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Attorney for Child Molestation Charges

San Bernardino Sex Crime Lawyer

Child molest charges are devastating to the victim and the accused alike. No charge requires a more competent lawyer that this. Child molestation claims are often well-founded but very often are the result of pure fabrication. The motives for a child making up a story of molestation are too many to list, but include parents trying to get leverage in a divorce case, a child wanting freedom from too many parental restrictions, a child wanting attention and so on.

A good lawyer will thoroughly investigate the origin of the claim of molestation, including interviewing the child’s classmates too see if there are inconsistent stories, It is essential to find the motive of a false claim, because juries are not at all sympathetic to defendants on trial for this charge. As a result, it is very easy to be wrongfully convicted if you do not have a skilled, dedicated lawyer, and you can serve up to life in prison.

Sentencing in Child Molestation Cases

Child molest charges can be misdemeanors or felonies, and all require lifetime registration as a sex offender. The only misdemeanor molest is a crime called “annoying or molesting a child.” The conduct must be very minor, and involve no skin to skin contact of any private area. The vast majority are felonies and carry a sentence of 3 years prison all the way to 25 years to life.

Basic Molest Charge: Carries a sentence range of 3, 6 or 8 years prison per act of touching. If there are enough incidents, the sentence can go up to hundreds of years in prison. A basic molest charge involves a lewd act on a child younger than 14. A lewd act in any touching of a private area on the child, while the suspect wishes to become sexually aroused or to sexually arouse the victim.

Older than 14 and younger than 16: If the alleged victim is 14 or 15, and the suspect is at least ten years older that the victim, the molest can be a misdemeanor or a felony and carries a sentence of up to one year in county jail to three years in state prison.

Continuing Molest: If a person who has continuing access to a child under 14 is accused of three or more acts of “substantial” child molest on the same victim within a period of time greater than 3 months, the sentence is up to 16 years in state prison.

Under 10: If the victim is under 10 and the suspect, being over 18, has sexual intercourse with the child, the sentence is 25 years to life in prison. If the suspect, over 18 years of age, engages in oral copulation or penetration of the child, the sentence is 15 years to life. If there is a valid, provable claim of molest in this circumstance, it is vital to try to negotiate some sentence less than life. If the claim is fabricated, the case must be fought to a dismissal by the DA or an acquittal by a jury.

Unfortunately, these charges are not uncommon. Fortunately, with the right lawyer, they can be shown to be false or greatly exaggerated well before the risk of a jury trial arises, and the case can be dismissed or drastically reduced. Mark McDonald is an expert at defending child molest cases.

Call today at (909) 443-1599 for a free case consultation with a San Bernardino criminal lawyer.