Consequences of a Virginia Sexual Battery Charge
Sexual battery refers to a specific “non-rape” sexual interaction between two individuals that isn’t consensual. There is both a type of action and a type of intent required to prove sexual battery. Similar to assault and battery, sexual assault and sexual battery can merge into the same event. In Virginia, sexual battery charges can have heavy consequences and a person facing these charges should consider consulting a sexual battery attorney.
Severity of a Sexual Assault and Battery Charge
Sexual battery is similar to assault and battery, and is a very serious offense with potentially serious consequences. Sexual battery is defined by VA Code 18.2-67.4, and requires an act of sexual abuse as defined in 18.2-67.10 as well as other additional issues.
Since sexual battery is typically a class 1 misdemeanor, it is punishable by 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or a combination thereof. A third or subsequent sexual battery offense requires sex offense registry, and is a serious offense which often leads to jail time among other consequences.
You may also include the period of probation or any special requirement including restitution, no contact probations, or other restrictions. In addition, a third conviction for sexual battery requires an entry on the attack crimes registry.
Aggravating Factors in Sexual Battery Cases
There are a number of aggravating factors that can be present in sexual battery cases. There is a separate code section for aggravated sexual battery when the factors are particularly egregious. Aggravated sexual battery is always a felony offense. But for just a misdemeanor sexual battery, there are certainly a number of aggravating factors, including the type of conduct or contact, the relationship between the parties, the frequency of the contact, the intentional nature of it, and also some other things that makes one’s case more or less serious.
How These Factors Impact a Case
Aggravating factors impact a sexual battery charge in a number of ways and can increase the potential consequences. First of all, aggravating factors may actually make someone’s charge a different charge and have it bumped to a felony offense. If it remains a misdemeanor, the aggravating factors may impact the disposition of the offense including whether an agreement can be reached with the prosecution.
It can also impact how a judge may impose penalties, including the types of fines, amount of jail time, amount of suspended jail time, and convictions of probation.
Role of an Attorney
The role of an attorney in this type of case is going to be just like cases very similar to it. All criminal defense cases include the gathering of mitigating evidence, including things that may show the positive good character of the person who has been accused. The attorney will also present evidence to negotiate with the prosecutors, to work with the judges, and to work with those on probation in a variety of different issues.
Because sexual battery is a serious charge with significant penalties, it requires a robust defense and it needs to be taken seriously. It is certainly something that a lawyer would look into very seriously and defend thoroughly.