California Penal Code 647.6 - Annoying or molesting a minor.
California prohibits “molesting” or “annoying” a minor. California also makes it a crime to “annoy” or “molest” a person you think is a minor, even if it later turns out that the victim is over 18 years old.
Under this law, the words “disturb” and “annoy” refer to the same actions and conduct. Let's analyze the legal definition of section 647.6 of the California Penal Code - Annoying or molesting a minor. This is important because it will help you understand the important issues and common questions arising from a criminal prosecution under California Penal Code Section 647.6 - Molesting or Annoying a Minor.
LEGAL DEFINITION OF SECTION 647.6 OF THE CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE - MOLESTING OR ANNOYING A MINOR
To be convicted of this sex crime in California, the prosecution has to prove that your particular case facts satisfy all the elements of the crime you are charged with. An “element” is essentially a fact related to the crime. In relation to sexual crimes committed in California, the required level of certainty is “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” Note that the prosecution's requirement to prove all elements only applies to those criminal cases that are decided in a criminal trial by a judge or jury. You can still be convicted of a sex crime in California if you plead guilty or no contest to any of the crimes listed here.
THE ELEMENTS OF SECTION 647.6 OF THE CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE - MOLESTING OR ANNOYING A MINOR:
(1) You behaved in a manner that is likely to irritate a minor or minors.
(2) Your conduct was driven by a sexual interest in a minor, or minors.
Let's take a closer look at each of these elements so that you can better understand the most common individual issues that may arise during your criminal prosecution.
WHO IS A MINOR
In reference to sexual crimes in California and section 647.6 of the California Penal Code, Annoying or Molesting of a Minor, a minor is considered to be any person who is under 18 years of age. However, it is possible to be convicted of California Penal Code Section 647.6, Molesting or Molesting a Minor, if you thought the victim was under 18 years old, even if it later turns out that the victim was an adult.
Conduct Likely to Harm a Minor – California Penal Code Section 647.6, Harassing or Annoying a Minor, prohibits conduct that meets the following requirements:
(1) The conduct was prompted by a sexual interest in a minor or minors, and
(2) The conduct attacks the privacy and safety of the minor.
California Penal Code Section 647.6 Child Molestation, is classified as a “general intent” crime. Therefore, the prosecutor does not have to prove that you intended to behave in a sexually inappropriate manner. You may have violated California Penal Code Section 647.6, Molesting or Annoying a Minor, without any malicious intent. Therefore, you may think you are just being affectionate, but in the eyes of the law, you could be committing a crime if your behavior irritates or disturbs another person.
To violate California Penal Code Section 647.6, Molesting or Molesting a Minor, you do not need to target a particular minor or even a group of minors. This crime can occur if your behavior is driven by a sexual interest in both a minor in particular and minors/children in general.
Furthermore, there is no requirement that the alleged victim have actually felt bothered by your conduct. Charges for violating California Penal Code Section 647.6, Annoying or Molesting a Minor, are reviewed under what is called an “objective review.” Therefore, the prosecutor will only take into account the type of conduct itself, not the result of said conduct. The prosecutor will try to decide whether your conduct would bother a reasonable normal minor. If the prosecutor concludes yes, you may be charged with California Penal Code Section 647.6 Child Molestation. If the prosecutor decides not to, the charges against you may be dismissed.
Therefore, in these types of cases it is essential that you be represented by a veteran sex crimes attorney who has trial experience like Attorney Jeff Voll. The reason for this is that jury selection is critically important in criminal cases involving an objective examination. One juror might think that certain conduct is appropriate but another juror might think the opposite. Proper jury selection could mean the difference between prison and freedom in sex crime cases.
DRIVEN BY SEXUAL INTEREST ELEMENT
To be convicted of violating California Penal Code Section 647.6, Molesting or Annoying a Minor, not only must an inappropriate act be committed against a minor, but the act must be motivated by a sexual interest in the minor or in children in general. There is no requirement to actually commit a sexual act with a minor. Therefore, if your conduct was motivated by another reason, you have not violated California Penal Code Section 647.6 Annoying or Molesting a Minor. Additionally, if a minor accidentally witnesses such conduct, you are not guilty of violating California Penal Code Section 647.6, Molesting or Molesting a Minor.
