Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers in Irvine, CA

Defending Clients Against All Types of Sex-Related Charges

An accusation of child sexual abuse, child molestation, or child sexual assault carries not only the possibility of lengthy incarceration but also a stigma that can undermine personal and professional relationships. If you or someone in your family has been accused of child sexual abuse, you need a dependable sex crimes attorney who will listen to your side of the story and help you formulate an effective defense strategy as you go forward. Our Irvine child sexual abuse attorneys at the Law Firm of Pilchman & Kay, P.L.C. are here to answer your questions and help guide you toward a successful resolution of your case.

Understanding California Laws Against Child Sexual Abuse

Under the California Penal Code, it is illegal to touch a child under the age of 14 with sexual intent. The touching can be skin-to-skin or through clothing. Children under 14 years of age are legally incapable of giving consent, so consent is not a viable defense. Likewise, the fact that the child appeared to be (or even claimed to be) older than his or her actual age does not defeat a charge of child sexual abuse. Notably, touching a child in multiple areas can result in prosecution under separate counts, resulting in increased penalties.

Child Abuse Involving Older Children

For abuse committed against older children, a conviction of child sexual abuse is still possible, although the possible length of incarceration is typically lower. For children 14 or 15 years old, a touching of a sexual nature is punishable under California law if there is a difference of at least 10 years in age between the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator. Sexual touching of 16- or 17-year-olds may result in a statutory rape or sexual battery conviction rather than a child molestation charge. Regardless, jail time, fines, and registration as a sex offender can result. The period of imprisonment that may be imposed upon a person convicted of child molestation, statutory rape, or sexual battery varies according to different factors.

These factors include:

  • Severity of the conduct
  • The age of the victim
  • The previous criminal record of the offender
  • Other factors

For example, a conviction for lewd acts upon a child under 14 years old can result in up to eight years in prison. Felony convictions can have other consequences in addition to the defendant’s loss of liberty for a certain period. Convicted felony sex offenders can have great difficulty obtaining meaningful employment and often endure upheaval in their family and social lives. Certain privileges, such as owning a handgun, that are generally conferred on U.S. citizens may also be forfeited by a felony conviction.

Of course, not every accusation of a lewd act or other child sexual abuse is well-founded. The burden is always on the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of each and every element of the particular offense of which he or she is charged. For child sexual abuse, this includes proof that the defendant willfully touched the child’s body or willfully caused the child to touch his or her own body or the body of a third person and that the defendant was motivated by the intent of sexually arousing or gratifying either his or her own sexual desires or the lust or passion of the child.

Discuss a Child Sexual Abuse Case with an Orange County Attorney

Having the right law firm behind you when you are facing a serious charge like child sexual abuse is extremely important. Our Irvine criminal defense attorneys at the Law Firm of Pilchman & Kay, P.L.C. are knowledgeable in what it takes to fight charges of alleged sex crimes and crimes against children. As former prosecutors, we know how the criminal justice system operates and how to investigate a case. We are skilled negotiators but are ready to proceed to trial if needed.

For a free consultation with our firm, call us at (949) 558-0042 or contact us online. We represent defendants throughout Orange County and the nearby areas.

A Winning Combination of Legal Abilities

  • We are backed by over 30 years of experience.
  • We have handled thousands of criminal defense cases.
  • We are fully certified by the State Bar of California.
  • We have repeatedly resolved cases during pre-trial.
  • We are backed by a professional background in prosecution and medical board defense.

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