What Are Child Molestation Laws?
These laws are regarding the annoying or molesting of a child. There are specific definitions of such actions as defined by California Child Molestation Laws Penal Code section 647.6. It is a very severe crime if you annoy or molest a child under the age of 18, or an adult whom you believe is a minor (under the age of 18).
Several key premises must be met in order to be charged with this crime. First, as mentioned it has to be directed at a minor. Second, any other normal person must also feel disturbed, irritated, offended, or injured by the annoying or molesting. Third, the accuser’s actions must be fueled by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in the child. Fourth, at the time the crime was committed, the victim must have been under the age of 18.
Punishment for Violating Child Molestation Laws
The punishment dealt to those found guilty of violating such laws depends on the circumstance of the crime and the history of the offender. The crime can either be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, with both carrying separate punishments.
For those who have no prior history of annoying or molesting a child, they will face a misdemeanor charge, which requires them to go to a county jail for up to a year and pay a fine of $5,000. If the accused has a prior history of misdemeanor child molesting charges, the punishment is increased to a year in state prison instead of a county jail.
If the guilty individual is charged with a felony, they can face up to three years in a prison facility. Furthermore, they would also pay the $5,000 fine. However, if the convict has a criminal history of past felony charges of child molestation, then they face 2, 4 or 6 years in a state prison facility.
Important to note, is that regardless of the level of conviction, all those found guilty of annoying or molesting a child must register as a sex offender.