Jennifer X. Wilston dedicates herself to street prostitution on the weekends, since her job as a “reporter” at the Las Vegas Journal does not pay enough to support her addiction to glass. She also has a lascivious attraction to little girls and was recently arrested for sniffing bicycle seats near the women's gym. If the prosecutor cannot prove that her actions were driven by sexual desire, it could be difficult to criminally convict Jennifer X. Wilston.
It may be difficult for the prosecutor to prove intent, since it is not easy to know what is going on in people's minds. The problem is that it is also difficult to disprove intent because if you find yourself in a problematic situation, the jury may not give you the benefit of the doubt. For this reason, it is important to arrive at trial with a body of evidence accumulated in your favor. The reason for this is that the prosecutor can demonstrate intent by bringing up previous conduct towards minors. “Circumstantial evidence” related to your actions may also be used, such as looking around to see if anyone is watching you or like in Jennifer's case above, many prior convictions for lewd conduct with minors.
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING SECTION 647.6 OF THE CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL CODE - CHILD MOLESTATION?
California Penal Code Section 647.6, Annoying or Molesting a Child, is considered a “wobbler” offense. This means, depending on the facts of the case, the Deputy District Attorney may choose to charge the case as a misdemeanor or felony. The decision could be based on the person's criminal history and the specific facts of the particular case. Because California Penal Code Section 647.6, Molesting or Annoying a Minor, has this flexibility as a wobbler offense, it is imperative that you immediately retain a hard-core sex crimes attorney like Jeff Voll. If hired early, Jeff may be able to convince the prosecutor to file misdemeanor charges before you are formally charged. This is crucial as the initial charges brought against you serve as a reference point for negotiation during the rest of the criminal process.
If the circumstances of your case are not particularly egregious or if this is the first arrest of your life, you may be charged as a misdemeanor. Failure to comply with California Penal Code section 647.6, Molesting or Annoying a Child, as a misdemeanor, is punishable by a maximum of 1 year in county jail and a maximum of five thousand dollars in fines.
A conviction for California Penal Code Section 647.6, Annoying or Molesting a Minor, as a felony, includes a minimum of 16 months and a maximum of 3 years in a California state prison. These penalties may be harsher if certain requirements are met.
PRIOR SEX CRIMES CONVICTIONS
If you already have a criminal record for violating California Penal Code Section 647.6, Molesting or Annoying a Minor, you will certainly be charged with a felony. The maximum sentence for a felony charge of Child Molestation is 3 years in the State Prison. However, if you already have a prior conviction for certain sexual offenses, including a conviction for violating California Penal Code Section 647.6 Child Molestation, you may be punishable by a maximum of 6 years in a California state prison. These “Priorable” crimes include, among others, the following:
* California Penal Code section 261 - Rape of a Child;
* California Penal Code section 288.5 - continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child
* California Penal Code section 288 - Lewd Conduct on a Child
* California Penal Code section 311.11 - Possession of Child Pornography
Probation Instead of Incarceration
A judge may sentence someone convicted of this offense to probation with no jail or prison time or probation with jail time and no prison. However, this sentence will only happen if the Judge and prosecutor can be convinced that one is not a danger to children. Additionally, the prosecutor will consider the specific facts of your case and your criminal history in offering a probation sentence. If the Judge decides to sentence you to probation, there are two types you can receive, depending on whether you have been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor.
Misdemeanor Offenses - Informal Misdemeanor Probation can last between 1 and 5 years. You may have to
* pay a fine;
* perform community service/work;
* attend sexual impulse control classes;
* and register as a sex offender pursuant to Penal Code section 290 for 10 years.
