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How Can a Lawyer Help If You’re Charged with Sexual Battery?

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Oct 05, 2023

First and foremost, if you have no criminal record and argue that it may have been an accident if it's not an utterly egregious situation, the attorney can help you avoid a 10-year sex registration

California Penal Code 243.4 PC defines sexual battery, also called “sexual assault,” as touching someone on an intimate part of their body against their will and with the intent to achieve sexual arousal, gratification, or inflict sexual abuse.

The “intimate parts” include the genital area, buttocks, or female breasts. Prosecutors often use this law to charge somebody for unwanted sexual touching of someone, such as when a man intentionally touches a female's breast or buttocks over her clothing without consent.

Sexual battery is a separate crime from Penal Code 261 PC rape as it does not require an act of sexual penetration. Sometimes, sexual battery could still apply even in an ongoing sexual relationship with someone.

Penal Code 243.4(a) PC defines sexual battery as “anyone who touches an intimate part of another person while unlawfully restrained by the accused or an accomplice, and if the touching is against their and for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse.”

California Penal Code 243.4(d) PC defines the crime of forcing another person to touch you or another person in an unlawful sexual manner.

Sexual battery convictions can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending upon the case details.  A misdemeanor example would be intentionally groping a female in a public setting without permission.

A felony example can include holding someone's hands behind their back to restrain them and putting your hand up their dress. Other examples of felonies include:

  • when an institutionalized person is incapacitated medically in some way or is severely disabled (Penal Code 243.4(b) PC), and
  • when acted under the guise of touching a person for “professional” purposes, such as at a medical facility (Penal Code 243.4(c) PC).

Sex Offender Registration

If you're convicted of sexual battery in California, you're facing under the three-tier system, registering as a sex offender for ten years.

Sex Offender Registration in California

What an attorney may be able to do is convince the prosecutors to charge a different crime than sexual battery – one that does not require sex registration. 

Sometimes, that's where people get confused.  They think the attorney can negotiate sex registration in a sexual battery, which is not true.  It's the conviction that is triggering the sex registration.  If you're convicted of a sex offense that requires registration, you won't be able to get out of it by some negotiation. 

On the other hand, if your attorney can convince the prosecutor or judge, or even a jury to find you not guilty or for them to change the charge to something that does not require sexual registration, for example, just a simple battery Penal Code Section 242, then you're in a much better position.

You don't have to register as a sex offender and will probably not get any jail time.  That's another thing an attorney can help you avoid – going to jail for some time with the label of a sex offender, putting you in danger and a bad position.

Case Strategy Review

You also want to avoid damaging your reputation by getting convicted of a sex offense like sexual battery.  What I have you do is come in, and we sit down in my office. 

We go over everything and develop a game plan on how we will defend your case.  What all of the ins and outs are related to a sexual battery?

We'll determine whether we could win the case in a jury trial or whether it's the type of case we need to mitigate and negotiate.  That's where my 30 years of experience will come in and help you.  I've worked as a criminal defense attorney for the District Attorney's office, a superior court judge, the State Bar of California, and for people like you since the early 1990s. 

So, if you need the best, you've come to the right place. If you're charged with or are being investigated for sexual battery, you don't want to register as a sex offender, and you want to get the best defense possible, pick up the phone now. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. The Hedding Law Firm offers a free case evaluation, and we are located in Los Angeles, CA.

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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.

I'll privately discuss your case with you at your convenience. All consultations are free, discreet, and confidential. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.