The criminal justice system generally treats sex crimes very severely. If you or a loved one is under arrest or investigation or perhaps awaiting trial for alleged oral copulation by force offense, speaking with an attorney could help.
Apart from the possible jail term and hefty fines, a conviction for the alleged oral copulation by fear or force charge can affect your reputation and quality of life because it will remain on your criminal record. That is why an attorney's legal intervention is vital to help you prepare a solid defense to challenge the prosecutor's case against you to obtain the best attainable outcome.
Our seasoned defense attorneys at Long Beach Criminal Attorney understand what is at stake if you or a loved one is under investigation or arrest as a culprit in oral copulation by fear or force case. If you or a loved one runs afoul of the law as a suspect in oral copulation by fear case, we can offer you top-notch legal representation for the best possible results.
Legal Definition of Oral Copulation by Fear/Force Offense Under Penal Code 287 PC
PC 287(c)(2) (a) defines the crime of oral copulation by fear or force as non-consensual contact, no matter how slight, between one person's mouth and the genitals or anus of another. This behavior or activity is unlawful if:
- It results from violence, threat, force, fear, or menace
- It occurs when one party is unconscious, intoxicated, or otherwise lawfully unable to give consent
Below are a few examples of incidents that can attract criminal charges for oral copulation by force or fear under PC 287(c)(2)(a):
- A man knowingly engages in oral sex with a mentally-handicapped lady in an abandoned building
- An influential or popular woman threatens to harm a young man's girlfriend or family unless he engages in oral sex with her
- A female employer threatens to harm one of her female employees unless she agrees to have sex with her
- A woman kisses or "licks" the sexual genitals of a man who is under the influence or passed out at a party
These examples should show you there is no limit to what the court could consider oral copulation by fear or force. Since every case is unique, it would be in your best interest to retain the services of an attorney for legal guidance on what you are up against and how to challenge the allegations for the best possible outcome.
Facts Necessary for a Conviction for the Accused PC PC 287(c)(2)(a) Violation Charge
Whenever you are in legal custody or under investigation as a suspect in a criminal offense, remember that you are not yet guilty of the alleged charge until the court's final verdict on your case.
To that end, the prosecutor must prove particular facts, also known as "elements of the crime," beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction against you for the alleged PC 287(c)(2)(a) violation charge.
Below are three main facts or elements the prosecutor should prove under this statute:
1. You Did Engage in the Act of Oral Copulation With Another Person
As mentioned earlier, you commit the offense of oral copulation by force or fear when you make another person's mouth touch your genitals or sexual organs. If the prosecutor does not have adequate evidence to prove that you did engage in oral copulation with another person, you will not be guilty under PC 287(c)(2)(a).
With clear evidence, the prosecutor can secure a conviction against you for the accused offense, even if penetration or ejaculation did not occur during the act. A slight touch or contact between the victim or accuser's mouth with your genitals is all that is needed to secure a conviction against you under PC 287(c)(2)(a).
2. The Other Person or Victim Did Not Consent to the Alleged Act
Like rape and other related sex crimes, the prosecution team must have adequate evidence to prove that you had no consent from the other person for a conviction for the alleged PC 287(c)(2)(a) violation charge. To consent to the act of oral copulation, a person must both:
- Act knowingly, voluntarily, and freely
- Understand the nature and essence of the act he/she is consenting to perform
Even if you were married or dating the other person, oral copulation with him/her without his/her consent is still illegal under this statute.
3.You Engaged in the Alleged Act by Use of Force or Fear
The last element the prosecutor must prove to convict you for the accused PC 287(c)(2)(a) violation charge is that you used force or fear to accomplish the intended act of oral copulation. Typically the element of fear or force in this crime could consist of any of the following:
- You used enough physical force necessary to overcome the other person's or victim's free will
- You threatened to use power or force against the other person, and your action could make a reasonable sober person engage in this activity against his/her will
- You used statements or threats that could make the other person believe that you would likely inflict injury on him/her
- You threatened the other person with retaliation if he/she did not engage in the alleged sexual act
Legal Penalties You Should Anticipate for a Conviction Under PC 287(c)(2)(a)
Generally speaking, oral copulation by force or fear is a felony offense under PC 287(c)(2)(a). Below is the legal punishment you could face upon conviction under this statute:
- A fine amounting to up to $10,000
- Incarceration in the state prison for three (3), six (6), or eight (8) years
- Felony probation or parole
However, if the other person is a minor (under eighteen years), the penalties you should anticipate upon conviction for the alleged PC 287(c)(2)(a) violation charge will be harsher. In that case, a conviction under this statute could attract:
- Up to ten (10) years in prison if he/she is fourteen (14) years old or above
- Up to twelve (12) years in prison if he/she is under fourteen years
What You Need to Know About Felony Probation for PC 287(c)(2)(a) Violation Charge Conviction
Also known as formal probation, felony probation is a sentencing option in most felony cases, including the alleged PC 287(c)(2)(a) violation charge. Felony probation is a favorable sentencing option because it allows you to spend the full or part of your sentence on community supervision instead of sitting behind bars for the required maximum time.
