PC 243.4 and the Charge of Sexual Battery
The section of California law that deals with sexual battery is Penal Code 243.4. Sexual battery is treated as a very serious crime in the California legal system that could result in some very stiff penalties. If you have been charged under Penal Code 243.4, it is important to know both what the law says as well as how to save yourself from going to prison.
How Is Sexual Battery Defined Under Penal Code 243.4?
Unlike other kinds of battery, sexual battery does not necessarily have to result in an injury or be intended to cause an injury. Instead, as defined by the penal code, it is an unwanted touch to another person’s “intimate” parts. Intimate in this context refers specifically to the buttocks, breasts or genitals. This touch should also have been done with the specific motivation of gratification, arousal or abuse.
As defined by the law, sexual battery could include many different activities and behaviors. It could include the actions of a person genuinely wishing to sexual assault another person. However, it could also include actions that were not necessarily malicious in nature. A common example is the cocktail waitress who is pinched in the buttocks by a drunken patron. While the pincher may have felt he or she was only being playful, this could be classified as sexual battery under California law.
What Are the Penalties for Sexual Battery in California?
Sexual battery is a very serious crime in California. It can be treated as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. It is usually prosecuted as a felony if the victim was restrained during the battery or was battered under the guise of a professional activity such as a therapeutic massage or medical examination.
If prosecuted as a misdemeanor, it could result in one year in the county jail and a $2,000 fine. If prosecuted as a felony, it could result in a state prison term of up to four years and a $10,000 fine. Even worse is the fact that a person convicted of this crime will be forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of his or her life. This could ruin a person’s reputation and seriously limit their ability to find employment.
How Can Our Law Firm Help?
Being convicted of sexual battery can be devastating. It could result in multiple years in a dangerous state penitentiary. Even worse, it may result in a person being labeled as a sex offender for the rest of their existence. The only way to avoid a conviction is to hire a seasoned attorney that has experience in defending clients that have been charged with sex crimes in California.
Thankfully, there are strategies that can be used to obtain an acquittal. It could be proven, for example, that consent was given for the touch. It could be proven that the allegation was false. There may also be insufficient evidence to prove the battery occurred. To properly implement these defenses, however, you need to hire a quality attorney.