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In California, a misdemeanor is an offense that can result in a sentence of 365 days or less in a local county jail. Felonies, on the other hand, are considered more serious than misdemeanors and can result in incarceration in state prison. And although sex crimes are typically considered among the most serious of all crimes, certain sex offenses in California are classified as misdemeanors. Below is an overview of misdemeanor sex crimes in California.


California Misdemeanor Sex Crimes


In California, the following offenses may, depending on the circumstances, result in misdemeanor charges:


  • Oral copulation with a minor
  • Sexual battery
  • Solicitation and prostitution
  • Annoying or molesting a child
  • Lewd public acts
  • Indecent exposure
  • Solicitation of a minor


Conviction of any of the above misdemeanor sex crimes can result in up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $3000.

Conviction of any of the above misdemeanor sex crimes can result in up to one year in county jail



Unfortunately, not all misdemeanor sex crime accusations are legitimate. Therefore, if you have been accused or charged with a misdemeanor sex crime, please contact an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An experienced San Diego attorney can assist you in mounting a defense in order to either have your charges dropped or reduced. Potential defenses to misdemeanor sex crimes in California include:


1) Consent – For some alleged misdemeanor sex crimes, the consent of an alleged victim negates the state’s ability to convict a defendant of criminal charges.


2) False allegations – It is an unfortunate fact of life that people sometimes falsely accuse others of sex offenses. However, if proven false, such accusations will fail to result in conviction. In order to prove that misdemeanor sex crime allegations are false, one must either provide a valid alibi or present reasons why the alleged victim would falsely accuse the defendant of a sex crime.


3) Lack of evidence – In order to convict a defendant of a misdemeanor sex crime, the prosecution must provide evidence of the crime that was allegedly committed. If such evidence is insufficient or improper, then a conviction is unlikely. However, given the complicated nature of evidentiary rules, it is advisable to obtain legal counsel if accused of a sex crime. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to determine the strength of the evidence presented and whether California’s evidentiary rules require certain evidence to be suppressed.

San Diego Sex Crime Defense Attorneys


Due to the potential consequences involved, it is important that anyone charged with a sex crime in San Diego seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, our experienced sex crime defense attorneys provide all of our clients with expert legal guidance in order to achieve the most favorable results possible. The talent and experience of our attorneys ensures that our clients’ cases are handled expertly and with the utmost care. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges of any kind in California, please contact us immediately for a free consultation.

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Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

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