If you’ve been arrested and charged with sexual battery, you are facing some pretty serious penalties. As with most crimes, the penalties depend on the facts of your case. The more egregious your behavior, the worse the penalty will be.
In order to appreciate the penalties that come with a sexual battery conviction, it’s important that understand what the crime entails. Some people confuse sexual battery with rape. It is a completely different offense. (However, rape can be described as a sexual battery that involves actual intercourse).
In many states, sexual battery is referred to as sexual assault. In California, a sexual battery is basically an unwanted touching for the purposes of sexual gratification. Of course, it’s never that simple and we’ll go into detail about the elements of the crime below. However, it’s important to understand that sexual battery does not involve intercourse.
The penalties for this crime range anywhere from 6 months in jail to 25 years in jail. It depends on a lot of factors. Your criminal defense lawyer in San Diego will need to review your case in order to give you an idea of what you’re up against. That’s why it’s critical that you contact an experienced San Diego criminal lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. Having a skilled lawyer can make the difference between getting your charged reduced and spending several years in prison.
What Exactly is Sexual Battery?
If you’re charged with sexual battery, it’s serious business. Although not quite as serious as rape, it does carry jail time and expensive penalties. In order to prove the crime of sexual battery, the State needs to prove the following three (3) elements:
- You touched the victim’s private parts while they were restrained by you or somebody else. This touching can be done either directly or through the victim’s clothing. As for restraint, this can be a physical restraint or a mere threat of harm. It does not require that you tie or up handcuff your victim.
- You touched the victim against their will. This means they didn’t consent to the touching. If you claim that the victim consented to the touching, it can be very difficult to prove.
- You intended to engage in an unwanted touching for the purposes of sexual gratification, arousal or sexual abuse. Keep in mind, if a medical professional is accused of an unwanted touching, it will be difficult to prove. San Diego criminal lawyers understand this and will use it to their advantage when possible.
In order to prove that you’re guilty of sexual battery, the prosecutor is going to have to prove all three elements. Your San Diego criminal defense attorney will challenge each element of the crime. For example, they may argue that the victim consented to the touching. Or, they will prove that the victim was not restrained in any way.
What are the Defenses to Sexual Battery?
The only major defense to a sexual battery is consent. Your San Diego criminal lawyer is going to argue that the victim consented to the touching. There are various ways in which they can do this. Some of them include:
- You had a prior relationship with the victim and they have always consented to intimate touching
- You have proof that they consented, using a video recording or text message.
- The victim told the police that they consented to the touching but then changed their mind
- You can prove that you weren’t with the victim at all
Keep in mind, it’s not easy to prove consent. The victim and the prosecutor are going to argue that you took advantage of the victim. Judges and juries do not like to see a defense lawyer attack a sexual assault victim. Your San Diego defense lawyer has to be careful in the way they approach a victim on the stand.
The other important thing to know is that consent is never a defense for someone accused of sexual battery against a child or mentally incapacitated person.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in San Diego
If you’ve been charged with sexual battery in California, you’re going to need an experienced criminal defense lawyer in San Diego. They will negotiate with the prosecutor to get your charges dismissed or reduced.
The penalties for sexual battery are severe. If convicted, it will affect you for the rest of your life. Call San Diego Criminal today and schedule your initial consultation.