Penal Code 288.3 — Contacting a Minor with Intent to Commit a Felony
California Penal Code 288.3 PC is prohibits a person from contacting or attempting to contact a minor (person under 18 years of age) with the specific intent to commit certain enumerated felony offenses. 1
What the Prosecutor Must Prove to Convict a Defendant under Penal Code 288.3
In order to be convicted under Penal Code 288.3 of Contacting a Minor with Intent to Commit a Felony, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- you contacted or communicated with or attempted to contact or communicate with a minor (a person under 18) through any means, either directly or indirectly,
- you knew or should reasonably have known that that person was minor; And
- when contacting the minor you had the specific intent to commit one of the following crimes (“target offenses”):
- Kidnapping (Penal Code 207)
- Aggravated Kidnapping (Penal Code 209)
- Rape (Penal Code 261)
- Rape by Foreign Object in Consort with Violence or Punishment (Penal Code 264.1)
- Child Endangerment (Penal Code 273a)
- Unlawful Sodomy (Penal Code 286)
- Lewd Conduct with a Minor (Penal Code 288 and 288(a))
- Forcible Sexual Penetration (Penal Code 289)
- Child Pornography Possession and Distribution (Penal Code 311.11, 311.1 and 311.2)
- Employing a Minor to Engage in or Simulate Sexual Acts (Penal Code 311.4)
Punishments for Violations of Penal Code 288.3
Violations of Penal Code 288.3 are felony offenses. The punishment for a violation of Penal Code 288.3 will depend on case specific factors such as which “target offense” you committed or attempted to commit.
A felony sentence can include up to three years in state prison and a $10,000 fine, and a potentially longer state prison term based on the target offenses and the defendant’s criminal history, particular whether the defendant has been previously convicted under Penal Code 288.3.
Anyone convicted of violating Penal Code 288.3 must register as a lifetime California Sex Offender under Penal Code 290.
Defenses to Contacting a Minor with the Intent to Commit a Felony
While every case must be evaluated on its specific facts, successful defenses to Penal Code 288.3 charges may include:
- No specific Intent — You did not have the specific intent to actually commit the target offense.
- No act in furtherance — You did not commit an act in furtherance of committing a target offense.
- Lack of Knowledge — You did not know, and should not have reasonably known, that you were attempting to communicate with or communicating with a minor.
- False accusations
Contact Us Now
Schwartz & Naderi’s team of criminal defense attorneys has over 80 years of combined experience aggressively defending clients facing all types of sex-related charges, including contacting a minor with the intent to commit a felony, and will strategize a vigorous defense from the moment of arrest until the completion of the case.
If you or a loved one has been charged with any sex offense, contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney from Schwartz & Naderi today at (310) 246-9550.