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Oral Copulation Law & Defense

PC 287 Crimes

Information on the crime of oral copulation is found at California penal code 287a. In short, Oral copulation is defined as any contact, no matter how slight, between the mouth of one person and the sexual organ or anus of another person.

 

There are several varieties of oral copulation charges depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, oral copulation by force is charged under PC 287a(c)(2)(A), whereas oral copulation of an intoxicated victim is charged under PC 287a(j). See below for a list of California oral copulation charges and their corresponding penalties.

In order to prove the crime of oral copulation the district attorney will need to prove that the defendant:

  • Committed an act of oral copulation with another person, and

  • The other person did not consent, or could not legally consent (minors, unconscious persons, and incompetent persons), and

  • The defendant accomplished the oral copulation by force, violence, duress, or threats of immediate bodily injury to the victim or someone else

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Note: Evidence that the defendant was married to, or dating, the alleged victim, is not a defense to PC 287a crimes.

 

Punishment

Oral copulation crimes are usually charged as felonies. Only two oral copulation crimes may be charged alternatively as misdemeanors. Those two charges are oral copulation with a person under eighteen but older than fifteen (15) (PC 287a(b)(1)), and oral copulation while in jail (PC 287a(e).

PC 287a(b)(1) Oral copulation with a person under the age of eighteen (18): [Felony crime punishable by up to three years in prison. May be charged as a misdemeanor if no force was used. Misdemeanor PC 287a(b)(1) is punishable by up to one (1) year in jail].

PC 287a(b)(2) Oral copulation with a person under the age of sixteen (16): [Felony crime punishable by up to three years in prison].

PC 287a(c)(1) Oral copulation with a person under the age of fourteen (14): [Felony crime punishable by up to eight (8) years in prison].

PC 287a(c)(2)(A) Oral copulation by force on an adult: [Felony crime punishable by up to eight (8) years in prison].

PC 287a(c)(2)(B) Oral copulation with a child under fourteen (14) by force: [Felony crime punishable by up to twelve (12) years in prison].

PC 287a(c)(2)(C) Oral copulation by force on a child between the ages of fourteen and seventeen (14-17): [Felony crime punishable by up to ten (10) years in prison]

PC 287a(c)(3) Oral copulation with a threat of retaliation: [Felony crime punishable by up to eight (8) years in prison].

PC 287a(d)(1) Oral copulation in concert: [Felony crime punishable by up to nine (9) years in prison].

PC 287a(d)(2) Oral copulation with a child in concert: [Felony crime punishable by up to fourteen (14) years in prison].

PC 287a(d)(3) Oral copulation with a child between the ages of fourteen and seventeen (14-17) with in concert: [Felony crime punishable by up to twelve (12) years in prison].

PC 287a(f) Oral copulation of an unconscious person: [Felony crime punishable by up to eight (8) years in prison].

PC 287a(i) Oral copulation of intoxicated person: [Felony crime punishable by up to eight (8) years in prison].

Sex offender registration: All oral copulation convictions require the defendant to register as a sex offender pursuant to California's sex offender registration law (Penal Code 290).

Strike Offense: Any oral copulation on a minor, or in concert with other defendants, is considered a strike offenses under California's Three Strikes Sentencing Law.

Moral Turpitude: Oral copulation crimes are considered crimes of moral turpitude. Moral turpitude crimes are considered to be morally wrong. Non-U.S. citizens may be deported for crimes of moral turpitude. In addition, defendants with professional licenses, such as doctors, nurses, etc., may have their professional license suspended for any conviction of a moral turpitude crime.

Additional Punishments: All PC 287a crimes are subject to fines, victim restitution, criminal restraining orders (protective orders), civil lawsuits, long probation or parole sentences, and more.

Defenses

Defenses to oral copulation crimes are as varied as the charges themselves. Only after a review of the evidence can a determination be made as to what defense is applicable for any particular charge. Below is a list of the more common defenses to PC 287a crimes.

Consent: Consent is a defense to many, but not all, oral copulation crimes. Minors, intoxicated persons, inmates in jail, and unconscious persons cannot consent to oral copulation. Also, even if the alleged victim did not consent but the defendant reasonably and honestly believed that the alleged victim did in fact consent the defendant is entitled to a finding of not guilty.

Note: Evidence that the alleged victim requested or suggested a condom or other protection does not, by itself, equal consent. Consent is usually implied from all of the surrounding circumstances.

Mistake of Fact: If the defendant reasonably and honestly believed that the alleged victim consented, or that the alleged victim was an adult, the defendant may be entitled to a finding of not guilty.

Intoxication: If the defendant was intoxicated by drugs or alcohol to the point that he or she could not form the specific intent to commit oral copulation at the time of the alleged offense then the defendant is entitled to a finding of not guilty.

Other defenses to PC 287 charges include: Coerced & Improper Confessions, double jeopardy, statute of limitations, alibi, illegal search and seizure,and more.

 

If your have been charged with oral copulation, or PC 287a, contact our criminal defense lawyers for a free consultations. Our criminal defense lawyers are experienced and aggressive in the unique area of sex crimes defense. Sex crimes, including charges of oral copulation charged under PC 287a, have been a focus of our firm from the very start. Call today!

909-913-3138​

Criminal Defense Lawyers

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