Unfortunately, not every person is eligible for felony probation. Below are some of the factors the court will consider when determining whether you are an excellent candidate for this alternative sentencing option:
- The severity or sophistication of the alleged charge
- Your criminal background or record
- Your attitude towards felony probation because it is optional, and you could choose to spend your sentence in jail
Other Negative Consequences of a Conviction Under PC 287(c)(2)(a)
In addition to the above-mentioned standard penalties, a guilty verdict in the alleged oral copulation by force case will also attract other detrimental or negative consequences that can affect your quality of life. Below are some of these consequences:
Inclusion in the Sex Offender Registry
A conviction for the alleged PC 287(c)(2)(a) violation charge will also require you to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. According to the Sex Offender Registration Act, any person with a conviction for a sex crime must register with law enforcement in the county or city where he/she resides. This registration is renewable:
- Every time you change your residence location or
- Annually, within five working days of your birthday
If you are a non-citizen, a conviction for the alleged charge can attract immigration consequences, including deportation, because it is a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). A CIMT offense is any crime involving dishonesty, fraud, or behavior that is “shocking” to a reasonable person.
A Criminal Record
Unfortunately, a conviction will remain on your criminal record, meaning it will show up any time a person or a potential employer screens through your criminal history. In addition to being a barrier to job opportunities, a criminal record could affect your eligibility for professional licenses and lease applications.
Defenses to the Alleged PC 287(c)(2)(a) Violation Charge
A seasoned and skilled defense attorney can help you avoid the legal penalties and social stigma commonly associated with the alleged PC 287(c)(2)(a) violation charge conviction. If the available defenses cannot have the alleged charge dismissed, your attorney can fight to convince the judge to reduce the alleged offense to a less severe crime.
Below are the most common and applicable defenses your attorney could use to fight for the best attainable outcome on the alleged charge:
- You were falsely accused (false allegations)
- The other person had consent
- The prosecutor's evidence is insufficient
- You are a victim of mistaken identity
If your attorney has sufficient evidence, including eyewitness testimonies and surveillance videos, the court could consider the above defenses reasonable and viable for a favorable outcome.
How to Expunge a Conviction for PC 287(c)(2)(a) Violation Charge
Because the possible consequences of a conviction for a PC 287(c)(2)(a) violation charge are long-lasting, you could seek an expungement after the completion of your sentence. According to PC 1203,4, an expungement is a court proceeding that allows you to withdraw your "guilty" or "no-contest" plea to re-enter a new plea of “not guilty.”
Once the court allows you to expunge your conviction or criminal record for the PC 287(c)(2)(a) violation charge, you will no longer deal with the detrimental consequences associated with the conviction. Generally, when you obtain an expungement, you can legally say you do not have a criminal record when someone asks about your conviction history, unless under the following circumstances:
- You are applying for a job in a public office
- You are applying for a job as a peace or law enforcement officer
Apart from increasing your chances of obtaining professional licenses and securing reliable employment, an expungement gives you a fresh start and the satisfaction of living without a criminal record.
Other Criminal Offenses Related or Similar to PC 287(c)(2)(a) Violation Charge
If the prosecutor's evidence is not enough or sufficient to obtain a conviction against you under PC 287(c)(2)(a), he/she could file any of the following related charges against you
1. Oral Copulation on a Minor
According to PC 288a(b)(1), it is illegal to engage in oral copulation with a minor. To secure a conviction against you for a PC 288a(b)(1) violation, the prosecutor bears the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- You did engage in oral copulation with the other person or victim
- The person was below the age of eighteen (18) years
Since this offense is a wobbler, a conviction can attract misdemeanor or felony penalties, depending on your unique case's facts and criminal background. However, the prosecutor will file your case as a straight felony if the following is true:
- You are twenty-one (21) years of age or older.
- The other person or victim is under sixteen (16) years
In that case, a conviction could attract a jail term of up to eight (8) years
PC 261 makes it illegal to engage in non-consensual sex with another person by using force, fear, or threat to accomplish your intentions. PC 261 is closely related to PC 287(c)(2)(a), but they only differ because, for rape, the prosecutor must prove that you engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim.
Since rape is a felony, a conviction could attract severe penalties, including up to eight (8) years in prison.
The above-explained offenses are related to PC 287(c)(2)(a) violation charges because they share similar or related facts that the prosecutor must prove to obtain a conviction against you.
Find a Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me
We at Long Beach Criminal Attorney can assist you if you are under investigation or arrest for the alleged crime of oral copulation by force or fear. Call us at 562-308-7807 to discuss the alleged case details with our discreet defense attorneys. Once you contact us, we will do our part to prepare the best viable defenses to challenge the alleged charge for the best attainable outcome.