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Los Angeles oral copulation by force or fear

California Penal Code 288 governs oral copulation by force or fear. It defines copulation as the act of placing the mouth of one individual with the sex organ or anus of another. Penetration isn’t required under the statute. Any oral touching whatsoever is sufficient to be prosecuted under the statute if it was committed forcefully or through instilling fear of immediate injury in the victim.

Elements of the crime
To prove a case of oral copulation by force or fear, the prosecution is required to prove the following elements:

  • The accused committed an act of oral copulation with another person
  • Without the second person’s consent
  • The act was accompanied by force, duress or fear of immediate bodily harm to somebody

If the alleged victim was a minor, proof of his or her age would also be required due to harsh graduated sentencing provisions.

Sentencing
Oral copulation by force or fear is a serious felony in Los Angeles or anywhere else in California. The age of the victim is pivotal in sentencing. A sentence can range from a prison term of:

  • Eight years in prison if the victim was an adult
  • 10 years in prison if the victim was between the ages of 14 and 18
  • 12 years in prison of the victim was under 14

In addition to a 12 year sentence for victims under the age of 10, an accused person can be charged with having sex with a minor. This carries a prison term not to exceed 15 years. Consecutive sentences are permitted. A conviction under the California Penal Code 288 requires an individual to register as a sex offender. Any failure to register can lead to an independent charge of failing to register as a sex offender.

Defenses to oral copulation by force or fear
A variety of defenses are available to a person accused of oral copulation by force or fear. Those might include:

  • Consent if the alleged victim was 18 or older
  • False accusations that were motivated by anger or other emotions
  • False memory, particularly with children who are susceptible to suggestion
  • Insufficient evidence without independent proof

Even the family of an alleged victim might make allegations out of malice. That’s when it might be argued that the accused person is the actual victim.

Every case alleging oral copulation by force or fear stands on its own set of facts, and the ability to assert selected defenses will turn on those facts. That’s why it’s critical for a person accused of oral copulation by force or fear in or around Los Angeles to speak with an experienced and focused criminal defense lawyer. That discussion would detail any evidence against the accused person and the defense strategy that should be employed.

Remember that the prosecution has the burden or proof. It has to prove the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. Don’t help the prosecution meet that burden by giving a statement or confession. If you’ve been accused of oral copulation by force or fear or any other sex crime in or around Los Angeles, invoke your right to remain silent, and request an attorney immediately. Contact us right away for a free consultation and case evaluation. We’ll begin formulating your defense as soon as you retain us. Even if you plead guilty or are found guilty, alternative sentencing might be available. We’ll exercise every legal option that we can use on your behalf.

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