Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

Statutory Rape

My 17 year old son has been accused of having ''consentual'' sex with a 14 year old female neighbor. If her parents press charges, how likely is he to be prosecuted and if found guilty what might the sentence be.

Asked on 1/19/01, 3:44 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Victor Hobbs Victor E. Hobbs

Re: Statutory Rape

The parents report the incident, and they don't press charges. The District Attorney presses the charges for the People of California.

If the case is prosecuted by the D. A. the maximum sentence will vary with the boy's prior criminal record.

Juvenile court is full of social workers involved in sentencing recommendations. The matter could be set for a recommendened sentence (pre-plea report) by the juvenile probation department.

The problem is that after the boy does his time in juvenile hall, if that is the recommendation, the parents are liable to the county for the cost of keeping the boy confined. That can be a nose bleed. The county represented by the D. A. will take a financial statement from you, and set the cost at something near what you can afford. But I believe the cost of confinement to the taxpayer is close to $3,000.00 per month, and if you have sizeable assets the cost billed to you can be a real financial burden. When your county government is done with you, you'll wish you had sent the kid to a Military Academy. Don't forget you have to appear at all the juvenile court appearances in most counties. So while the courts are hitting you with all these costs, after the kid gets out of custody, they will want you to take time off of work to sit in the hall outside the courtroom for a half day four or five times.

In the long run showing a lot of parental concern and attempting to keep his sentence down to a minimum will save you money. The kid is going to owe you big time when this is over.

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Answered on 2/13/01, 5:05 pm
Patrick McNeal Law Offices of Patrick D. McNeal

Re: Statutory Rape

The District Attorney of the County that you reside in decides whether or not to prosecute your son's matter, and in the Southern California Counties that decision varies tremendously. Early intervention can often help the matter tremendously. The law can prosecute a minor for having sex with another minor, factors that are important are the age difference between the two, the nature of the relationship between the two, whether a pregnancy occurred, and the past record of the minor. I would advise you to contact a local defense attorney and get them involved in this case as soon as is practical.

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Answered on 2/13/01, 6:58 pm

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