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Incest Laws – California Penal Code 285 PC

On Behalf of | May 21, 2020 | Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes

Incest refers to human sexual relations or activity between close relatives or family members.  Besides being related by blood it includes family member that were adopted and in some cases those related by a relationship (marriage or stepfamily)

Incest laws in the U.S ban any kind of sexual relations or intercourse between immediate family and some states also ban relations between other family members such as aunts or uncles. Depending on the state law, incest between adults is a felony and punishable by five years’ to life imprisonment, if the victim is a child the punishment is as severe or even more  than other cases of child sexual abuse.

Incest Law in California

California Penal Code Section 285 PC describes the crime of incest in California. According to this section, a marriage or sexual relations between close relatives or blood relatives is prosecuted as a felony under the law. This includes:

  1. Parents with their sons or daughters and their children;
  2. Grandparents and grandchildren by blood or by law, as well as ancestor-descendant relationship like great-grandparents and their great-grandchildren
  3. Siblings, meaning  brother and sister
  4. Half-siblings under the law
  5. Uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews

As  many other sex crimes in California, being chaged and/or guilty of this crime takes places even if consent is present or not from any of the parties involved.

Punishment for incest charges in California

The punishment can be from 16 months to 3 years imprisonment and fine up to $10,000


  • Sexual intercourse did not take place
  • False Accusation
  • The accused is underage or a minor
  • Lack of evidence

Criminal Defense Attorney California

If you or your family member is facing charge with incest then a criminal defense attorney with sexual offense experience is the best course of action to get the best possible deal. With more than 40 years of experience in the state of California, the Law Office of Raoul Severo is at your disposal for a free of charge assessment of your case.