Felony Offenses - Formal Felony Probation can last between 3 and 5 years. If you are convicted of a felony then you will be sentenced to formal probation. You will be required to report regularly to a probation officer. Some of the terms of probation that you may be required to complete are:
* pay restitution to the victim;
* attend and complete community labor;
* attend and complete sexual impulse control classes;
* register as a sex offender pursuant to Penal Code section 290 for 10 or 20 year or Life
CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE SECTION 290 SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT
If you're convicted of violating California Penal Code Section 647.6 - Child Molestation, you may be required to register as a California Sex Offender. If you're a first time offender convicted of violating California Penal Code Section 647.6 Child Molestation, you will be required to register as a Level 1 sex offender for a minimum of 10 years. If you've previously been convicted of California Penal Code Section 647.6 - Child Molestation, you will be required to register as a Level 2 sex offender for a minimum of 20 years. The details of the crime will be posted on the Department of Justice online website. If your conviction for California Penal Code Section 647.6 Child Molestation, was a misdemeanor, you may request to be excluded from the DOJ website. You will still have to register as a sex offender unless you obtain a certificate of rehabilitation or have been properly registered for 10 years.
DEFENSES AGAINST CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE SECTION 647.6 - ANNOYING OR MOLESTING A MINOR?
Although the penalties for violating California Penal Code Section 647.6, Annoying or Molesting a Minor, can be severe, several legal defenses are available. Talk to a sex crimes attorney Jeff Voll to find out what legal defenses are available specifically in your case. Below are just a few common legal defenses:
CHALLENGING WITNESS CREDIBILITY/FALSE ACCUSATIONS
Cross Examination in Court: Many California Penal Code Section 647.6 accusations of Child Molestation result in a “he said/she said” situation. Due to the sexual nature of the charges which often occur in a private setting, 99% of the time the only witness who claim to have seen what happened were the accused and the victim. The plus for a defendant is that only one person who can testify against you about what really happened is the “victim” which means the prosecutor requires that persons presence in court for the preliminary hearing OR trial. The negative is that the jury will most likely give the benefit of the doubt to the alleged minor victim and you may not have anyone who can corroborate your version of the events.
In these types of cases it is desirable to have a sex crimes attorney like Jeff Voll who knows how to challenge the credibility of the witness through vigorous cross examination. This way a jury is able to see through the lies and will be more likely to give you the benefit of a reasonable doubt when deciding your fate. (See the two case Examples below) Your attorney can subpoena the victim's medical or school records. The alleged victim's emails, as well as their social media accounts, text messages, etc... When I am retained I hire an investigator to interview the alleged victim's family and friends so that we stack the deck against the accused. Attorney Jeff Voll also conducts a background check on the alleged victim or witness to determine their reputation for truth and veracity.
All of these tools could serve to demonstrate that the alleged victim has a history of lying to the police, family, or school authorities. Additionally, they could bring up possible prejudices that the alleged victim or their family may have against you.
Actual Case #1 represented by Attorney Jeff Voll
In People v. F.H. - Case No. 1CJ03293-01, my client was charged with 4 counts of sexual molestation of a minor and 4 counts of lewd conduct of a minor. The alleged victims were his kids! This case was filed as a misdemeanor because the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office saw the B.S. on the wall in bright neon paint that these were false allegations so they referred it to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office who only filed misdemeanors. It was clear from the police report that the ex-wife mother of the kids was a life time subscriber to the old adage "hell hath no fury like a woman's scorn." You see, because they were divorcing, Mom wanted sole custody of the kids, so the Mom made her kids lie about my client touching them because Mom is a POS who forced her kids to lie so my client would not get custody. I mean this turd actually made her minor son and daughter lie to the police while forcing them to talk about their private parts and so forth. Yes, this happens. And it happens often. This is not the first time someone has fabricated a tale and used the criminal justice system against an innocent party. Just take me Attorney Jeff Voll as the defendant and perjuring losers John, David and Matt etc... for example. Anyway, the allegations she made were completely untrue. It was clear that she was full of excrement. Nevertheless, the City Attorney prosecutor (who has quite a reputation on the World Wide Web) filed 4 counts of sexual molestation of a minor and 4 counts of lewd conduct of a minor against my client which would mean if he was convicted he would have to register as a sex offender for life. After my Private Investigator got a chance to interview the kids, the prosecutor threw in towel. This case was clearly such bullshit that I could not wait for jury trial. Outcome: Case Dismissed.
