A conviction for sexual battery can have serious consequences impacting the rest of your life. If you are facing either misdemeanor or felony charges under Penal Code section 243.4, you need to be aware that being imprisoned and/or fined may be the least of your concerns if you are ultimately found guilty of this sex offense.
Fortunately, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients charged with sex crimes.
Prosecution for Sexual Battery
In order to convict you of sexual battery, a prosecutor must prove all of the following elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You touched the intimate part of another person;
- Without the other person’s consent;
- For the purposes of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse. 1
You can be found guilty of sexual battery under any of the following situations:
- The victim was fraudulently convinced that the nature of the act was for a professional purpose (a medical exam or a massage, for example);
- The victim was unlawfully restrained;
- The victim was institutionalized and either medically incapacitated or seriously disabled; or
- The victim was forced to masturbate or touch an intimate part of him or herself, the perpetrator, or another person. 2
“Battery” means unlawful use of force or violence against another person. Generally, any touching considered “offensive” by another person may be considered a battery for purposes of a criminal prosecution.
“Intimate part” of the body means someone’s genitalia, anus, groin or buttocks, or the breast(s) of a female. Simply kissing someone who doesn’t want to be kissed may be enough to trigger a charge of sexual battery.
Felony or “aggravated” sexual battery typically involves bare skin contact, rather than touching someone intimately over his or her clothes. 3
Defenses to Sexual Battery
There are several defenses your experienced criminal defense attorney can raise on your behalf to defeat a charge of sexual battery. Some of these defense include:
In any sexual encounter, saying “NO” always means no. However, sometimes the person receiving an unwanted intimate touching doesn’t expressly ask the initiator of the contact to stop what he or she is doing, or doesn’t object to the touching if first asked.
In these situations, a defendant facing sexual battery charges could reasonably have believed that the touching was consensual.
2. Insufficient evidence
Often, there is no physical evidence when a person makes allegations of sexual battery. A prosecutor may have a difficult time proving the crime occurred based solely on the victims’ testimony.
If two people willingly go to a private area and one party begins to force themselves on the other and the other person says “NO,” if the initiator stops, then there is no unlawful restraint.
3. False allegations
Unfortunately, the police have been known to encourage a victim to positively identify a suspect as the perpetrator of a crime, even when the victim isn’t 100% certain. Additionally, people sometimes make honest mistakes.
Moreover, it is not uncommon for someone to accuse another of a crime for purely selfish motivations. Anger, jealously and revenge are powerful reasons to make a false allegation, in particular when domestic violence is being alleged.
Also, it is an all too common tactic for one parent to accuse another of unlawful activity in order to interfere with a child custody dispute. 4
Consequences of a Sexual Battery Conviction
You can face either a misdemeanor or felony charge for sexual battery depending on:
- The circumstances of the crime;
- The age of the victim; and
- Your prior criminal history.
If you do not receive probation, in most cases a misdemeanor conviction for sexual battery is punishable by up to one year in jail, a maximum $2,000 fine, or both. A felony conviction can send you to prison for two, three or four years, and/or require you to pay up to a $10,000 fine.
Perhaps most devastating of all, a Penal Code section 243.4 conviction for sexual battery is a mandatory registerable sex offense. If you are convicted of this crime, you must register as a sex offender for the rest of your life while you reside, work, or go to school in California. 5
Even if you are able to have your conviction dismissed or expunged upon successful completion of your probation or a jail sentence, you must still register as a sex offender. Failure to comply with California’s sex offender registration laws is a crime in itself. 6
Contact Wallin & Klarich Today if You Are Accused of Sexual Battery
If you or someone you know has been charged with sexual battery, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich today. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients charged with serious sexual offenses.
We may be able to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed altogether. We will do all within our power to help you avoid the serious consequences of a sexual battery conviction, such as a jail or prison sentence, fines, and lifetime registration as a sex offender.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, our skilled criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are available throughout Southern California to aggressively defend you against the life-altering consequences of a sex offense conviction. We will help you get the best possible outcome in your case.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL (877-466-5245) for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.
1. [Uslegal.com: “Sexual Battery Law & Definition”; http://definitions.uslegal.com/s/sexual-battery/]↩
2. [Pen. Code § 243.4]↩
4. [Findlaw.com: “Assault and Battery Defenses”; http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/assault-and-battery-defenses.html]↩
5. [Pen. Code § 290, et al]↩