Los Angeles Sexual Assault Defense Attorney
Sex crimes are an incredibly serious matter in Los Angeles. People facing sexual assault allegations are often charged with serious felonies and may be facing many years in prison if found guilty. The term “sexual assault” is not necessarily a specific charge but instead encompasses a broad list of sexual-based offenses. Some offenses, such as rape, involve sexual penetration of the victim by the perpetrator. Other crimes may include offensive or unwanted touching but fall short of actual penetration. In any case, sexual assault charges are some of the most serious charges you can face in LA.
The key element to any kind of sexual assault charge is a lack of consent from the victim. The touching or other behavior from the perpetrator was unwanted by the victim. The touching or contact must also have been of a sexual nature. If you have been accused of sexual assault or some other offense of a sexual nature, contact Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, by calling (626) 628-9596 to schedule a free legal consultation with a Los Angeles sexual assault defense attorney.
What is Considered Sexual Assault in Los Angeles?
Sexual assault is not just one crime. Many different types of sexual-based offenses are wrapped up in the term “sexual assault.” Generally, a sexual assault crime is one in which there was some sort of offensive touching of the victim by the perpetrator. This touching may be something like unwanted groping, or it could be as severe as forced sexual penetration. The exact nature of the charges will depend on how the defendant allegedly assaulted the victim. Below are some, but not all, of the possible sexual assault charges a defendant may face. You should discuss your case with a Los Angeles sexual assault defense lawyer to better understand the charges against you.
Rape is perhaps the most serious type of sexual-based offense a person can be charged with in Los Angeles. The crime of rape involves having sexual intercourse with the victim under circumstances such as force, the threat of force, duress, or fraud.
Rape may also be completed when the victim is unconscious and incapable of giving consent. If the victim has a mental or physical disability that would prevent them from providing valid consent, any sexual intercourse may be considered rape. Rape can also be charged when the victim was intoxicated and unable to resist the sexual advances of the perpetrator.
The difference between rape and many other sexual assault crimes is penetration. The perpetrator must sexually penetrate the victim to accomplish rape. The penetration need not be aggressive nor happen for an extended period. Penetration does not need to be aggressive or prolonged but may be very slight and occur very quickly to be considered complete.
Sexual battery is somewhat similar to rape because it involves offensive and unwanted touching of the victim for the perpetrator’s sexual gratification . However, sexual battery does not include any penetration. Sexual battery is achieved when the perpetrator touches an intimate part of the victim’s body for purposes of sexual arousal or gratification or while an accomplice restrains the victim. For example, holding someone down and groping their private parts would be considered a sexual battery. Sexual battery may also occur when the victim is unconscious, disabled, intoxicated, or is otherwise unable to give valid consent.
Unlawful Sexual Intercourse
Unlawful sexual intercourse is unique because it is a crime regardless of whether the victim consented or not. Unlawful sexual intercourse involves any kind of sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18 if that person is at least three years younger than the adult perpetrator. This crime may also be commonly referred to as “statutory rape” in other jurisdictions.
For consent to be considered valid, the person giving it must be in the right frame of mind. They cannot be intoxicated, unconscious, or mentally impaired. They must be an adult. Children are not capable of giving valid, legal consent to sex. Any form of sex or sexual contact with a minor will be a crime. Depending on the circumstances, it could be a misdemeanor or a felony.
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child
This charge is similar to unlawful sexual intercourse with a child but is much more severe. Aggravated sexual assault of a child tends to involve more aggressive sexual contact, such as rape, with a child who is not only under the age of 14 but is also seven or more years younger than the perpetrator. This charge is a felony and may be punishable by at least 15 years in prison. To determine your best defense on any of these charges, consult a Los Angeles sexual assault defense attorney.
The Penalties for Sexual Assault in Los Angeles
Penalties for sexual assault and similar sex-based offenses may range from misdemeanors to felonies. Your charges’ exact nature will depend on exactly how the sexual assault or offense occurred and who the victim was. Defendants with victims under the age of 18 tend to face harsher penalties with longer prison terms, and their charges are more likely to be felonies.
Some charges, like aggravated sexual assault of a child, are always felonies. Other charges, such as sexual battery, could be misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances of the case. It is crucial to seek an experienced Los Angeles sexual assault defense attorney’s assistance to help you understand your charges and the potential penalties.
Depending on your charges, you may also have to be registered as a sex offender on a public registry. Being a registered sex offender may prevent you from getting certain jobs or living in certain areas.
Contact Our Los Angeles Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer for a Free Legal Consultation
If you or someone you know has been accused of or charged with sexual assault or another sex-based offense, immediately reach out to a qualified Los Angeles sexual assault defense attorney. Sex offenses are extremely serious and must not be taken lightly. Penalties include lengthy prison terms and being registered as a sex offender on a public registry. To contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, call Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, at (626) 628-9596.