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Can You Avoid Registration If Arrested for Sexual Battery?

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Sep 08, 2022

Many people don't realize that being charged with Penal Code 243.4 PC sexual battery is a very serious crime and that you're facing 10-year registration as a sex offender if you end up getting convicted of this crime.  Is there a way to avoid Penal Code 290 PC sex registration if you've been arrested for sexual battery?

That's why I am writing the post, are you facing sex registration, and, if so, how long are you looking at, and is there any way to avoid sex registration if you've been arrested and booked for sexual battery, Penal Code Section 243.4?

Can You Avoid Registration If Arrested for Sexual Battery?

The answer is yes; you could avoid it if your attorney can convince the prosecutors that you shouldn't be charged with sexual battery.  That's the critical thing many people don't realize – police cannot charge people for crimes. 

They can't charge somebody for a sexual battery.  They can book you for it, arrest you for it, and then send the case to the prosecutors, who are the lawyers who decide what, if anything, a person is charged with.

Sexual battery, also called “sexual assault,” is a crime under PC 243.4 in California. It's defined as touching someone's intimate parts for sexual gratification, arousal, or abuse. The “intimate parts” include the genital area, buttocks, or female breasts.

This is one of the few sexual-related crimes that can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony (wobbler).  Still, a conviction for misdemeanor sexual battery can significantly affect a person's life.

A misdemeanor PC 243.4 sexual battery conviction is punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $3,000. A felony is punishable by up to four years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Prosecutors typically use this statute to charge someone for unwanted sexual touching of another person. Our California sex crime defense lawyers will examine this topic in more detail below.

Why Do You Need a Criminal Lawyer Immediately?

That's why, in my opinion, it's essential that if you've been booked and arrested for sexual battery or even being investigated for a sexual battery-type offense, you've got to hire an attorney like me right away.

Criminal Defense Lawyer for Sexual Battery Charges

I've been doing this for 30 years.  I've worked for the district attorney's office.  I've worked for a superior court judge, and I've worked for people like you since the early 1990s, defending these cases, mitigating them, fighting them, depending on the facts and circumstances of what we're dealing with.

If you end up getting convicted of this Penal Code 243.3 PC sexual battery, you must register as a sex offender for ten years.  However, there's a way not to get convicted. If you can go to jury trial and win, you'll not be convicted of sexual battery. 

If, on the other hand, maybe you're guilty of something, you did something wrong, they've got evidence and witnesses to prove it, but your attorney can get some other charge besides a sexual battery that's not a registerable sex offense, that's a way to avoid having to register as a sex offender. 

Also, deals can be negotiated where you only have to register as a sex offender for a short time. Whether it be a year, two years, or three years, and if you have no other offenses, you can end up not having to register, withdrawing the plea to the charge that forces sex registration.

What If You Have No Criminal Record?

That's when we get into the issue of mitigating these cases – if you have no criminal record, a good job, maybe you have a reason that makes sense why you got yourself involved in a situation where you end up inappropriately touching somebody, it's not going to happen again.

Rap Sheet in California

We can get a 288.1 report where a psychiatrist or psychologist is evaluating you to see whether you would do this again in the future, know why you did this, and what could be done to avoid this in the future.

Also, we could get what's called a static 99 report, which, again, is standardized testing evaluating whether or not you'd be a recidivist – in other words, whether you would do something like this in the future. 

That's what prosecutors and judges are worried about regarding sexual battery cases.  If they give the person a break, if they don't make them register as a sex offender, if they don't throw them in jail for an extended period, are they going to do it again? 

Then the prosecutors, the judge, and the victim, in that case, will look and see that these people were given a break, and they will start asking questions. 

Why would you give someone a break who did this?  Now look, they're doing this again.  That's one of their biggest fears, so we must address and strategize it right from the beginning, especially if you end up taking a deal in a sexual battery-related offense.

What are the Best Defenses for Penal Code 243.4?

If you were accused of a misdemeanor or felony sexual battery that violates Penal Code 243.4 PC, there are numerous defense strategies we can use the challenge the charges, including:

  • Alleged victim gave consent,
  • Insufficient evidence for a conviction,
  • False accusation.

To convict you of sexual battery, the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the touching was against the alleged victim's will.

Best Defenses for Penal Code 243.4 PC

Perhaps we can argue that you reasonably believed the touching was consensual. Typically, sexual battery cases don't have supporting evidence or a physical injury. This means making insufficient evidence to secure a conviction argument could be reasonable.

In some cases, people are falsely accused and wrongfully arrested for sexual battery. Perhaps we could argue that the alleged victim made false allegations against you out of anger or revenge.

So, what I do is have you come in.  We sit in my office and go over everything.  I encourage you to be honest and tell me everything so that I can have the information and best help you. 

The plan will be to lay out everything on the table, see what we're really looking at and facing, what evidence the prosecutors will have, and then figure out what the best course of action is for you. 

Once you do that, you'll feel like you're starting to take control of your case.  You'll make the moves to help me protect you and do everything I can to keep you out of jail and protect your record.

Pick up the phone now.  Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding of the Hedding Law firm if you've been accused/charged with a sexual battery-related offense. We offer a free case evaluation by phone, or you can fill out the contact form.

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About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.

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Hedding Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about state or federal sex crime issues in California and throughout the United States.

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