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Charges of sexual battery are taken very seriously throughout the state of California, whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony. A sexual battery conviction can result in jail or prison incarceration, fines, supervised release, registration as a sex offender under Penal Code Section 290, and other considerations such as immigration consequences and relinquishment of search and seizure rights.

Due to the severe implications this could have on your life, it is important to speak with a San Leandro sexual battery lawyer if you are facing these charges. An accomplished defense attorney in the area could help protect your freedoms by helping you build a strong defense against these allegations.

How is Sexual Battery Different from Sexual Assault?

Sexual battery in San Leandro is charged under Section 243.4 and involves the touching of an intimate part of another person without the consent of that individual. Additionally, that touching has to be for purposes of sexual gratification, sexual arousal, or sexual abuse. Whether the offense is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, a conviction of sexual battery requires the accused to register as a sex offender.

The underlying difference between assault and battery is the actual touching. Someone can be charged with sexual assault without making any actual physical contact with the other person. Simply instilling the fear of nonconsensual touching is enough for a sexual assault charge.

In order for someone to be charged with sexual battery, there has to be some sort of contact either body part to body part or with an object. For example, an individual can be convicted of sexual battery if they used their hand to grope someone’s breasts without consent or if they traced someone’s breasts with a pencil without their consent. Due to the sensitive nature of a sexual battery charge, it is highly important for a defendant to work with a seasoned attorney in San Leandro to ensure his or her side of the story is told.

Aggravating Factors Impact on Sexual Battery Charge

An aggravating factor in a sexual battery case would involve the use of force or a deadly weapon during the act. Additionally, the age of the alleged victim could also result in harsher penalties should he or she be a minor.

Aggravating factors could result in a defendant being charged under a different code section such as Penal Code 288, which is lewd conduct by means of force against a child under the age of 14 or Penal Code §289 – sexual penetration. While these crimes have the elements of sexual battery within them, they can be charged as the more serious offenses with harsher penalties.

Furthermore, aggravating factors can impact the way the district attorney makes his or her charging decisions on the front end or even post-prelim. In California, a defendant in a felony case is entitled to a preliminary hearing to establish that there is probable cause for the accusations to be held, to answer, and move forward with a potential trial.

If there is information that is discovered at preliminary hearing that is aggravating in nature or indicates additional crimes, the district attorney has the discretion and ability to add additional charges that can be far more serious than the original charge. A well-practiced local lawyer could determine if there are any potential aggravating factors in a person’s sexual battery case.

Penalties Upon Conviction

Regardless of whether sexual battery is charged as a misdemeanor or felony, it can result in serious ramifications, including:

  • Sex offender registration
  • Probation or parole
  • County jail or state prison time
  • Fines and Fees
  • Victim restitution
  • Search clauses
  • Counseling
  • Stay Away Provisions

A defendant may be required to attend sex offender counseling or face restrictions on where he or she can go among other terms and conditions the court or probation deems fit.

As of January 2021, sex offender registration changed from lifetime registration for all offense to a tiered approach. The minimal amount of time that someone would have to register as a sex offender is 10 years up to a maximum of lifetime registration. The length of registration varies depending on the crime.

There are some sex offenses that a defendant can be rehabilitated from that can also lead to removal from the sex offender registry. The accused can apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation for qualified misdemeanor or felony sex offenses so long as they have maintained residence in California for 5 years after release, can show 10-years of rehabilitation post-conviction, and can show that they are not an ongoing threat to minors (applicable to all sex cases even if minors weren’t involved.

Seek Guidance from a San Leandro Sexual Battery Attorney

A determined defense attorney could investigate your case, negotiate with the prosecution, find mitigating circumstances, and present a strong defense on behalf of the defendant. Seasoned representation could also bring peace of mind to the defendant since these charges also have serious personal and professional implications.

Since the long-term impact of a conviction can be so devastating on your freedom, it is highly advisable that you speak with a San Leandro sexual battery lawyer if you have been accused of inappropriately touching someone without his or her consent. Further it is advisable to enlist the help of a sex crimes attorney who also has experience with post-conviction relief and can assess whether there are lesser included or alternative offenses that reduce the direct and collateral consequences associated with sex crime convictions. Call our office today and schedule a free consultation to get started.

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