Though it is upsetting to think about, children can be taken advantage of. As such, the penalties for lewd molestation of a minor can be severe. However, when accused of this act, it’s essential to understand that this is an extremely grave matter, and you must proceed carefully. If you’ve been accused of inappropriate behavior with a child, it’s in your best interest to enlist the assistance of an experienced Oklahoma City felony defense lawyer to guide you through this legal matter.
What Constitutes Lewd Molestation of a Minor?
There are a number of behaviors constituting the lewd molestation of a child. This happens when a child is under the age of 16. It’s important to note that a child does not have to be touched for someone to face these charges. A person can be charged without ever laying a hand on the child.
Illegal behaviors under this crime include, but are not limited to, the following actions and behaviors:
- Touching a child
- Lavaciously looking at a child’s private areas
- Making a child participate in a sexual act
- Making a child view a sexual act
- Urinating, defecating, or ejaculating in front of a child for sexual gratification
- Exposing yourself to a child
- Soliciting a child for sexual activity
- Bringing a child to a location with the intent to engage in sexual activity
What Are the Penalties if Convicted?
It’s essential to understand that any sex crime involving a child is charged as a felony in Oklahoma. As such, the penalties you can expect are some of the most harsh.
If the child was under 16, you’ll face three to twenty years in prison if convicted. If they were under 12, this charge increases to a minimum of twenty-five years in prison. Subsequent convictions can result in a life sentence without the eligibility for parole.
As with many sex crimes, it is likely you will need to register as a sex offender in Oklahoma if convicted. Generally, those charged with this crime are assigned as a level three offender. This means you will remain on the registry for life and must verify your address every ninety days.
Are There Any Possible Defenses?
Though it may not seem possible, there are a few defenses you may be able to use if facing lewd molestation of a minor charges in Oklahoma.
Possible defenses include a child making the statement as a means to please one parent, another adult making the accusation as a means of getting custody or revenge against their former partner, or you are a victim of mistaken identity. Regardless, it’s essential to contact an experienced felony defense attorney to examine the circumstances of your case to determine the best avenue to proceed.
At the Jones Firm, PLLC, our dedicated legal team will fight for the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Contact us today to learn how we can handle the complexities of your case.