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Los Angeles Sexual Battery Lawyers

June 22, 2016 Uncategorized

Los Angeles Sexual Battery Lawyers

Sexual battery is a legal term for intentional contact without the victim’s consent or involvement, which is sexual in nature but does not include penetration. Contact will involve the genitals or secondary erogenous zones. The relevant part of California’s Penal Code is 243.4 PC.

Individuals can be charged under this code as accomplices even if they were not involved in the illicit touching themselves if sufficient evidence exists to suggest that such individuals aided and abetted another individual to carry out these activities.

In Los Angeles, misdemeanor and felony sexual battery are grave crimes that carry severe penalties. If you’ve been charged with sexual battery, it’s important that you consult with a criminal defense attorney who specializes in this field right away. An experienced lawyer will help you safeguard your rights and may be able to help you achieve the most positive outcome given the circumstances of your case.

Felony Sexual Battery

Certain circumstances will cause violations of California Penal Code 243.4 PC to be charged as felonies rather than misdemeanors. These circumstances are:

• The use of physical restraints

• Fraudulent misrepresentations that the touching is occurring for professional or therapeutic purposes.

• Touching that involves an institutionalized individual or an individual who is either mentally or physically disabled.

Note that felony sexual battery charges only apply when the touch involves the victim’s unclothed skin.

Note, too, that a alleged perpetrator can be charged with felony sexual battery if the alleged perpetrator forces another individual to touch him or her sexually when the aggravated circumstances described above apply. However, in the absence of those aggravated circumstances, the perpetrator who places another’s hand on his or her intimate parts may have violated California Penal Code 242 PC – the law that defines battery – but has not committed sexual battery.

Sexual Battery Penalties

Misdemeanor sexual assault without aggravating circumstances carries penalties of up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $2,000 and summary probation of up to five years. In situations where the victim was an employee of the perpetrator, the fine may be up to $3,000.

Felony sexual assault carries penalties of up to four years in a state prison, a fine of up to $10,000 and formal probation. If the victim sustained a bodily injury in the course of the sexual battery, the perpetrator may be sentenced to up to five additional years in a state prison.

At the court’s discretion, both misdemeanor and felony sexual battery convictions may require the perpetrator to register as a sex offender pursuant to California Penal Code 290 PC.

Legal Defenses

In many circumstances, sexual battery is a crime that leaves little physical evidence. In the absence of physical evidence or evidence of a pattern of behavior, sexual battery allegations often come down to one person’s word against another. The burden of proof will be on the prosecutor, which increases the chances that these charges can be reduced or dismissed altogether.

Sexual battery is touching that occurs for the purpose of arousal in the absence of consent. If you have reason to infer that the touching is consensual, this may constitute a legal defense against these charges. Additionally, if you accidently touched another person’s intimate parts without the purpose of arousal, your action does not meet California’s definition of sexual battery.

Finally, sexual battery charges are sometimes made falsely. Don’t assume, however, that because you know the accusations are false, you won’t need the assistance of an attorney to help you protect your legal rights. Sexual battery is a serious charge, and you will benefit from the assistance of an attorney.

Los Angeles Sexual Battery Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been charged with sexual battery in Los Angeles, you likely have a number of questions regarding the charge, how to defend against it and what consequences it could have.

What is Sexual Battery?

Sexual battery is type of sex crime under the California penal code section 243.4.(a). A person may be charged with sexual battery for touching an intimate part of another person who is being unlawfully restrained, either by the person committing the act or an accomplice. The person doing the touching must be against the will of the victim and done for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual abuse or sexual gratification.

Sexual battery can also occur when the intimate touching is done through fraud. For example, if a doctor could be charged for lying to a patient that touching an intimate part of the patient’s body is part of treatment, when the doctor is in fact doing so for sexual purposes.

What are the Possible Consequences?

The state of California has a number of offenses that are considered “wobbler” charges. This means that these charges may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony. The decision to charge as a misdemeanor will be up to the prosecutor and will be based on the circumstances of the incident as well as the prior criminal history of the person charged.

If convicted of the misdemeanor, a person could face up to one year in the county jail and/or a file of up to $2,000.00. If the person receives a felony conviction, the sentence could be for two to four years in prison and/or a fine of as much as $10,000. Regardless of whether the conviction is as a misdemeanor or as a felony, the person will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

How to Defend against a Charge of Sexual Battery?

There are a number of potential defenses to a charge of sexual battery. One is challenging the sexual nature of the touch. If someone has touched another by accident or for purposes that are not sexual, a key component of the crime is missing. Another challenge is that of consent. If the alleged victim gave consent for the touching, then the act was not against their will.

Other, traditional defense can also be used against the charge. If the person charged has an alibi or can show that the accusation is false, they may be found not guilty of the crime.

What Can Be Done to Help the Case?

If someone has been charged with sexual battery, there are ways that person can help their own case. Making lists of any potential witnesses to the incident or for an alibi can help. Someone may have heard the alleged victim giving consent or may know that the intention of the touching was not sexual. The person charged should also consider writing down any details they can recall of the incident, as certain details could be important at trial.

One of the most important steps that a person can take is to hire an attorney. An experienced Los Angeles attorney will not only know the ins and outs of the legal system, but they will also know the local courts, judges and prosecutors.

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