Oral sex itself is completely legal in California, but there are instances where the activity can result in an arrest. For the most part, two consenting adults participating in oral sex are totally safe from the law, but when either of the participants are under 18 or forced against his or her will, then a crime may have been committed. If you are charged with a crime related to oral copulation, please contact a San Diego sex crimes defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Under the law, oral copulation is defined as any sexual act that involves copulation of one person’s mouth with the anus or sex organ of another person. It doesn’t matter if someone reaches orgasm, if there was penetration, or if the contact was only momentary, it still is considered oral copulation. Nor does it matter if the victim received the oral copulation or gave it. If you aren’t sure if something qualifies as oral copulation or not, please ask your San Diego sex crimes defense attorney.
In cases involving oral copulation with a minor under 18, you can face a misdemeanor or a felony depending on how the prosecution chooses to file the case. Your San Diego child molestation lawyer may be able to help ensure the charges are only a misdemeanor so you will not face more than one year in jail. This option is not available if the defendant is over 21 and the minor is younger than 16, as the crime will always be a felony. As a felony, oral copulation with a minor can be punished by up to 3 years in prison. In cases where the victim was under 14 and the defendant was 10 years older than the victim, the case is a more serious felony, punishable by up to 8 years imprisonment.
If the victim in an oral copulation case was made to participate by use of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear, or by threat of retaliation, the defendant will face oral copulation by force charges. A person also cannot claim the defense of consent if the victim was unconscious, asleep or too drunk to consent.
While the victim in these cases can be any age, sentencing will be increased if the victim was a minor -especially if he or she was under 14. If the victim is under 14 and at least 7 years younger than the defendant, oral copulation by force can even result in a life sentence. If the victim was an adult though, the sentence carries up to 8 years in prison.
Any conviction relating to an oral copulation case will result in the defendant being required to register as a sex offender upon release from their incarceration sentence. These crimes are very serious and require the assistance of a skilled San Diego rape defense attorney like Peter M. Liss. If you are facing charges related to oral copulation, please call (760) 643-4050.
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