More and more, people are being charged with sex crimes such as unlawful sexual touching and being required to register as sex offenders across the country. This is a hot topic right now with the #MeToo hashtag movement sweeping across America and specifically, in liberal Los Angeles County.
The District Attorney's Office of LA County has opened up a special unit to prosecute people charged with crimes that involve the unlawful sexual touching of another. Sexual battery, simple battery, Penal Code Section 242 Assault, Penal Code Section 240, are common charges that are filed. If there's any type of penetration involved, then more serious crimes such as Penal Code Section 288 can be charged as well.
In order to defend oneself against such sexual touching-related offenses, you're obviously going to need to contact an attorney who is familiar with dealing with these types of cases who knows the judges and the prosecutor and who knows the type of defenses that work when it comes to jury trials in LA County related to sexual-touching cases.
Because it's such a hot political issue, there's other precautions that need to be taken in order to defend somebody who is charged with a sex-related offense in LA County.
When jury trials are done, there are questionnaires and certain voir dire questions that are asked of prospective jurors to see if they're tainted in any way or have a biased against those people who are charged with sexual related offenses, and specifically, sexually touching an adult or even a minor.
What is Characterized as Sexual Touching for Purposes of a Criminal Case?
In order to be charged with some sort of a sexual offense in Los Angeles County, the person that's being prosecuted must be shown to have touched the private part of another with the intent to sexually arouse that person or themselves or both.
Obviously, an accidental touching of another person – even if it is in the private area – would not be a crime. The question becomes, though, what are the surrounding circumstances related to the alleged sexual touching of another? Does that person have any prior criminal record and what are the circumstances that caused that person to be charged with a sex offense in LA County?
As you might guess, there's all sorts of different circumstances that can cause a person to be charged with sexual touching. Some can be innocent behavior, some can be non-innocent behavior, and some can be very difficult to tell whether or not there was any sexual intent there based on the circumstances.
A lot of times the police just get the alleged victim's side of the story and don't get the side of the story of the person who is charged with the sexual crime.
In my experience, it's crucial that your criminal defense attorney has your side of the story and is able to get evidence to bolster your side of the story when it comes to a sexual touching case.
It is incumbent upon you to meet with your sexual crime attorney and let them know all of the details without any spin about exactly what happened – the good and the bad – so that they can properly defend you. When I handle these cases, I obviously get all the information.
I also will pinpoint crucial arguments for the defense and I will ask the prosecutors about that, to see exactly what they're going to say in response to that. Once I hear what they say, then I'll know where the key areas are where we need to defend the case and bring evidence forth to show that your version of events is the true version of events and that you should not be charged with the sexual offense.
Obviously, having the knowledge that you're intentionally touching somebody in a sexual manner is crucial, and when juries and judges and prosecutors evaluate whether or not you touched somebody in a sexual manner intentionally, they're going to look at the surrounding circumstances and they're going to look at exactly what you did.
They're going to see whether or not there are any witnesses that can support their version of events or whether the evidence shows that their version of events is not correct.
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The key thing for you obviously is to find a criminal defense attorney who's been down this road before and who has defended these types of cases through a successful resolution.
When I meet with the client, obviously I'm going to be honest with them and give them my opinion as to whether or not they have a good case or not, based on my experience in having handled many jury trials on this subject matter.