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AWARD WINNING SAN DIEGO CRIMINAL ATTORNEY

San Diego Sexual Battery Attorney

Under California Penal Code 243.4, defined sexual battery as touching the intimate part of another person without his/her consent for a sexual gratification, arousal or abuse. Sexual battery is a serious crime in California, it could lead a conviction of imprisonment up to 4 years. Someone could be charged of this crime, just by touching an intimate part of another person for sexual gratification without consent. The fact that you are involved with the victim in a sexual relationship, does not mean that you will always have her/his consent to touch the intimate part of your partner every time.

Examples:

  • A guy that is drunk in a bar and slapped the butt of a woman.
  • Touching a stranger's breast without permission.
  • A guy that passes by a girl with a bike and touch her butt. 
  • Touching the butt of a person who is medically disabled.
  • Touching a girl's breast while she is restrained.    

Example:

Matthew went to a nightclub and met Alicia, both of them were really drunk, by the end of the evening, they ended up at Matthew's place and started to making out. At some point Matthew begins fondling Alicia's breast trying to initiate sex. Alicia felt uncomfortable and asked him to stop, but he doesn't.

In this case, Matthew could be charged of sexual battery.

In order for someone being convicted of sexual battery, the prosecution must prove into court the following factors:

  • The defendant touched the victim's intimate part without consent.
  • The purpose of touching was for sexual gratification, arousal or abuse.

Let's explain in details those elements of sexual battery for better a comprehension. These conditions are essential for someone being convicted of this type of offense, if the prosecution does not prove these elements, a person should not be convicted of sexual battery.  San Diego Criminal Defense will work to prove the innocence of its clients.

Touching the victim's intimate part without consent.

In California, the element of "touch" is the most important requirement to constitute sexual battery. As explained, the legal definition of sexual battery is touching the intimate part of another person without his/her consent for a sexual gratification, arousal or abuse. Touching is defined as a physical contact with the victim, any type of physical contact could be enough to charge another person of sexual battery.  The physical touching of another person means by physical contact in an offensive or harmful touch in the victim's intimate part. Even a superficial touching in an intimate part of the victim could be enough to lead a person of a sexual battery conviction, so long the victim consider the contact an offensive touching.  Also, the contact could be made in an indirect form, the offensive touching of another person can be applied with the extension of the person, meaning that, anything connected to the victim's person is part of the person, for instance, the victim's clothing or even the defendant's clothing.

An intimate part, under California rules, is considered a female's breast, or anus, groin, sexual organ or buttocks.

Lack of consent

To determine whether or not the sexul battery occurred,  the touching of the victim's intimate part must be without consent of the victim. However, sometimes and in several situations, the consent of the victim is ineffective, for different types of reason, the victim consented but she is incapable or disable to understand the conduct of the defendant. If the victim is incapable of consenting, the touching could be considered sexual battery in California. Inability to consent may be caused by unconsciousness, by the effect of drugs or intoxicating substances, or by the victim's mental condition. If the victim is so insane or cognitively impaired as to be incapable of giving consent, intercouse with her constitutes rape.  Furthermore, consent is defined when another person gives positive cooperation in an act of touching, she needs to do it freely and voluntarily with knowledge of the nature of the conduct that he/she is consenting.  However, since the consent must be made with free and voluntarily, any type of false representation or fraud or misrepresentation could cancels out the consent, meaning that even if the victim consent, but if she/he was fraudulent engaged to consent, the defendant could be liable of sexual battery.

The defendant could not be guilty of sexual battery if she/he reasonably believed that the other person consented to the touching. The prosecution have the burden of prove that the defendant did not reasonable believe that the other person's consent. Thus, if the prosecution cannot show this evidence in court, the defendant could not be guilty of sexual battery.

The purpose of touching was for sexual gratification, arousal or abuse.

Another element of sexual battery crime, is the sexual abuse or gratification of the defendant while touching the victim's intimate parts. If someone had a specific intent to cause sexual abuse of another, he/she could be charged of this type of offense. In California, cause sexual abuse is defined by intent to injure, hurt, humiliate or intimidate the victim, or to cause pain in one of the victim's intimate parts.

However, the Courts had already held that if you had previous intent to cause sexual abuse and you had no intention to  have sexual gratification, you could be convicted of sexual battery.

Penalty

In California Law, a violation of sexual battery is punishment as misdemeanor by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000) or up to three thousand dollars if the victim was your employee, or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment. Also the defendant could face a summary probation not exceeding 5 years, in which might include the following punishment:  community service; completion of battery education program; completion of a program designed to help those with sexual abuse/compulsion issues; registration as a sex offender.

The offense of sexual battery can be charged as either misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case. This is called wobbler in California, the prosecution has an option to charge the defendant with both crimes, if the following facts applies:  if there is an unlawful restraint, the victim is incapacitated or disabled, fraudulent or false representation in convincing someone that the touching is serves as a medical purpose.

However, if someone was charged as a felony, the penalties could be aggravated depending on the facts of the case, a felony is punishable by a fine not exceeding 10 thousand dollars ($10,000) or by imprisonment in county jail not from two (2) years to four (4) years, and additionally three( 3) to five (5) years if the victim suffered a great bodily injury, and registration as a sex offender,  or both fine, imprisonment and registration.

Legal Defense

San Diego Criminal Defense fights to built a strong defense to ensure our client's right. A sexual battery conviction could destroy the reputation of an innocent person and our team works closely and respectful with our clients that were accused of this crime.  As mentioned already sexual battery is a misdemeanor in California and in some cases could be a felony, if a person is convicted with this type of crime, she/he will going to be face a misdemeanor or felony register. If you are looking for a job and the employer does a criminal background check and there is a misdemeanor or felony registration, it is likely that the employer won't hire someone with a criminal background.  If you have been charged with this type of crime, you should promptly look for a Lawyer. San Diego Criminal Defense has a great deal of success defending our clients and we can help you build legal defenses that it could be used to contest these types of charges. If you would like more information, please contact our successful staff to help you with your legal problems. 

To contest the charges, San Diego Criminal Defense would be able to use the following legal defenses, if that is the case:

  • Wrongfully accused.

Under the rules of Californa Law, it is too easy for a victim falsely accuse another of committing this crime, sometimes the cause of action is out of anger, revenge or jealousy. However, San Diego Criminal Defense knows how to protect its clients from wrongfully accusations. If this is your case, contact an attorney promptly.

  • Consent.

In order for someone to be guilty of sexual battery, the prosecution must prove that there was a lack of consent of the victim. The defendant could not be guilty of sexual battery if she/he reasonably believed that the other person consented to the touching. Thus, if the prosecution cannot show this evidence in court, the defendant could not be guilty of sexual battery.

  • Insufficient evidence.

The prosecution must prove into court that the defendant commit the crime under beyond reasonable doubt, meaning that, the evidences must be proof with absolute certain that the defendant committed the crime.  This could be a difficult task for the prosecution, since the crime of sexual battery does not result in physical evidence.  Thus, San Diego Criminal Defense will built you a strong defense help reduce or even dismiss the charges of sexual battery.

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