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Annoying or Molesting Child

Penal Code 647.6(a) Law & Defense

The law on the crime of annoying or molesting a child is found at California penal code 647.6(a). In order for the District Attorney to find the defendant guilty of PC 647.6(a) the District Attorney must prove that:

  • The defendant was motivated by unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in children (under 18)
  • When the defendant was motivated by unnatural or abnormal behavior he or she annoyed a child in a sexual manner.

To Annoy or Molest a child is usually charged when the defendant directs sexual language or behavior towards a child. The proof of sexual motivation is in the actual language that is used by the defendant.

Annoying or molesting a child evidence is usually in text messages or social media messages from the defendant to the underage victim.

Punishment for PC 647.6(a)

PC 647.6(a) is considered a misdemeanor in California. If found guilty of PC 647.6(a) the defendant may face up to one year in jail.

For defendant who have been previously found guilty of a violation of PC 647.6(a), or has been convicted as a sexual offender pursuant to California penal code 290, the defendant may face up to four year in prison.

In addition, if the defendant is found guilty of PC 647.6(a), he or she must register as a sex offender pursuant to California sex offender registration laws (see Sex Offender Registration for more information).

Finally, criminal convictions in general, including any conviction for annoying or molesting a child under PC 647.6(a) may lead to fines, probation, restitution, employment loss, U.S. citizenship denial, mandatory classes, and more.

Defense to PC 647.6(a)

Common defenses to a charge of annoying or molesting a child charged as PC 647.6(a), include:

insufficient evidence: Basically, insufficient evidence means not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was sexually motivated, or that the defendant was the one who directed the sexual language. This is common in text or social media cases where proof of the sender of the sexual language is difficult because of shared cell phones or shared social media accounts.

Reasonable mistake: A reasonable mistake as to the age of the recipient of the sexual communication is a defense to PC 647.6 crimes.

Insanity: If the defendant suffers from a disease of the mind such that he or she does not know right from wrong or can appreciate the nature and quality of what he or she is doing, then the defendant may have the defense of insanity.

Intoxication: Intoxication to the level that the defendant could not form the specific intent to commit the crime of annoying or molesting a child is a defense. The intoxication may be voluntary or involuntary and may be from drugs or alcohol, or a combination of drugs and alcohol.

Other defenses include: coerced confessions, mistake of fact, statute of limitations, entrapment by police officers, and more.

In some cases of annoying or molesting a child charged as PC 647.6(a), it may be possible to reduce the charge or even the sentence associated with the charge. In some cases, a criminal defense attorney may handle your case without the need for the defendant to attend criminal court.

For more information on the California crime of annoying or molesting a child charged as penal code 647.6(a), contact criminal defense attorney Christopher Dorado today.

Attorney Dorado has successfully defended hundreds of sex crimes including charges of annoying or molesting a child charged under PC 647.6(a). Attorney Dorado's practice is 100% dedicated to criminal defense; he is an experienced criminal defense trial attorney with a proven track record of success and consultation are provided at no cost to the accused.


Closely associated crimes to PC 647.6(a), include:

  • PC 647.6(b) Child Molesting [Misdemeanor]
  • PC 647.6(c)(1) Child Molesting w/Prior
  • PC 647.6(c)(2) Child Molesting w/prior felony conviction of Child Molesting to a child under 16 

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Annoying or Molesting a Child: PC 647.6(a)

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Annoying or Molesting a Child: PC 647.6(a)


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Annoying or Molesting a Child PC 647.6(a)


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