California Sexual Assault Defense Attorneys for the LGBT Community
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Legal Definition of Sexual Assault in California
Sexual assault is defined as unwanted sexual touching of another’s intimate parts. Areas included in intimate parts are the victim’s “sexual organ, anus, groin, or buttocks of any person, and the breast of a female.” Contact Pride Legal to get in touch with one of our experienced Sexual Assault Defense Attorneys today.
In California, sexual assault is a very serious crime. Those convicted of sexual assault often face social stigmatization, difficulty finding employment, and harm to relationships. Defendants who choose public defenders to represent them are more likely to be convicted of sexual assault than individuals that choose a sexual assault defense lawyer. By consulting an experienced Sexual Assault Defense Attorney to represent your case, you are far more likely to receive a less severe sentence.
Elements of Sexual Assault in California
Under California Penal Code 261, sexual assault occurs when the following elements are present:
- The defendant touched the victim’s intimate parts while the victim was restrained by the defendant or another person. The touching may occur through direct contact with the victim’s skin or indirect contact through the victim’s clothing.
- The touching was against the victim’s will. The prosecutor must establish that the victim did not consent to the contact.
- The defendant intended to engage in the unwanted touching for the purpose of sexual gratification, sexual arousal, or sexual abuse.
Potential Penalties of Sexual Assault
In California, sexual assault is a wobbler offense, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Whether it is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony is completely dependent upon the circumstances at hand such as the seriousness of the assault, how many times the victim was assaulted, and the relationship between the victim and the defendant.
Individuals convicted of misdemeanor sexual assault may be sentenced to:
- A maximum fine of $2,000
- Up to 6 months in county prison
- A Maximum fine of $3,000 (if the defendant was the victim’s employer)
Individuals convicted of felony sexual assault may be sentenced to:
- 2, 3, or 4 years in prison
- Maximum fine of $10,000
Know Your Rights About Sex Crimes
- There are statutes of limitations for various sex crimes.
- Gather as much evidence as possible. Sex crime cases are often based on “he said she said” evidence. Concrete evidence will greatly help you.
- Invoke your 5th amendment rights (don’t speak to authorities until you have a lawyer present).
- Although you have rights and should exercise them, do not obstruct police investigations. This will only harm you.
- Most importantly, hire an experienced attorney. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.
Contact Pride Legal
If you or a loved one has been charged with sexual assault, we invite you to contact us at Pride Legal for legal counseling or any further questions. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.
Contact a California Gay and Lesbian Rape Defense Attorney through Pride Legal today.
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