Los Angeles Sexual Battery Lawyer
Facing sexual battery charges?
Sexual battery can be generally defined as the unwanted touching of another person's intimate parts. If you or someone you know has been accused, charged or investigated for committing sexual battery, sometimes referred to as sexual assault, Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners urges you to contact an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer who may be able to help. We realize how serious a sexual battery allegation is and we know how to defend against allegations of this kind. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation so that we can evaluate your situation and determine your best possible course of action.
Sexual Battery in California
According to the California Penal Code, Section 243.4, sexual battery is committed when:
- Section 243.4(a): An offender touches an "intimate part" of the victim while the victim is unlawfully restrained by the accused or an accomplice and the touching is against the victim's will and the touching is for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification or "sexual abuse", i.e., insulting, humiliating, intimidating or physically harming the victim by touching his or her intimate parts.
- Section 243.4(b): An offender touches an intimate part of a seriously disabled or medically incapacitated victim who is institutionalized for medical treatment and the touching is against the victim's will and the touching is for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse.
- Section 243( c ): An offender touches an intimate part of the victim for sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse and the victim is unconscious of the nature of the act because the offender has fraudulently represented that the touching served a professional purpose.
- Section 243(d): An offender makes a victim who is either a) unlawfully restrained, or b) institutionalized and disabled/incapacitated, masturbate or touch an intimate part of the victim, offender or a third party for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse.
- Section 243.4(e): An offender touches an intimate part of a victim and the touching is against the will of the victim, and the touching is for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse.
Sexual Battery Penalties
Sexual battery can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a
felony per the California Penal Code. This type of crime is called a "wobbler" in the criminal justice system. To decide which classification to use, prosecutors consider the defendant's criminal record and the circumstances surrounding the incident, such as if the victim's bare skin was touched and if the victim sustained a physical or psychological injury. Penal Code Sections 243.4(a) through 243.4(e) can be charged as either misdemeanor or felonies but Section 243.4(e) is a straight misdemeanor charge due to no requirement that the victim's bare skin was touched.
Felony sexual battery is punishable by 2, 3 or 4 years in state prison, a maximum fine of $10,000 and lifetime sex registration. In some cases, a felony sexual battery charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor with time in the county jail, assuming the defendant does not have a serious criminal record. Misdemeanor sexual battery is punishable by up to 6 months in the county jail, a maximum fine of $2,000 and sex registration for life.
Sexual Battery Attorney in Los Angeles
Innocent people are often falsely accused of committing sex crimes. Estranged spouses use false sex allegations as a way to gain an advantage in divorce or child custody cases; children who are unhappy with parental discipline may claim that they have been sexually abused; and people who do not want to be caught having an affair may claim they have been raped. Due to society's low tolerance for sex offenders - even murderers are viewed with more sympathy - sex crime defendants are treated as guilty until proven innocent, instead of the other way around. As a result of this prejudice, a sex crime defense attorney has to be both aggressive and knowledgeable to obtain the best outcome.
At our law firm we understand the laws, rules, procedures and defenses necessary to effectively represent our clients who have been charged with sexual battery and other sex crimes. Rest assured that we will pursue all options in your case to secure the best possible result for you, including plea negotiations, trial defense and alternative sentencing.
We encourage you to contact a Los Angeles sexual battery lawyer
and schedule your free consultation to privately and confidentially discuss the specific facts of your case as well as your legal options.