It’s possible that you overheard someone being accused of sexual battery when the alleged offense sounded more like sexual assault. You may have read something that made sexual battery seem like a less serious offense. Are these two crimes the same?
Depending on the legal system. In some places, sexual battery and sexual assault are considered to be the same offence. Other states, however, distinguish between the two and consider sexual assault to constitute the more serious crime of rape. Keep reading to learn more and contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 to request a free legal consultation with a criminal defense attorney.
Sexual battery and rape
Generally speaking, you engage in sexual battery (or sexual assault in states where the charges are treated equally) when you, without the other person’s permission, touch their private areas. Rape, on the other hand, is a crime that has forceful sexual contact without the alleged victim’s permission with another individual.
Are the terms “sexual battery” and “sexual assault” interchangeable?
Some states’ criminal laws use both words to refer to the same offense. Activities of sexual violence and sexual assault in these jurisdictions entail sexual acts where you without the other person’s permission, touch their “intimate areas” in order to arouse their sexuality, give them pleasure, or engage in sexual assault.
The following portions of a male or female are also considered to be “intimate parts,” in addition to a woman’s breasts: groin, inner thighs, genital region, or buttocks.
Sexual battery and sexual assault charges are often filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and the state statutes for the jurisdiction in which you are found guilty. The offense is frequently punished by jail time, a term in a state prison, and/or hefty penalties. Additionally, offenders must register as sex offenders.
Are there any states that distinguish between the two crimes?
Yes. Some states distinguish between sexual assault and sexual battery when defining sex offenses. In these states, sexual battery often refers to the above-described sexual contact or action. However, rape and sexual assault are considered to be the same offense. For instance, rape and sexual assault are considered to be the same criminal act in Arizona and Colorado.
Rape typically refers to without the other person’s permission, engaging in coercive “sexual intercourse.” The crime is normally classified as a major criminal charge punishable by a number of years in state prison in those places that classify sexual assault and rape as the same violation. Those found guilty of the offense must additionally register as sex offenders.
How distinct is “sexual abuse”?
The majority of states define sexual abuse as a unique and independent offence from sexual battery and sexual assault. Most legal systems define “sexual abuse” as engaging in sexual activity or committing a sexual offense on someone who is a juvenile or otherwise incapable of giving their permission.
In these situations, sexual activity frequently involves child molestation, statutory rape, or kissing, caressing, or fondling of the “victim.” Another circumstance that qualifies as child sexual abuse is when the defendant makes the claimed “victim” touch or expose his or her private areas, and/or captures a minor in sexually graphic images or recordings (as in cases of child pornography).
Should you seek legal advice from a criminal defense lawyer?
Yes. It is imperative that you speak with a criminal defense attorney or law office if you are charged with a sex offense. Your defense lawyer will be able to advise you of the precise statutes that apply to the charges you are facing. The attorney will also be able to thoroughly clarify your accusations.
If the matter goes on, a defense attorney can assist you in defending against any accusations. For instance, a lawyer could try to convince the jury that you may have conducted a sexual act with the “victim’s” permission, been wrongfully charged, or law enforcement may have infringed on your constitutional rights in some other way. Contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 now for a free legal consultation.