Virginia Aggravated Sexual Battery Lawyer
In Virginia, there are several crimes that can be charged under the “sexual battery” category. All are serious and complex legal situations because they include both sexual and violent components. This means that being charged with these emotionally-charged crimes can have long-term effects on your life, even if you are found not guilty. If you have questions about these charges, feel free to call for a free consultation with a Virginia aggravated sexual battery lawyer. Or, learn more about other sex crimes in Virginia here.
Aggravated Sexual Battery in Virginia
A person runs the risk of being found guilty of committing aggravated sexual battery (Virginia Code Section 18.2-67.4) if he or she sexually abuses a victim by any form of touching and if any of the following are true:
- The victim is under 13 years old
- The sexual abuse transpires through the suspect’s exploitation of the victim’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness
- The suspect is a parent, step-parent, or grandparent, and the victim is 13 to 17 years old (The charge here is usually incest.)
- The suspect’s conduct is against the will of the victim through the use of force
Simply using the threat of force—without touching the victim—or employing intimidation or trickery may result in the accused being only charged with simple sexual battery.
However, if any of the following are true, even without the perpetrator touching the victim, he or she can be found guilty of aggravated sexual battery:
- The victim is between the ages of 13 and 15
- The individual causes serious bodily injury or mental injury to the victim
- The individual uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon
Upon a guilty verdict or plea of felony aggravated sexual battery, the perpetrator faces one to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Being found guilty will certainly have a lasting effect on your life because, in addition to the potential fine, prison time, and supervised probation after any prison sentence, you must register as a sex offender. This means that once you are free your name will be entered into a national registry that restricts where you may live and work, and whether you may have custody of your children. You will also be restricted in terms of where you may go in public, and you will suffer the social stigma of being branded a sex offender. So, if you, a family member, or a friend are charged with this offense, you need the experience and tenacity of an aggravated sexual battery lawyer in Virginia to fight these charges.
The Special Circumstances that Make Aggravated Sexual Battery Penalties More Severe
In some cases, if convicted of aggravated sexual battery, the guilty party must serve a mandatory minimum period of incarceration, that is, there is no chance of having any portion of the sentence suspended or shortened. This applies to those who have previous convictions for aggravated battery or any other felony sexual assault crime on the following list:
- Carnal knowledge of a child between 13 and 15 years old, when the individual committing the offense is over 18 years old
- Carnal knowledge of certain minors
- Crimes against nature
- Adultery or sexual intercourse with the individual’s own child or grandchild
- Taking indecent liberties with a child
- Forcible Sodomy
- Object sexual penetration
- Abduction with intent to defile
- Conspiracy to commit any offense listed above
Speak to an Experienced Virginia Sexual Battery Defense Attorney
Since proving your intentions and motivations can be difficult, prosecutors need strong evidence to show a judge or jury what you were thinking at the time of the offense. The prosecutors may present direct or circumstantial evidence to support their theory of the accused’s motive. A Virginia aggravated sexual battery attorney can work with the accused and their family to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case, possibly leading to it being dismissed, or any penalties you receive being reduced if you plea to a lesser charge. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer will help you to fully understand and act to mitigate all possible ramifications of a conviction.