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Unlawful Sexual Touching Crimes in California

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Feb 20, 2018

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 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 particular 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 standard charges filed.  More serious crimes such as Penal Code Section 288 can also be charged if there's any penetration involved.

To defend oneself against such sexual touching-related offenses, you're 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 kind 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, other precautions need to be taken to defend somebody who is charged with a sex-related offense in LA County.

When jury trials are done, there are questionnaires and specific 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 sexually related offenses, and specifically, sexually touching an adult or even a minor.

What is Characterized as Sexual Touching for Purposes of a Criminal Case?

To be charged with some sexual offense in Los Angeles County, the person being prosecuted must be shown to have touched the private part of another with the intent to arouse that person or themselves or both sexually.

Accidental touching another person – even in a private area – would not be a crime.  The question becomes, though, what are the surrounding circumstances relating to the alleged sexual touching of another?  Does that person have any prior criminal record, and what events caused that person to be charged with a sex offense in LA County?

As you might guess, there are 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 based on the circumstances.

Often, the police get the alleged victim's side of the story and don't get the side of the story of the person charged with the sexual crime.

In my experience, it's crucial that your criminal defense attorney has your side of the story and can 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 precisely what happened – the good and the bad – so that they can adequately defend you.  When I handle these cases, I get all the information.

I will also pinpoint crucial arguments for the defense and ask the prosecutors to see precisely what they will say in response to that.  Once I hear what they say, 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 actual version of events and that you should not be charged with the sexual offense.

Having the knowledge that you're intentionally sexually touching somebody is crucial. When juries and judges and prosecutors evaluate whether or not you sexually handled somebody deliberately, they're going to look at the surrounding circumstances. They're going to look at precisely what you did.

They're going to see whether or not any witnesses can support their version of events or whether the evidence shows that their version of events is incorrect.

The critical thing for you 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, I will be honest with them and give them my opinion as to whether or not they have a good case, based on my experience in having handled many jury trials on this subject matter.

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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