Were You Charged with California Crime Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child Under Penal Code 269?
Aggravated sexual assault of a child is an extremely serious crime. If you are convicted, you will face devastating penalties and many years of incarceration. You will also be burdened with a felony record, impeding employment and other opportunities long into your future. Furthermore, you will be required to register as a sex offender, which can destroy your personal and professional reputation.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Ventura County Criminal Defense Attorneys
The consequences of a conviction are dire. You need to ensure that your legal rights are protected by an aggressive Ventura County criminal defense attorney with extensive experience representing defendants who have been charged with committing aggravated sexual assault of a child in California.
At The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, our knowledgeable legal team has over 20 years of experience handling aggravated sexual assault of a child and other felony sex crimes in Ventura County and Santa Barbara County. Founding attorney Ron S. Bamieh is a former senior deputy district attorney for Ventura County, giving him unique insight into the tactics prosecutors use.
When the charges are this serious, you cannot afford to delay. Call our law offices immediately at (805) 643-5555 for a free and completely confidential legal consultation with our Ventura County child sexual assault attorneys.
Were You Arrested for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Santa Barbara?
A person can be charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child in Ventura County or Santa Barbara County under Cal. Penal Code § 269 when he or she allegedly commits the following offenses against a child who is both (1) younger than 14 years old, and (2) at least seven years younger than the defendant:
- Oral copulation, as defined under:
- Cal. Penal Code § 288a(c)(2) — Oral copulation committed against the victim’s will “by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury” to the victim or another person.
- Cal. Penal Code § 288a(c)(3) — Oral copulation committed against the victim’s will by threatening future retaliation against the victim or another person. There must be a “reasonable possibility” that the defendant will actually carry out the threat. Threats of injury, death, extreme pain, false imprisonment, and kidnapping are all considered threats of retaliation.
- Cal. Penal Code § 288a(d) — Oral copulation committed in concert with another person.
A person can also be charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child for acting in concert, threatening retaliation, or using force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of injury while allegedly committing:
- Rape, as defined under:
- Cal. Penal Code § 261(a)(2)
- Cal. Penal Code § 261(a)(6)
- Sexual penetration, as defined under:
- Cal. Penal Code § 289(a)
- Sexual penetration or rape, in concert with another person.
- Sodomy, as defined under:
- Cal. Penal Code § 286(c)(2)
- Cal. Penal Code § 286(c)(3)
- Cal. Penal Code § 286(d)
To reiterate, the victim must be 13 or younger, while also being at least seven years younger than the defendant, in order for all elements of the charge to be met. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt all elements of the crime being alleged in order for the defendant to be convicted.
Getting arrested does not necessarily mean you will be charged with a crime. The prosecutor may decline to file charges based on a lack of probable cause or other issues with insufficient evidence. However, if the prosecutor decides to file charges, you must have an arraignment within 48 hours. During arraignment:
- The defendant is notified of the charges.
- The defendant is read their rights.
- The defendant enters their plea (e.g. guilty, not guilty).
- The court sets bail, where appropriate.
California Criminal Penalties: Fines and Prison Sentencing
There are three types of crimes in California:
- Misdemeanors, which are lesser offenses.
- Felonies, which have greater penalties than misdemeanors.
- Wobblers, which are crimes that can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances.
Aggravated sexual assault of a child is a felony offense under Cal. Penal Code § 269(b), which provides a prison sentence ranging from 15 years to life, to be served in state prison.
This sentence can be increased if there are multiple victims or multiple incidents involving the same victim. As provided by Cal. Penal Code § 269(c), “The court shall impose a consecutive sentence for each offense that results in a conviction under this section if the crimes involve separate victims or involve the same victim on separate occasions.”
In addition to being sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison, a defendant who is convicted will also be required to become a registered sex offender. Failure to comply with the many stringent rules for registered offenders can result in additional criminal charges and penalties.
If you or one of your loved ones was arrested for aggravated sexual assault of a child in Ventura County or Santa Barbara County, it is imperative that you retain a highly experienced criminal attorney immediately. Call The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC right away at (805) 643-5555 to arrange a free legal consultation.