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How Does California Define Aggravated Sexual Assault?

  • Published: January 3, 2020

California defines aggravated sexual assault as the act of an individual who touches, attacks, or causes sexual harm on another person against his or her will.  The person who has the intent to assault has to have the thought pattern that they’re going to try and sexually assault another person. Moreover, touching is not required for a person to claim sexual assault. Sexual battery charges are covered under California Penal Code 243.4.

Difference between Aggravated Sexual Assault And Simple Assault

The difference between an aggravated sexual assault and a simple assault is the context of sexual intent. An aggravated sexual assault signifies that a person has the intention to sexually attack, batter, or rape another person.

Sexual assault becomes aggravated when an individual uses violence against another individual. There is no sexual intent with simple assault. A simple assault charge can result from a threat made without contact by a person to another.

For instance, if a person pretends as if they’re going to hit or punch another person but doesn’t make any contact, that action can lead to a simple assault charge.

Penalties for Aggravated Sexual Assault in California

If someone is convicted of aggravated sexual assault in Los Angeles County, the penalties can be severe. Prosecutors usually seek to send someone convicted of aggravated sexual assault to prison. Serving a prison term can be dangerous for an inmate convicted of sexual assault. They are often a target of violent attacks in prison that can put their lives in danger.

How California Sex Offender Registration WorksHaving to register as a sex offender is another penalty an individual can face if convicted of a sexual crime. Registering as a sex offender will follow a person for the rest of their life.

It depends on the severity of the charges, but being charged with aggravated sexual assault carries significant penalties.  It is crucial for an individual to avoid prison time and to register as a sex offender.

Sometimes, there are defenses to sex crimes that law enforcement overlook and rush to judge without giving a good thought or an opportunity for someone to defend themselves. It is imperative to consult an attorney right away.

A person arrested for aggravated assault may be able to post a bond. In Los Angeles, if it’s a state case, an individual is often able to get a bond. All crimes in Los Angeles have a specific bail that the judges have set in place.

Sex crime cases, if there are multiple counts, are one of the few crimes that law enforcement officers are allowed to stack bail. Sometimes, it’s difficult to determine what the bail is going to be when somebody gets arrested.

The police will put a bail on a person based on the booked charges, but a judge has the final say on the exact bail amount. A defense attorney can strategize with and prepare an aggressive argument on their client’s behalf to try and get the lowest possible bail.

What Happens If Victim Recants Allegations?

The alleged victim generally does not control whether a case is filed or dropped even if they recant allegations of aggravated sexual assault. When aggravated sex crimes are involved, prosecutors are not likely to listen to the alleged victim.

They’re going to try to protect the alleged victim regardless of whether or not they want the case prosecuted. The prosecutors control the case, and it’s ultimately up to them on how to move forward with a sexual assault case.

Are Charges For Aggravated Sexual Assault Enhanced If Victim Is A Minor?

Aggravated sexual assault is significantly enhanced if the alleged victim is a minor. California Penal Code 288a covers lewd acts with a minor. Aggravated sexual assault of a child is covered under California Penal Code 269.

When a minor is involved, a conviction on aggravated sexual assault places the person charged with the crime in a category where they are automatically registered as a sex offender for life. They are also given a lengthy prison sentence.

Moreover, when a minor is the alleged victim, the person convicted of the sex crime will not only be charged with aggravated sexual assault, but will also face penal code section 288 A and a host of other serious sex crimes. Seeking an experienced defense attorney is vital for damage control since the prosecutors most often have damaging evidence against the defendant.

Ron Hedding

Named Top Los Angeles DUI Defence Attorney by LA Times and named one of the
Top 100 DUI Defence attorneys in California by the National Trial Lawyers
Association. I'm the attorney other lawyers hire to defend them.

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