Penal Code § 647.6
Kissing, touching, tickling or playfully flirting with a beautiful girl is not against the law—unless that girl is under the age of 18 and you are not. This type of behavior is considered “molesting or annoying a minor”—and it is considered a very serious offense. Since it is classified as a sex crime, anyone who is convicted of molesting a minor—even first time offenders—can spend years in prison and be forced to register as a sex offender for life.
Molesting or Annoying a Minor—the Law
According to California law, the burden of proof lies with the People. This means that in order to convict you of molesting or annoying a minor, the prosecution must prove ALL of the following:
- Your conduct or acts were directed at the minor
- A normal person would have been annoyed or offended by your conduct
- Your conduct was motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in the minor
- The minor was under 18 at the time of the incident
Unfortunately, you can still be found guilty of annoying or molesting a minor even if:
- You never actually touched the minor
- The minor consented to the act
- The minor was not actually irritated or disturbed by your conduct
Penalties for Molesting or Annoying a Minor
- Misdemeanor Molesting or Annoying a Minor—Punishable by a fine not more than $5,000 and 1 year in the California state prison or county jail.
- Molesting or Annoying a Minor after a previous felony conviction involving a child—punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 2,4 or 6 years
In addition, under Megan's Law, all those who are convicted of a sex crime must also register as a sex offender for the remainder of their lives. Molesting or annoying a minor falls under this category and can haunt you forever.
Molesting or Annoying a Minor—Building your Defense
If you are falsely accused of molesting or annoying a minor, it is important to have a knowledgeable and aggressive child molestation defense attorney on your side. Your attorney will need to investigate all angles of the case in order to build a defense designed to beat the prosecution's case against you. In order to improve the chances of winning the case, the District Attorney will often fight to keep the name and the identity of the minor a secret for as long as possible. As such, you will need a hard-hitting defense attorney on your side to protect your rights and prevent this from happening.
The San Mateo County criminal defense lawyers at Ahmed & Sukaram know how to successfully fight child molestation charges. Your defense attorney will need to investigate all aspects of the incident, including any possible motivation the victim (or their parents) may have. Many people are wrongly accused every year by victims who are unnaturally motivated by greed, money or fame. Because of this, your attorney will need to review the minor's mental history, their parent's history and interview any witnesses who may be able to testify on your behalf.
Additionally, the San Jose defense attorneys at Ahmed & Sukaram will need to determine if you were aware that the child was under 18 at the time of the incident. If the minor misrepresented themselves or was found in an “over 18 club” at the time of the incident, your California defense attorney will fight to have the charges dismissed all together.
At Ahmed & Sukaram, your future is our top concern. The police and the prosecution have no trouble twisting the facts to suit their needs. As such, you can find yourself convicted of a sex crime—you did not commit. If you are charged with molesting or annoying a minor in the State of California, contact the dynamic legal team of Ahmed & Sukaram. Your future and your reputation depend on the outcome of your case—therefore, you need a defense attorney who is ready to fight for you.
NOTE: Labels in bold are required.