Sex crimes can be harshly punished in California. There are many different examples of sex crimes, including:
- California Penal Code Section 261: Rape
- California Penal Code Section 261.5: Statutory Rape
- California Penal Code Section 647(a): Lewd Conduct
- California Penal Code Section 647(b): Prostitution
Individuals may also face charges under California Penal Code Section 243.4: Sexual Battery. While not as severe as rape charges, sexual battery can lead to incarceration and fines. The Simmrin Law Group can provide you with professional insight into PC 243.4 violations and legal defenses.
Let’s Define Sexual Battery Charges
Sexual battery involves touching another person’s intimate parts against their will and without their consent. For the purposes of this charge, intimate parts can include the:
- Groin Area
- Buttock and Anus
If a woman is subjected to sexual battery, the breast can also be considered an intimate area. Generally, sexual battery occurs if someone touches another person for:
- Sexual Arousal
- Sexual Gratification
Sexual battery can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. These two different charges have slightly different definitions:
Misdemeanor Sexual Battery
Misdemeanor sexual battery can occur if someone touches another person in an intimate area through their clothing. Individuals can be charged with misdemeanor sexual battery even if they do not restrain a victim.
Felony Sexual Battery
Felony sexual battery is a harsher criminal charge. Individuals who touch another person’s skin directly can be charged with felony sexual battery. An individual must be unlawfully restrained in order for felony sexual battery to occur.
Note that sexual battery does not cover acts of rape, which are prosecuted separately in the court system in Los Angeles.
Sexual Battery Examples in California
There are wide range of actions that can be considered sexual battery, including:
A man approaches a woman on a subway. He moves closer and gropes her buttocks while she is distracted. He could be charged with misdemeanor sexual battery because he made non-consensual contact over her clothes and he did not restrain her.
Two men corner a woman in the break room at their job. They threaten her and take turns restraining her while the other removes her clothing, touching intimate body areas. Both men could be charged with felony sexual battery for making skin-to-skin contact and restraining their victim.
We Can Go Over the Penalties for Sexual Battery
Misdemeanor sexual battery and felony sexual battery have different penalties. These repercussions can include:
- Misdemeanor Sexual Battery: Up to $2,000
- Felony Sexual Battery: Up to $10,000
- Misdemeanor Sexual Battery: Up to 6 Months in Jail
- Felony Sexual Battery: Up to 4 Years in Prison
Note that the fines for misdemeanor sexual battery may be increased if an employer abuses an employee. Misdemeanor sexual battery can also carry a longer jail sentence if a doctor or therapist uses their job as a way to inappropriately touch victims.
A sexual battery conviction can also result in years of probation after incarceration. Individuals convicted of sexual battery will also have to register as a sex offender. Failure to register as a sex offender is a serious criminal act in California that can lead to fines of up to $10,000 and up to 3 years of prison time.
Focus on Defenses Against Sexual Battery Charges
A sexual battery accusation does not have to result in a conviction. Criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles have professional experience building defenses for sexual battery cases. Common defenses to PC 243.4 accusations can include:
You Are Facing False Accusations
Some claims of sexual battery have no foundation in the truth. Some people accuse others of violating PC 243.4 to get revenge or because they are angry. A lawyer may be able to prove that an act of sexual battery never actually occurred in these cases.
You Were Taking Part in a Consensual Act
Sexual battery only occurs if one person objects to the sexual contact. If you have reason to believe that any sexual contact was consensual, a lawyer may be able to help build your case.
You can get the help you need building a defense to sexual battery charges by contacting a professional law firm today.
Build a Defense Against Sexual Battery Charges Today
Individuals who are accused of violating California Penal Code Section 243.4: Sexual Battery can end up facing fines and incarceration. You can get help facing a misdemeanor or a felony charge by contacting the Simmrin Law Group today for a FREE case evaluation.
You can reach our professional criminal defense lawyers by calling (310) 997-4688 or completing our online contact form.