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Criminal Defense Attorney in Riverside CA Gregory H. Comings

Felony Sexual Battery Lawyer

California law distinguishes between friendly touching and unwanted advances, particularly when physical contact involves another person’s intimate body part. Accusations of sexual assault or battery are serious, as a misdemeanor or a felony crime. If you or a loved one are facing an investigation or charges for felony sexual battery, understanding, and applicable legal defenses is important.

What is Felony Sexual Battery?

Under the law, felony sexual battery occurs when a person engages in sexual contact with another person without their consent. This can include touching intimate body parts, such as the genitals, breasts, or buttocks, as well as penetration with an object or body part.

The offense’s severity is determined by several factors, including the victim’s age, whether force or coercion was used, and the existence of any aggravating circumstances. If you are convicted of felony sexual battery, you could face years of imprisonment, hefty fines, and a lifetime of stigma as a registered sex offender.

Is Sexual Battery a Felony or Misdemeanor in Riverside, California?

California prosecutors may bring charges for felony sexual battery under California Penal Code 243.4 PC. This offense is classified as a “wobbler,” meaning it can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony, based on the specific facts of the case.

The State must prove all elements of felony sexual battery for a conviction. This means they must prove that you or an accomplice restrained someone, touched the person, or made the person touch you, and the touching was against the person’s will, for sexual purposes.

What Is a Felony Sexual Battery Charge and Punishment?

A conviction for felony sexual battery can lead to imprisonment for up to four years and a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, if you are convicted of sexual battery, you will be required to register as a sex offender.

What Makes Sexual Battery a Felony in California?

To be charged with felony sexual battery, the prosecution must show unlawful restraint and touching of bare skin as aspects of the crime. A related offense, rape, requires the element of sexual intercourse. For felony battery, restraint may be evident through intimidating words, physical force, or threat of action. Restraint is unlawful if it goes against a person’s will.

Regarding contact with the victim’s bare skin, this may occur if the defendant makes contact with the bare skin of an intimate body part of the victim, or if the victim’s bare skin makes contact with the defendant’s intimate body part, even through clothing.

Is Sexual Assault a Federal Crime?

Federal jurisdiction over sexual assault is determined by the type of crime committed and the location of the offense. Sexual assault is a federal crime when it occurs on federal property or involves a federal employee or a member of the military. Additionally, sexual assault can be prosecuted under federal law if it involves crossing state lines or occurs during the commission of another federal crime.

Common Defenses to Felony Sexual Battery Charges in Riverside

When there is the absence of proof of a crime or insufficient evidence, a conviction cannot stand. For example, if you are arrested for felony sexual battery but there is no evidence that supports the element of restraint, the allegations will not be sustained.

False accusations may also lead to acquittal of charges. For this defense, it would likely be necessary to show that the defendant did not commit the crime, and in most cases, that charges directly stem from anger, jealousy, or revenge on the part of the victim. This defense is similar to insufficient evidence in that there may not be enough for the prosecution to rely on.

Consent may apply as a defense, however, the defendant must have had a reasonable belief that the victim gave consent. This consent may be through spoken word, or the victim’s demeanor may have indicated consent. If they fail to object, that may be consent, although the consent cannot result from misrepresentation or intimidation. A person who is unconscious is not capable of consenting.

The use of consent as a defense should be considered with the guidance of a skilled criminal defense attorney.

Discuss the Details of Your Sex Offense Case With an Experienced Attorney in Riverside

You have the right to set forth a strong legal defense if you are facing criminal charges for a sex offense, and our office can help.

At The Law Office of Gregory H.Comings, we explain the specifics of your case and remain honest and clear with you about your legal options moving forward. Our clients are our priority, and Attorney Comings has decades of experience advancing the rights of people throughout Riverside and Southern California.

Contact The Law Office of Gregory H.Comings today to schedule a free consultation. We can be reached by phone at (951) 686-3457 or online.


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