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Unlawful sexual intercourse in California

Many Californians do not have a real understanding of the types of conduct that may be considered to be unlawful sexual intercourse. Unlawful sexual intercourse may be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor and result in many harsh penalties, including sex offender registration that may continue long after a sentence is completed.

Unlawful sexual intercourse may be charged when one of the parties is a minor under the age of 18 in certain circumstances. People who have sex with a minor who is either three years or fewer years younger or three or fewer years older than them at the time may be charged with a misdemeanor offense. This means that younger minors may be charged with the offense if they have sex with another minor who is older than them, and the older minors could also be charged as well.

People who engage in sexual intercourse with a minor who is more than three years younger than them may be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, as can a person who is 21 years old or older who has sex with a minor who is under age 16. People may also face a variety of civil fines for unlawful sexual intercourse.

When people who are charged with illegal sexual conduct are convicted of the offense, they may face such penalties as incarceration in the county jail or in prison, depending upon the level of offense for which they are convicted. Criminal defense attorneys will not that they may also face substantial fines and have to undergo sex offender treatment. Long after their sentence is discharged, they may continue having to go through sex offender registration and deal with the stigma that is attached.

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