At Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer, we are aware of how challenging these charges can be based on years of experience defending against sex crimes throughout California. Fresno child sex abused attorney Michael McKneely will work hard to protect your rights and your reputation in the community. He will use the knowledge he gained as a prosecutor and his experience as a defense attorney in creating an effective strategy for your particular case and will strive for a favorable outcome.
Defending allegations of sexual misconduct require an understanding and skill because of the stigma surrounding the charges and the negative impacts that being charged may carry, even without a conviction. Of the potential sex offenses that a person may be charged within California, child sex abuse can be more challenging than others because of the extreme public pressure on law enforcement and prosecutors.
The public often presumes guilt when it comes to these crimes, and the police and district attorneys usually do too. Child sex abuse charges should be taken seriously because a conviction can result in decades of incarceration, massive penalties, and life-long registration as a sex offender.
Contact us today using the form at the bottom of the page or call (559) 443-7442 for a free and confidential consultation.
Sex Abuse Defined
Under the California Penal Code, child sex abuse can involve several varieties of conduct with children, who are defined as persons less than 18 years of age. This conduct includes the following:
- Sexual assault that constitutes rape, incest, sodomy, molestation, statutory rape, or lewd or lascivious acts on a child as defined by the penal code;
- Sexual assault that includes any penetration or sexual contact as defined by the statute, including the intentional touching of a child’s genitals, or the clothing covering them, for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, or intentionally masturbating in a child’s presence;
- Sexual exploitation that involves conduct depicting a child in pornography or employing a minor to perform obscene acts. Exploitation may also include promoting, assisting, persuading, inducing, or coercing a child to engage in prostitution or live performances involving obscene sexual conduct. It may also include pornographic depictions of children in films or photographs, and helping develop, duplicate, print, or sell any such materials.
Additionally, the California penal code permits a person to be charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child if the victim is 14 years old or younger, lives with them or has continuous access to them, and there were three or more lewd acts involves over a three-month period or longer. The potential penalties are harsher for continuous sexual abuse, which includes up sixteen years of imprisonment.
Sex Offender Registry
If a person is convicted of child sex abuse offenses, the penal code requires registration as a sex offender. This requirement follows that person for the rest of his or her life while residing, attending school, or working in California. Sex offenders are required to register within five days of release from prison. Additionally, registration is required if the offender changes addresses or names, and the registration must be updated annually. Intentionally failing to register is a felony punishable by additional fines and jail time.
Trust an Experienced Fresno Child Sex Abuse Lawyer
An experienced and capable defense attorney in Fresno can use many defense strategies to aid in a child sex abuse charge. These charges are often very difficult to investigate because there are often no witnesses and little physical evidence. A proficient attorney will explore the many avenues of defense, including problems with credibility and the accusatory statements made by the victim.
A vigorous defense is crucial in these cases because these felonies carry over a decade of possible prison time. Additionally, a conviction may negatively impact a person’s long-term future for employment, housing, and relationships in the community. Contact Fresno criminal defense attorney Michael McKneely today to review your legal options during a free and confidential consultation. Call us at (559) 443-7442.