California Sexual Assault Crimes
California Penal Code 243.4. Sexual Battery or Sexual Assault. This crime is known as a “wobbler”, or a law that the prosecutor can choose to charge as a misdemeanor or a felony. The prosecutor will base that decision on the circumstances of your case. Factors to be considered are if the alleged victim was mentally or physically incapacitated, mentally disabled, physically restrained, or unconscious at the time the battery took place.
Sexual Assault Crimes
Sexual assault crimes can be charges as either a misdemeanor or felony.
California Penal Code 243.4(e)(1)
Sexual assault crimes are include a criminal charge for sexual battery. This is committed when an assailant, without consent of the alleged victim, restrains a victim either physically or mentally. The charge is a misdemeanor.
Proof Needed to Convict Under California Penal Code 243.4
In order to be convicted of this sexual assault crimes, the prosecutor must be able to prove that the alleged assailant:
- A touching of another person which can be achieved by touching the alleged victim’s bare skin or through their clothing with the assailant’s bare skin or clothing, oral copulation, penetration by a foreign object, caressing;
- Touching of an intimate part which includes the fondling or touching of female breasts, genitalia, buttocks, or breasts;
- That there was no consent or consent was fraudulently obtained (alleged victim exercise of free or a false reason for the touching);
- That the touching was done for sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse (committed for sexual pleasure, or to either harm or humiliate that person).
Defenses to California Penal Code 243.4
Sexual assault crimes can have one or more of the following defenses:
- Consent – there is no crime when the alleged victim consented to a sexual touching. The alleged assailant must be reasonably aware that the alleged victim did not consent for the crime to be committed.
- Lack of or Insufficient Evidence – the prosecution must prove all elements beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction. This is a very high standard and one that is often challenged.
- False accusations – unfortunately, it is common for people to be falsely accused of sexual battery or sexual assault. Most commonly, in a domestic situation, especially during divorce or a child custody proceedings, people are often falsely accused of crimes like California Penal Code 243.4 for revenge or to gain the upper hand in a court proceeding.
Penalties for Conviction of California Penal Code 243.4
Convictions for sexual assault crimes can include fines and incarceration. If you are convicted of misdemeanor PC 243.4, you may face the following penalties:
- California misdemeanor probation, otherwise known as “summary” or “informal” probation;
- Up to 6 months in county jail;
- Up to $2,000 in fines ($3,000 if the accuser is your employee);
- Registration as a Sex Offender pursuant to Penal Code 290;
- Successful completion of a Batterer’s Class, or,
- Community service.
If convicted of felony PC 243.4, you may face the following penalties:
- Formal California probation;
- 2-4 years in a California state prison;
- Up to $10,000 in fines;
- Registration as a Sex Offender pursuant to Penal Code 290.
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