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PC 287(f) Oral Copulation Upon Unconscious Victim: Law, Sentence, & Defense

Information on the California crime of oral copulation upon an unconscious victim is found at California penal code section § 287(f). This article details the law, punishments, and common defenses related to penal code 287(f). For further information, contact our sex crimes criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation.


PC 287(f) Law


Any person who commits an act of oral copulation upon another person, who is unconscious of the nature of the act, and this is known to the person committing the act, is guilty of oral copulation upon an unconscious person (PC 287(f) Abbrev.).


Oral copulation is the act of copulating the mouth of one person with the sexual organ or anus of another person (PC 287(a)). Technical language for oral copulation includes fellatio (oral copulation upon male genitalia) and cunnilingus (oral copulation upon female genitalia). Slang terms for oral copulation include “blowjob,” “oral sex,” and many more.


“Unconscious of the nature of the act” means incapable of resisting because the victim meets one of the following conditions:


Victim was unconscious or asleep (PC 287(f)(1))


Victim was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant that the act occurred (PC 287(f)(2))


Victim was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant of the essential characteristics of the act due to the perpetrator’s fraud in fact (PC 287(f)(3)).


Victim was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant of the essential characteristics of the act due to the perpetrator’s fraudulent representation that the oral copulation served a professional purpose when it served no professional purpose (PC 287(f)(4)).


PC 287(f) Punishments


Prison Sentence: Oral copulation on an unconscious person is classified as a felony. If found guilty of PC 287(f), the defendant may face up to three (3), six (6), or eight (8) years in prison.


PC 287(f) incarceration length of 3, 6, or 8 years is either pre-determined by the terms of a negotiated plea bargain, or by the court after a criminal trial.


Note: In PC 287(f) cases, when the incarceration length is not pre-determined by the terms of a negotiated plea, then the court must choose either the low term (3 years of prison), the mid-term (6 years of prison), or the high term (8 years of prison), depending on the presence or absence of any mitigating or aggravating factors and circumstances of the case.


Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is not available after a conviction for oral copulation upon an unconscious person charged under PC 287(f).


Additionally, a “suspended” prison sentence is not allowed in PC 287(f) cases. This means that if the defendant is convicted of oral copulation upon an unconscious person, either by plea or after trial, the defendant must serve a minimum three (3) years in a California state prison.


Note: PC 287(f) is eligible for fifty percent (50%) reduction of the incarceration length if the defendant conducts himself or herself with “good behavior” while in prison.


For example, if the defendant is sentenced to the mid-term sentence of six (6) years after a PC 287(f) conviction, then the defendant may be released after serving only three (3) years if the defendant conducts himself or herself with good behavior while in prison.


Three Strikes Law: Oral copulation upon an unconscious person charged under PC 287(f) is not considered to be a serious or violent offense as those terms are defined in the California penal code at 667.5(c) and 1192.7, respectively.


This means that PC 287(f) is not considered a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes Sentencing Law. However, if the defendant already has two “strike” convictions before his or her PC 287(f) conviction, then his or her PC 287(f) conviction may be considered a third strike, which subjects the defendant to a life sentence.


Sex Offender Registration: Oral copulation upon an unconscious person charged under PC 287(f) is crime for which registration as a sex offender is mandatory upon conviction (PC 290).


The length of sex offender registration for PC 287(f) is either twenty (20) years [Tier 2], or for life [Tier 3], depending on several factors, including the risk of re-offense as determined by a SARATSO score. For more information, see Sex Offender Registration Requirements (PC 290), Tier Level for Sex Offender Registration (PC 290(a)-(d)), and Termination of Sex Offender Registration (PC 290.5).


CIMT Offense: The crime of oral copulation upon an unconscious person is considered a crime involving moral turpitude, or CIMT. A CIMT conviction, including PC 287(f) convictions, carry additional indirect punishments related to military service (discharge or denial of entry), professional licensure (revocation or denial of professional license), and immigration status (deportation, removal, or denial of citizenship).


Firearm Rights: A conviction for oral copulation on an unconscious victim charged as penal code 287(f) will require the defendant to relinquish his or her firearms and ammunition for life. Additionally, the defendant may own or possess any firearms for the remainder of his or her life (subject to restoration of firearm rights after successful certificate of rehabilitation).


Additional Punishment: In addition to the punishments listed above, a conviction for PC 287(f) will results in court fines and fees, restitution to victim(s), criminal protective orders in favor of victim(s), civil lawsuits against the defendant, loss of family law rights, loss of scholarship opportunities, harsh and length parole terms after prison, and more.


PC 287(f) Common Defenses


Every oral copulation crime is unique in terms of the circumstances and facts of the case. This means that every PC 287(f) case requires different defense strategies. With this in mind, common defense strategies in PC 287(f) cases include lack of sufficient evidence to prove oral copulation occurred, coerced confession of the defendant, failure to Mirandize the defendant before custodial questioning, insanity defense, alibi defense, illegal search and seizure of evidence, and more.


Note: The defense of consent is not available in PC 287(f) cases as the unconscious person is incapable of giving consent to sexual contact. Additionally, the statute of limitations defense is rarely used in oral copulation against an unconscious person as the statute of limitations is extended for very long periods of time in most cases. For more information, see Statute of Limitations in Sex Cases.



If you or a loved one is charged with a violation of California penal code section 287(f), or oral copulation with an unconscious victim, contact our sex crimes criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation. Our team of aggressive and highly successful criminal defense trial attorneys have successfully handled hundreds of sex crimes in San Bernardino and Riverside County, and we can help you too. Call today!


909-913-3138


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