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California Sexual Battery Attorneys

Sexual Battery Overview

California Penal Code section 243.4 prohibts sexual battery which is defined as any person who touches an intimate part of another person against their will and for the purpose of sexual arousal. The crime is a wobbler, which means that depending on the circumstances involved, the crime could be charged as a either misdemeanor or a felony.

The worst penalty for a sexual battery conviction is lifetime registration as a sex offender pursuant to Penal Code section 290. Either a misdemeanor or felony conviction of sexual battery requires a defendant to register as a sex offender for life.

Misdemeanor or Felony Sexual Battery

Sexual battery can be charged as a felony in the following cases:

n  Victim is restrained or mentally incapacitated; OR

n  Defendant deceived the victim into thinking that the touching was done for professional purposes

In either of these cases, sexual battery is a wobbler with a maximum punishment of four years state prison and a $10,000 fine.  Any other type of sexual battery is a misdemeanor sexual battery.

Misdemeanor sexual battery is outlawed by California Penal Code section 243.4(e)(1).  The maximum punishment 6 months county jail and a $2000 fine, unless the sexual battery occurred by an employer against an employee, in which case the maximum fine is $3000.

Our Newport Beach law firm has assisted clients charged with sexual battery, including convincing the District Attorney’s office not to file charges at all.

Elements of Sexual Battery

In order to prove the crime of sexual battery, the People must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1.      The defendant touched an intimate part of the victim;

2.      The touching was done against the victim’s will;

3.      The touching was done for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse.

An “intimate part” refers to any person’s groin, anus, sexual organ, buttocks or a female’s breasts.

A “touching” can be done through a person’s clothing.

Other Consequences

Not only can a sexual battery conviction lead to criminal penalties and lifetime registration as a sex offender, but it can also have drastic employment, licensing and immigration consequences.  Sexual battery crimes are considered crimes of moral turpitude.  Having a sexual battery conviction can prevent a person from finding a job or lead to a person being fired from their current job.  Furthermore, many professions that require licensing from a state board, such as doctors, pharmacists, nurses, lawyers, accountants, contractors, teachers, real estate agents and stock brokers, all require background checks.  A professional who has a sexual battery conviction on their record risks losing their professional license, or never acquiring it in the first place.  In addition to registering as a sex offender for life, the most severe impact of a sexual battery conviction involves immigration consequences.  Non-citizens who are permanent residents, with a green card, or temporary visitors, with a student visa or work visa, can be denied admission or naturalization or even deported, with a burglary conviction on their record.

The Right Lawyers

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer will be the most important decision someone can make when facing criminal sexual battery charges.  Many people who face sexual battery charges are good people who made a mistake or exercised poor judgment.  There are also some people who have been wrongfully accused of sexual battery, based on a misunderstanding or false evidence.  You need an attorney who will listen to your side of the story carefully, who will evaluate the evidence thoroughly, who will negotiate with the judge and the District Attorney’s office skillfully, and who will fight in trial aggressively.  You need the Law Offices of Fred Thiagarajah.

All of our attorneys have either worked at the District Attorney’s Office or the Public Defender’s Office.  Whether it’s negotiation or trial, our attorneys have the training and experience to get the best results for our clients on their criminal cases and their immigration consequences.  Our attorneys have worked in the Sexual Assault unit of the District Attorney’s Office and use their specialized knowledge of sex crimes to defend our clients, including those accused of sexual battery.  For an example of our work, please see our case results and read our client testimonials.  With offices in Newport Beach, Long Beach, Murrieta, Riverside and Rancho Cucamonga, our team of attorneys have the right criminal defense experience in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

The Right Lawyers.  The Right Results. 

Make The Right Choice.


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