Sex Offenses In California

In California, sex offenses are aggressively prosecuted by District Attorney’s Offices and severely punished by Judges. They include a variety of criminal sexual behaviors and are typically charged as felonies, though some lesser sex offenses are charged as misdemeanors.

Although the penalties for sex crime convictions are very severe and can be life changing, there are a number of defenses available that Attorney Michael A. Fiumara knows how to effectively apply to your case. In addition attorney Michael A. Fiumara has been successful in preventing the District Attorney from requiring Sex Registration as a condition of the sentence. The following is a list and brief description of some of the most commonly charged California sex offenses.


May be charged when an individual has sexual intercourse with another (who is not the spouse of the accused) either against that person’s will or without that person’s consent. Spousal rape will be charged under the same circumstances when the alleged victim and the accused are married. Statutory rape may be charged under any circumstances where the alleged victim is a minor.

Oral copulation can be charged under any of the above circumstances if the accused either gives or receives oral sex and the same can be said for a sodomy charge if an individual’s penis or anus comes into contact with the penis or anus of another. If the accused uses a foreign object to penetrate the genital or anal opening of another under any of these circumstances, he or she may face prosecution.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault and/or sexual abuse perpetrated by an authority figure is an appalling reality for far too many children and adolescents in California. Priests, ministers, church officials and workers, coaches, teachers, day care workers, park rangers, police and firemen, and other trusted adults who sexually molest children ruin lives and cause irreparable psychological harm to their victims.

The individual pedophile can be tried as a criminal, but oftentimes cannot be held financially accountable. His or her sponsoring or employing organization-the church, diocese, school, school district, or other public or corporate entity-may be liable for its failure to adequately supervise and screen the perpetrator.

Lewd or Lascivious Act

A violation of California Penal Code section 288 often referred to as “child molestation,” may be filed as a felony against an individual who willfully and lewdly commits a lewd or lascivious act with a child under the age of 14 or as a misdemeanor or felony against a person who does so with a child who is 14 or 15 years old if the accused is at least 10 years older than the child.

Even though many of these crimes are charged as misdemeanors they carry the mandatory PC290 Sex Registration. In addition, there are a whole barrage of lewd and lascivious Penal Code Sections that deal with sex in public or exposing one’s genitals or their sexual organs in public.

Internet Child Pornography

May be charged when an adult knowingly develops or exchanges any data or images that depict a minor engaged in sexual conduct. Advertising or distributing obscene materials or possessing such materials with the same content can also result in criminal charges.

Indecent exposure charges may be filed when an individual either exposes him or herself or persuades another to do so in a public place (or in a private home without consent) that is either offensive or done to provoke lascivious or lewd thoughts.

The criminal charges of prostitution and / or pimping and pandering will result if an individual solicits a prostitute, runs a “brothel” or procures another for the purpose of prostitution. If the accused is pimping a minor or pandering with a minor, special penalties and enhancements will apply.


Crimes that apply to families include bigamy, which will be charged if an individual is simultaneously married to more than one person and incest, which takes place when family members either marry or have sexual relationships with one another.

Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

If an individual either commits an act or fails to perform an act that is sexual in nature against a minor and thereby causes that minor to become a dependent of the state, he or she will be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. On that note, any sex offense that is committed against a minor will likely result in enhanced sentencing, as that is typically considered an aggravating factor.

Criminal prosecution may also face those who attempt to commit certain sex crimes, even if the attempt fails. It is also worth noting that individuals who commit specific sex crimes more than once will face harsher punishment with each subsequent offense.