Virginia Sexual Battery Lawyer
Sexual battery charges in the Commonwealth of Virginia often carry severe penalties for those convicted. For this reason, it is in the best interest of those being investigated or accused of sexual battery to contact a Virginia sexual battery lawyer as soon as possible so they can start building a defense.
Virginia Sexual Battery Charges
Common sexual assault violations include the “non-rape” offenses of sexual battery and aggravated sexual battery. Both crimes generally involve some form of sexual act against an unwilling victim. The difference between the two is whether violence, or the threat of violence, is involved.
Violence or threats are seldom present in sexual battery, as the sexual contact alone can be enough to prosecute. But aggravated battery also involves suspects attempting to perform unwanted sexual acts with the victim through “force, threat of force, ruse, or intimidation.” It also applies to instances where the suspect is in a position of authority over the victim in the workplace [VA Code Section 18.2-67.4]. The penalty for sexual battery upon conviction is up to 12 months in jail and/or a maximum fine of $2,500, a class 1 misdemeanor as defined at VA Code Section 18.2-11(a).
Aggravated sexual battery on the other hand, does involve violence. One can also “sexually abuse” a mentally incapacitated victim or one who is physically helpless to resist any sex crime. The penalty is one to 20 years in the state penitentiary and a fine of up to $100,000 [VA Code Section 18.2-67.3].
Other Crimes involving Sexual Battery
A variety of “assault/battery” forms of sex crimes can be charged against an accused suspect:
- Forcible sodomy involves cunnilingus, fellatio, anilingus, or anal intercourse. Depending on the age of the victim, the penalty can be as high as 40 years in prison, especially if violence is used [VA Code Section 18.2-67.1].
- Object sexual penetration involves assaulting the victim’s orifices with any object other than the suspect’s penis. The penalty can also be as high as 40 years, depending on the victim’s age [VA Code Section 18.2-67.2].
- Infected sexual battery is when a suspect knowingly infects the victim with HIV, syphilis, or hepatitis B, this class 6 felony misdemeanor penalty carries up to five years in prison or twelve months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 [VA Code Section 18.2-67.4:1]. There is a lesser penalty if the infected person simply has relations with another without informing them of the infected person’s status.
- Attempting to commit any sexual assault can be punished as either a felony or a class 1 misdemeanor, depending on the nature of the offense that the suspect attempted and the age of the victim [VA Code Section 18.2-67.5].
Sexual Battery Involving Minors
Penalties depend on the age of the victim and how old the suspect is at the time of the offense.
Sexual abuse of a child between 13 and 15 years of age is generally a class 1 misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 [VA Code Section 18.2-67.4:2], for certain defined behaviors. But this charge can include sodomy and object penetration crimes (and their significant penalties) listed above.
Aggravated Sexual Battery or (abuse) of a minor (under 17) involves one or more of the following:
- The victim is under 13 years of age, or
- The alleged suspect is a parent, step-parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or cousin over age 18, and the victim is between 13 and 17 years of age, or
- The suspect uses force, the threat of force, or intimidation against a victim between 13 and 15 years of age, or
- The alleged suspect inflicted serious bodily or mental injury to the victim, or
- The individual used or threatened the victim with a deadly weapon
Anyone convicted of the above offense should contact a Virginia sexual battery lawyer as they are likely facing one to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 [VA Code Section 18.2-67.3].
Once they are released from prison, those convicted of a Virginia sex crime must submit their names and any other requested information to the Commonwealth’s Sex Offender Registry and/or the Crimes against Minors Registry, which can be mandatory lifetime inclusion. As a part of these databases, they could also be listed in the Federal Sex Offender Registry [42 U.S. Code 151. 1, A].
Contacting a Virginia Sexual Battery Attorney
Those who are alleged to have committed any sexual battery crime in the Commonwealth should retain the services of an experienced Virginia sexual battery lawyer the moment they believe the may be accused of such a serious and potentially life-changing allegation in order to mount an effective defense, including the preservation of essential evidence and the investigation of all parties involved.