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    As a former Deputy Public Defender in Riverside County, Mr. Donath has always been on the defense side of the law. 

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    Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California 2012-2014, 2008 Trial Attorney of the Year by the Riverside County Public Defender's Office, and dozens of other awards and accolades.

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Riverside Child Molestation Defense Lawyer

Accusations of child molestation or pornography can change your life in the blink of an eye. A conviction means permanent registration on a sex offender list and restricted rights in the United States for a lifetime. If you are being investigated for or charged with child molestation or pornography, you will need an experienced and tireless criminal defense attorney by your side, fighting for your rights, freedom, and future. If you are accused child molestation or child pornography, then speak to a Riverside child molestation and child pornography lawyer as soon as possible to prepare a skilled defense.

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You Need To Hire A Riverside Defense Lawyer

The criminal justice system in California views child sex crimes very seriously. Prosecution teams here have access to a wealth of resources that will be used to prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. While their role in the justice system is vital, they do make errors. Without seasoned criminal defenders, innocent individuals may suffer for crimes they did not commit, and those who make mistakes may suffer the full brunt of sentencing.

At the Law Offices of Graham Donath, we protect the rights of our clients against charges of child molestation and child pornography. Regardless of how you view your case, every action you take and testimony you give may be used against you. Your best course of action is to secure competent legal defense as quickly as possible.  This is why it is important to contact a Riverside sex crimes lawyer to defend you and reduce the penalties or even clear your name.

Comparing Child Pornography Laws to Child Molestation Laws in California

Child Pornography Laws in California

Under the Child Abuse and Reporting Act (CANRA), child pornography in our state must be knowingly accessed and distributed for the act to be criminal. Stumbling across a website or someone else accessing illicit material on your device does not constitute criminal activity unless the prosecution can prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were the individual who knowingly accessed it.

Similarly, if you view pornography and have no reason to believe the subject matter includes minors, you may not be held liable for viewing child pornography. It is not illegal to view consensual adult pornography, but be wary of the content you choose to view.

Child Molestation Laws in California

Child molestation investigations often start with a simple complaint to child protective services agencies. When kids are involved, these agencies feel compelled to follow every lead. However, many of these are false. Angry spouses or significant others may place a vindictive and false complaint themselves, or they may even encourage children who have suffered no harm to do so. Some professionals are required to file a report under certain circumstances. Being accused of one of these grievous crimes can be devastating for the innocent.

In California, child molestation includes any lewd or sexual act forced or not forced with a child. These acts may include touching over and underneath the clothing for the purpose of sexual arousal, encouraging children to touch themselves, or any other act that has the intentional purpose of gratifying sexual desire. Inappropriate touching does not only include “private areas.” This refers to any areas touched with sexual intent. Sexual abuse generally involves sexual intercourse or a deviation from sexual intercourse. Consult with a child abuse lawyer in Riverside if you are accused of sexual abuse of a child.

Defending Against Child Sex Crimes

Child sex crimes, including pornography and child molestation, are felonies, and those who are convicted may go to prison and be required to register as sex offenders. It is extremely rare to be pardoned from sex offender status once it has been applied.

Our Riverside child molestation and child pornography attorneys at The Law Offices of Graham Donath, APC, understands that a swift, aggressive approach is the only way to fight a child molestation or pornography charge. The stakes in these cases are high, and the outcome can affect your reputation, future, and emotional wellbeing. These cases are rarely straightforward and often require extensive investigations. If you are being scrutinized for or charged with a child sex crime, you cannot afford to wait. Contact our team in Riverside to get started on your defense as soon as possible.

What Are the Charges for Touching a Minor?

Because of the physical and emotional impact molestation can have on a child, California enforces strict penalties for these crimes. In addition to prison time, all perpetrators guilty of child molestation also have their names added to California’s sex offender registry for life. The exact prison sentence depends on the nature of the crime committed as outlined in Californias penal code. Some of the relevant penal codes include:

  • Lewd and Lascivious Acts on a Minor Under Fourteen. Such crimes are a felony under California law. They involve any form of contact with a child with the intent of arousing or appealing to sexual desires of either the abuser or the child. The perpetrator can face up to eight years in prison as a sentence.
  • Lewd and Lascivious Acts on a Minor Under Fourteen With Force. This category of crimes includes any touching of a minor under the age of fourteen with the same intents as those in the previous section. However, to qualify as a crime under this code, the perpetrator must commit the act using force. This can include physical force or threats to the child’s wellbeing. This crime is punishable by up to ten years in prison for each offense.
  • Lewd and Lascivious Acts Against a Dependent by Force. If the act is committed against a dependent, the same penalty applies as it does for acts on minors under fourteen – up to ten years in prison for each offense.
  • Lewd and Lascivious Acts on a Minor Aged Fourteen or Fifteen. This category includes all forms of molestation and sexual abuse against minors aged fourteen or fifteen when the defendant is at least ten years older. These crimes can be a misdemeanor or a felony. A perpetrator convicted of a misdemeanor can have up to one year in jail, while one convicted of a felony can face up to three years in prison.
  • Sodomy or Intercourse With a Child Ten Years Old or Younger. If the act goes beyond molestation to any form of intercourse with a minor ten years old or younger, then the perpetrator can face a prison sentence of 25 years to life.
  • Oral Copulation or Sexual Penetration With a Foreign Object Against a Child Ten Years Old or Younger. When committing oral acts or penetration with a foreign object, the sentence can be fifteen years to life in prison.
  • Continual Sexual Abuse of a Minor. For those who have committed multiple acts of sexual abuse against minors, there is a sentence of up to sixteen years in prison. Such sentences run consecutively to any other penalties, not concurrently.

Sentencing Enhancements

If the act of sexual abuse involved additional crimes and circumstances, it can lead to additional sentences. Some of these crimes and circumstances include:

  • Kidnapping to commit a sex offense
  • Physical injury suffered by a minor during molestation
  • Denial of probation or suspended sentence
  • Multiple victim allegations
  • Perpetrator is a habitual sex offender
  • Perpetrator commits substantial sexual misconduct

If a perpetrator commits any of these additional violations, then they may face a life sentence for their crimes, regardless of whether they are guilty of PC 288(a), 288(b)(1), or 288(c)(1). There can also be additional penalties such as:

  • Fines and fees
  • Criminal protective orders
  • Loss of the right to own and possess firearms
  • Restitution orders
  • Loss or suspension of a professional license

Subsequent criminal actions can also lead to increased penalties. A perpetrator may also face other consequences not listed here.

Besides prison time, registration as a sex offender can have damaging effects on your personal and professional life. To avoid the impact of false allegations, you will need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.