Representation by an experienced criminal defense attorney can make a critical difference in your case. Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, conviction for a crime carries lasting consequences. The Law Office of Gregory H.Comings understands the lasting impact of a criminal conviction and defends people accused of sex offenses, including aggravated sexual assault. Riverside sex offense attorney Gregory H. Comings works to dismiss or reduce your criminal charges, but if necessary, he is prepared to go to trial. Attacking the prosecution’s case may take different forms, including highlighting weaknesses in the evidence or showing how the defendant’s constitutional rights were violated. Attorney Comings makes it a priority to remain accessible to clients and provide an honest assessment of their case.
To successfully convict a person of aggravated sexual assault, the State of California must prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. According to Penal Code 243.4 PC, the prosecution must show there was an unwanted touching of a sexual nature that was offensive and committed for the purpose of sexual gratification. Both assault and aggravated assault involve hurting someone else, or threatening to hurt another. Aggravated sexual assault includes the use of violence against another individual.
If the alleged victim was unlawfully restrained by the person, or another person, or was made to touch the intimate part of the perpetrator, aggravated sexual assault charges may stand. Unlawfully restraining someone takes place when their freedom of movement is controlled by words, acts, or authority. The restraining must be against their will. In most cases, the unlawful restraining element requires more than simply physical force necessary to accomplish the sexual touching.
There are various defenses that may apply in aggravated sexual assault cases. If successful, a defense may minimize or even dismiss criminal charges. Common defenses to aggravated sexual assault charges may include insufficient evidence, consent, and false allegations.
Consent is a defense that only applies if the victim is old enough to effectively provide consent and does not lack mental capacity. If the alleged victim was unable to object due to intoxication, or drug impairment, this defense will not apply. However, if the touching was consensual, or the accused holds a reasonable belief the touching was consensual, then charges for sexual assault may not stand.
Additionally, if there is insufficient evidence or false allegations of touching, the prosecution will not be able to prove their case. False allegations may be intertwined with insufficient evidence because if there is not enough evidence of the alleged crime, the prosecution may not be able to prove the crime as committed against the specific defendant.
Understanding potential punishment upon conviction of a sex offense is important. Aggravated sexual assault can result in felony penalties, which may include felony probation, up to four years in the California State Prison, and an additional time if the victim sustained great bodily injury. There may be a fine of up to ten thousand dollars. Conviction of a sex offense can require registration on the California Sex Offender Registry.
Riverside County sex offense attorney Gregory H. Comings is prepared to passionately and effectively advocate on your behalf. Representation includes keeping you apprised of the status of your pending case, including potential penalties and defenses that may apply. Our office represents people throughout San Bernardino and Riverside County, working to develop effective legal strategy based on the particulars of each case. In addition to sex crimes, Attorney Comings handles criminal cases involving domestic violence, drug offenses, and violent crimes. Call our office at (951) 686-3457 to learn more about how we can help, or reach us online and set up a free consultation.