Actual Case #2 represented by Attorney Jeff Voll
In People v. J.A. - Case No. FVI21002809, my client was charged with 3 sex crimes counts: 1 count of continuous sexual abuse of a minor under 14 years of age, 1 count of lewd conduct of a minor under 14 and 1 count of lewd conduct with a 14 year old. The alleged victims were my client's great grandchildren! This case was filed as a Life in Prison felony by the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office due to their being multiple "victims" and took over 2 years to fight. The trial lasted 3 weeks. It was crystal clear from the police report and associated discovery that the "victim" grandchildren were lying through their teeth and wanted to cast blame on Great Grand Dad because the youngest of the two "victims" at age 8 would like to take selfies of her vagina using great grand dad's tablet phone and the oldest of the two "victims at age 16 would travel to Bakersfield 3 times overnight to get down with an adult male. So when Chile Protective Services came around to investigate these incidents, the two little skeezers for the first time, after "years of abuse," told their parents and CPS that Great Grand Dad touched them and fingered their vaginas. Both "victims" testified at trial and were caught lying on the witness stand. The oldest of the two continue to make up lies ON THE WITNESS STAND which the jury could clearly see was a fairytale. Yes, this happens. And it happens often. This is not the first time someone has fabricated a story and used the criminal justice system against an innocent party. Just take me as the defendant and turds John, David, Matt, Gary, Jefferson, Angel, Scott and Midget etc... for example. Anyway, the allegations the children made were completely untrue. It was clear that the kids were completely full of excrement. Remember, if my client was convicted he would have had to register as a sex offender for life IF he ever made it out of a Life in Prison sentence. Outcome: Jury Verdict All Counts Not Guilty!
Actual Case #3 represented by Attorney Jeff Voll
In the case of In Re K.A. – Inglewood Juvenile Case No. YJ39686, I represented a minor accused of sexual crimes against another minor at his school. With proper investigation and filing of defense motions, the case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning the charges can never be brought again. Due to law enforcement stripping him naked and taking a buccal swab to his entire body and shackling him in handcuffs in front of the entire student body of his middle school, I made my minor client promise that he would become a defense lawyer when he graduated College.
CHALLENGING WITNESS CREDIBILITY
Lie Detector/Polygraph Tests
People mistake lie detector tests as a police tool only. What many don't know is that defense attorney's can use lie detector tests to exonerate their clients as well. The primary advantage of private lie detector tests performed for the defense is the ability to keep them confidential.
These tests are often performed by retired law enforcement officers and private investigators. If the results are favorable to you, they could be of great help to avoid a prosecution or conviction for violating section 647.6 of the California Penal Code Child Molestation. Remember that the results of a polygraph test are inadmissible in court, but they can help convince prosecutors to consider dismissing charges against the accused. If the results are unfavorable they can be kept confidential and discarded like the polygraph was never performed.
How I Can Help - Call me at 323-467-6400
If you have been accused of Child Molestation in Los Angeles or surrounding areas, it is imperative that you quickly obtain the best possible criminal defense attorney to defend you. We at the Law Offices of Jeff Voll have the knowledge and experience in handling and winning sexual child molestation cases. We know the best defense strategies to use in challenging the charges brought against you, and we know how to identify weak spots in the prosecutor's argument. Contact us today at 323-467-6400 for a free consultation and for immediate attention to your case. Jeff Voll is skilled at defending these types of cases and knows how to defeat sex crimes allegations by the prosecution. Legal niche experts, researchers, investigators, and more also boost the effectiveness of our defense team. Contact us today at 323-467-6400, and we will put our knowledge and experience to work for you.
Remember that Attorney Jeff Voll is the ONLY California criminal defense firm that can truthfully state he achieved over 100 case dismissals in one 12 month period. Look no further for an attorney to represent you or a loved one.