MOLESTATION
Because learning as much as you can about the crime improves your odds of success, you will want to review the most common defenses. A lack of sexual intent, improper identification, and insufficient evidence are just a few of the things that can keep you safe. If the prosecutors can’t prove that an act was committed with sexual intent, they will have a difficult time taking action.
Mistaking one person for another is also possible, and establishing that someone else had committed the crime can get the charges dropped. Sadly, many people know how much trouble these allegations can bring and will use them as a weapon of revenge. An effective legal expert will look at the motives of the person who is making the claim to determine if that person has malicious intentions.
The use of character evidence relating to past arrests or criminal charges is common in molestation cases. The prosecution in some cases can present a past history of sexually related criminal offenses. It is crucial to prepare a thorough investigation into all past molestation allegations and interview the relevant witnesses. The work involved for a sex crime lawyer is unique and involved work that most other criminal attorneys have little experience with.
The main evidence for the prosecution in a molestation case is the child and their explanation of the alleged incident. In any child molestation case, the child will be subjected to interviews and testing with a variety of doctors, nurses, county social workers and police detectives. These first interactions often frame in the child’s mind a distorted and inaccurate recollection of past events. It is common for a child to react to what the social worker or police investigator is saying and accept their statements as what truly occurred.
The molestation defense begins with coordinating a team of investigators and psychological experts to interview the child and review all previous interrogations of the child. We hire psychologists to testify about how a child’s memory of certain events can be inaccurate and often changes multiple times throughout a case.
The Impact of a Conviction
As you move forward and craft a defense, understanding the possible outcomes of facing such allegations is a critical step that you don’t want to ignore. Knowing what is at stake will allow you to prioritize the process and to choose a path that makes sense for your needs. The impact of a child molestation charge can continue through your entire life. In San Diego, a conviction for child molestation can bring severe consequences under the California Megan’s Law; requiring registration as a sex offender for the rest of your life. Even if the charges are dropped, the stigma that comes with child abuse accusations can damage your reputation permanently.
Important Steps to Take
As soon as you learn that someone has accused you of child molestation, you need to move fast if you don’t want to miss your chance to safeguard your future. Although you can do many things to form a defense, contacting a child San Diego molestation defense lawyer is the first thing that you should do.
A legal expert will quickly get to work and will show you what path will give you the best possible results. You will also want to contact witnesses that might be able to prove your innocence. Getting copies of the reports that have been filed against you and looking for provable inconsistencies will work wonders when it comes to keeping you out of prison.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Since the stress of facing these charges can make it difficult to think clearly, making mistakes is easier than you might suspect. People will sometimes try to speak with the person who made the allegations or with the child to prevent any misunderstandings.
Once you are facing an investigation, you want to avoid any contact with the child or anyone who has filed a report against you regarding the case. Also, the police will want to interview you to see what you have to say, but speaking with them is a dangerous mistake that you must avoid at all costs. They will use anything that you say to prove that you are guilty, and you don’t want to give them any leverage.
Sex Crime Trial
In our practice, the main concern is the rights of our client and ensuring that we use every possible method to present an aggressive defense in your case. We understand the importance of discretion and are committed to the protection of your rights. There can be no substitute for the experience of being in court every day. Knowing how police and sex crime experts present their cases and the type of evidence they will have in their reports. Having a team of experts and psychologists who can explain and combat the State’s evidence is the backbone of a good trial defense.
We investigate in detail the possible motivations of a victim. Sometimes it is false allegations and biased motives that are ignored by the prosecution. It is important to get prompt and intelligent legal representation to obtain a successful plea-bargain or dismissal of your molestation case.
Contact a San Diego child molestation attorney as soon as you know you are being investigated for or have been charged with child molestation. Failing to take swift action could lead to a number of undesirable outcomes, including conviction and being forced to register as and carry the label of sex offender for the rest of your life. Child molestation cases are taken very seriously by every party involved and must be handled with extreme care.
Sentence Reduced, All Other Charges Dropped 16 Counts, Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a Minor
Client charged with multiple sexual assault offenses, facing 16 years in prison. Convicted of One Count of Sex with a Minor, 2 years Jail, All other charges dismissed.
Reduced Sentence, Other Charges Dropped 24 Count, Insurance Fraud Conspiracy, Grand Theft in excess of $250,000
Client charged as head of conspiracy to present false claims to insurance companies, losses over $250,000. Client facing 22 years in State Prison. Convicted of two counts of insurance fraud, sentenced to 2 years in jail, remaining charges dismissed.
Dismissed with No Jail Time, Probation Only Assault with Deadly Weapon, Robbery, Burglary
Client charged with multiple counts, potential 14 year sentence. Released with no custody.
Dismissed Charges Assault with semi-automatic Firearm, Criminal Threat, Domestic Violence
Charges exposed client to 8 years in State Prison and two serious strike felonies. Court dismisses all gun related charges at preliminary hearing, client pleads to domestic violence charge only, no custody.
30 Days Probation, Case Dismissed. Attempted Murder
Client charged with Attempted Murder in connection with the death of her husband suffering from a fatal illness. Defense investigation revealed that statements of witnesses were unreliable and unfounded.
Case Dismissed Auto Insurance Fraud
Naval Officer accused of making fraudulent insurance claims on his vehicle, charged with three felony offenses. Case Dismissed after defense investigation and negotiation with District Attorney.
Case Dismissed on Motion Auto Insurance Fraud
Client charged with two felony counts of Auto Insurance Fraud.
Not Guilty. Case Dismissed. Burglary, Theft, Identity Theft
Client was charged with criminal Burglary, Grand Theft and Identity Theft from local retailers. Defense investigation revealed client was not individual shown on security cameras
Reduced Charge Plea Deal Child Molestation Accusation
Career Professional Client facing child molestation charges, requiring lifetime sex registration. Defense negotiated plea deal for non-offender charge of misdemeanor assault.
Not Guilty, Client Acquitted Of All Charges Child Pornography
Client on Probation for Sexual Assault. Arrest and accusation of child pornography possession. Defense employs forensic investigation of all seized evidence and finds no evidence of child pornography.