Sexual Battery Laws in California - Penal Code 243.4 PC
Sexual Battery under California 243.4 PC is considered a “wobbler,” meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. If it is charged as a misdemeanor, you are facing up to one year in county jail.
If it is charged as a felony, you are facing two, three, or four years in State prison. In order to be convicted of this offense, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) you touched an intimate part of someone else; (2) you did so against the will of the other person; and (3) you did so with the specific intent of sexual arousal, gratification or abuse.
Since this offense can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, it is best to speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are aware you are being investigated even if no charges have been filed yet.
Criminal Lawyers for Violent Sexual Related Crimes
Most people are familiar with the definition of rape, which is physically forced non-consensual sexual intercourse. It includes forced non-consensual sexual penetration based on threats of harm, fraud or incapacitation that would make the victim unable to resist, such as with intoxication or use of a controlled substance.
The defining point on whether or not an act is rape or sexual battery is the aspect of sexual penetration. Rape also has other classifications in the State of California:
- Spousal Rape – When one spouse forces sexual penetration on the other spouse.
- Date Rape – Forced non-consensual sex upon someone who is known by the victim via a social engagement.
- Statutory Rape – Sex with a minor below the age of 18 but above the age of 14.
Possible Legal Penalties
Rape is a felony that can bring fines up to $10,000, probation, imprisonment for up to 8 years (or more in some cases) and potentially being required to register as a sex offender.
The term of sexual battery would be the forced non-consensual touching of another person's body in order to sexually arouse, gratify or abuse. Depending on the circumstances, the crime would be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. It is up to the prosecutor on which charged will be used.
A conviction could bring fines up to $10,000, probation, imprisonment for up to 4 years and potentially being required to register as a sex offender.
Contact Our Firm for a Consultation
At Cron, Israels & Stark one of our accomplished criminal defense lawyers can provide you with an initial consultation to review all of the facts and seek any mitigating circumstances. In some cases negotiation with prosecutors may cause the charges to be dropped or reduced.
Sexual battery or rape charges can be complex, frightening and serious in regards to one's future.
Such charges can also have a tremendously negative impact on one socially and professionally. A thorough examination into the circumstances, conditions and involved parties should be done without delay to assure the best outcome possible. Contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys for the assistance you need in protecting your rights.
If you have been charged with any type of state or federal sexual related crime, call our law firm immediately to get a qualified examination of the facts and an effective strategy in the defense of these charges.