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PC 288.7 Law, Sentence, & Defense. Sex Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyers Explain PC 288.7 Criminal Law

PC 288.7 Law

PC 288.7 is divided into two sections: PC 2887(a), sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child under ten (10) years old, and PC 2887(b), oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child under ten (10) years old.

Note: Sexual intercourse involves a man’s penis into the vagina, no matter how slight the penetration. Sexual penetration involves penetration into the vagina without a man’s penis, but not including oral copulation (i.e. sexual penetration by object or by defendant’s body part other than the defendant’s).

Sexual Penetration Defined: Sexual penetration is the act of causing the penetration, however slight, of the genital or anal opening of any person or causing another person to so penetrate the defendant’s or another person’s genital or anal opening for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse by any foreign object, substance, instrument, or device, or by any unknown object (PC 289(k)(1)).

Sodomy Defined: Sodomy is sexual conduct consisting of contact between the penis of one person and the anus of another person. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the crime of sodomy (PC 286(a)).

Oral Copulation Defined: Oral copulation is the act of copulating the mouth of one person with the sexual organ or anus of another person (PC 287(a)).

PC 288.7 Prison Sentence

PC 288.7 is classified as a felony. Any conviction for PC 288.7(a) will result in a prison sentence of twenty-five (25) years to life; any conviction for PC 288.7(b) will result in a prison sentence for fifteen (15) years to life.

Note: 288.7 crimes are classified as “super strike” offenses. This means that the defendant is sentenced to life in prison regardless of the number of prior “strike” convictions, if any. Also, both PC 288.7(a) and PC 288.7(b) are classified as serious and violent offense as those terms are defined under California law at PC 1192.7 and PC 667.5, respectively; therefore, the benefits of Prop 57 sentence do not apply and any “good time credits” earned by defendant while in prison are reduced to a maximum of fifteen percent (15%).

No Probation Sentence: A probation sentence for any conviction of PC 288.7 is not allowed. Also, neither a split sentence, nor a suspended sentence (aka joint suspended sentence) are available after a PC 288.7 conviction (PC 1170 & 1203.066 [substantial sexual contact probation prohibitions]).

Note: Incarceration for a violation of either PC 288.7(a) or PC 288.7(b) are served in prison, as opposed to a county jail (PC 1170) [See Prison v. Jail].

PC 288.7 Penalties

Penalties for PC 288.7 violation other than prison include, but are not limited to the following: sex offender registration (PC 290), firearm and firearm prohibition, civil lawsuit from victims, restitution, fines and court fees, restraining orders against contact with victim or victim’s family (See CPO) and more.

Note: Sex offender registration for violations of PC 288.7 are lifetime obligations (PC 290 & SB 384).

Collateral Consequences: When a defendant is arrested for sexual intercourse, sexual penetration, oral copulation, or sodomy of a child under ten (10) years old, the defendant will suffer may collateral consequences (aside from the penalties listed above). These collateral consequences include, but are not limited to, the following: negative military service and professional licensing consequences, immigration consequences (deportation, denial of entry into the U.S. and denial of citizenship), driving privileges lost or suspended (if allegations include the use of the defendant’s vehicle), reputation damage, and more.

Note: PC 288.7 convictions are classified as crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT). A CIMT is any crime that involves inherently immoral behavior, deceit, fraud, and/or dishonesty. CIMTs carry collateral consequences related to many aspects of a defendant’s life; however, the collateral consequences for CIMTs are usually associated with immigration consequences (deportation, denial of naturalization, and/or denial of reentry into the U.S.).

Other Costs: 1) Bail: bail amounts in PC 288.7 cases are usually set at half a million dollars ($500,000) [San Bernardino County]. This amount may be raised or lowered based on many factors (See Bail); 2) Attorney Fees: Attorney fees for both private and public defender attorney apply (private attorneys usually much higher than public defender fees and public defendant attorney fees may sometimes be waived when a defendant is sent to prison), and more.

PC 288.7 Defense

There is no one defense that works best in all PC 288.7 cases; however, some defenses lend themselves to these types of cases more so than other defenses. These “typical defenses” to a PC 288.7 criminal charge, including, but are not limited to, the following: coerced confession that leads to the suppression of the defendant’s “confession;” statute of limitations (statute of limitations defense for PC 288.7 cases is very limited, see SOL); insanity defense, alibi defense, insufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and more.

Note: One of the more popular defenses in a PC 288.7 defense is the use of defense forensic interview psychologists who help juries understand the coerced nature of statements against the defendant by the minor child, which in turn, lead to unreliable statement(s). The forensic interview psychologist can often help juries understand how the questioning of young children is often handled in such a way that tends to lead to unreliable statements of the child (i.e. adopted statements of other children, bias questions, compound questioning, leading questioning, argumentative questioning, etc.). Another popular defense incorporated by defense attorneys in PC 288.7 cases involves the use of medical reports and experts (i.e. use of medical reports to show that alleged sexual penetration is inconsistent with the medical report or the lack of DNA that matches defendant, etc.).

Consent Not a Defense: There is no defense of consent in any PC 288.8(a) or PC 288.7(b) defense. This is because the minor child is legally incapable of granting consent to sexual contact.

Important: It is not unusual for police to engage in pretext phone calls with the defendant. A pretext phone call is a call placed to the defendant by the victim child, or a relative of the victim. During the phone call, the caller will try to elicit a confession or an apology for his or her sexual conduct against the minor. Of course, the police are listening in on the phone call with the caller’s consent and the caller already knows the goal of the phone call (pretext).

Note: If you are arrested, charged with any crime, or even suspected or accused of committing a crime, including any violation of penal code 288.7, contact a criminal defense lawyer without delay.

For more information on the crimes of sexual intercourse, sexual penetration, oral copulation, or sodomy with a child ten (10) years old or younger (PC288.7(a)-F & PC288.7(b)-F), contact our sex crimes criminal defense lawyers today. Our criminal defense lawyers have handled hundreds of misdemeanor and felony sex crimes in San Bernardino County, including the cities of Redlands, Fontana, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Victorville, Rialto, and more. Our attorneys offer free first-visit, in-office consultation (some local jails ok by appointment and fee). Call today!

Note: Information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only. We strive to keep this information accurate and up-to-date, but the law changes frequently and errors are possible; therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. No attorney –client relationship is created by use of the site or the information contained herein. If you are a suspect in a criminal case, have been arrested or charged in a criminal case, or have been accused of a crime, contact a criminal defense lawyer without delay.


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PC288.7(a)-F & PC288.7(b)-F
PC288.7(a)-F & PC288.7(b)-F


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