Sexual Assault Charges
Allegations of Sexual Battery in Santa Ana, CA
While the term "sexual assault" is used to describe a wide range of sex crimes, it is also a term that is commonly used for the offense of sexual battery. According to
California Penal Code §243.4, a person commits sexual battery by touching the intimate body part of another person against that individual's will or when the person is unable to provide consent. In order for this action to be considered a crime, the accused person must have touched the other individual for the purpose of sexual gratification, sexual arousal or sexual abuse. In certain types of sexual battery offenses, the victim must have been restrained by the offender or an accomplice of the offender.
Sexual battery can be prosecuted as either the misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the situation. In addition to serious criminal penalties, those who are accused of this offense have to deal with the stigma of being labeled as sexual deviants or sex offenders. At Thomas Tears, Attorney at Law, we know how to provide aggressive defense in sex crime cases. By meeting with our Santa Ana criminal defense attorney, you can the help you need for establishing a competitive defense plan.
Different Types of Sexual Battery Charges
Sexual battery can occur in many different types of scenarios. Sometimes, the sexual battery offense is committed through physical force, such as through the physical restraint of the victim. In other situations, the victim might be unconscious and therefore unable to provide consent. The law specifically prohibits the act of committing sexual battery against individuals who are seriously disabled or medically incapacitated (such as those under anesthesia), and individuals who are institutionalized (such as those in hospitals, medical treatment facilities, nursing homes, etc.).
When charged as a misdemeanor, a sexual battery conviction carries a possible sentence of up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000. When it is charged as a felony, it carries a possible sentence of two, three of four years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Defense from a Santa Ana Sex Crime Lawyer
If one of the requirements of a sexual battery offense under California law is not present, this can serve as a basis for defense. For example, an individual might have touched someone in an intimate place, but it might have been accidental and therefore not with the intent of sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse. Or, it might be possible to show that the other individual provided consent, therefore showing that the act was not against the alleged victim's will (when the person is an adult who is able to provide consent). In other cases, it could be possible to prove a situation of mistaken identity, or simply to demonstrate that the evidence against the defendant is heavily flawed. Contact our firm for information about how we can assist you!