New Haven Sexual Battery Lawyer
Police in New Haven are under increased public pressure to aggressively prosecute sexual battery and other sexual assault crimes. While it is important to provide legal protection to the public, the broad way in which the statutes are written combined with vigorous enforcement can cause innocent people to be wrongly charged with committing sex crimes. Unfortunately, the consequences of a sexual battery conviction are quite severe.
In addition to sex offender registration requirements that could remain indefinitely, there is the potential for a substantial period of imprisonment and very heavy fines. Plus, if the individual involved ever fails to meet all of the registration requirements, then a separate criminal offense is involved. Moreover, an offense of this type on your record can cause difficulties with your personal life, employment, housing and more. With so much at stake, if you are facing sex crime charges, it is wise to consult a New Haven sexual battery lawyer who can work to protect your rights and build the best possible defense. Contact a dedicated sex crimes attorney and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Sexual Battery Can Refer to Several Statutory Offenses in New Haven
The criminal statutes in Connecticut do not specifically include the term “sexual battery,” but this phrase is commonly used to refer to certain sex crimes. Battery in basic criminal common law consists of unpermitted intentional touching by one person to another. For instance, if someone slaps another person on the arm or across the face, that could be considered battery. Sexual battery would occur when that touching involves the intimate body parts of another.
The Connecticut code refers to these types of offenses as varying degrees of sexual assault. There are four basic degrees of sexual assault as well as additional specific crimes involving aggravating circumstances which increase the severity of the offense. For example, if a minor under a particular age is the complainant of the offense or if a deadly weapon is involved, the crime will be treated much more seriously.
The only form of sexual battery that is not a felony in Connecticut is sexual assault in the fourth degree. This offense occurs when one person makes sexual contact with another under specified circumstances. “Sexual contact” is considered the to be the touching of another person’s intimate body parts “for the purpose of sexual gratification” or to humiliate or degrade that person. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §53a-65(3)).
When someone intentionally subjects another to sexual contact, it will be considered fourth-degree sexual assault if the person subjected either does not consent or if that person is unable to give legal consent for various reasons including the fact that the person is:
- Less than 15-years-old
- Mentally incapacitated
- Physically helpless
- Less than 18 (if assaulted by a guardian)
- In custody of the law or a patient in a hospital (if assaulted by someone in an authoritarian role)
- A student (if assaulted by a school employee)
- The patient of a psychotherapist (if assaulted by that doctor)
Fourth-degree sexual assault is a class A misdemeanor, which means that those convicted face up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,000. A person facing any type of sexual battery charge should contact a detail-oriented New Haven sexual battery lawyer.
Sexual assault in the first, second and third-degrees are treated as class B, C or D felonies depending on the circumstances. The statutory definitions of first and second-degree sexual assault would cause those offenses to be labeled as rape in other jurisdictions because they generally involve sexual intercourse rather than simply sexual contact.
Third-degree sexual assault could be referred to a sexual battery because it is defined as using force or threat of force to compel another person to submit to sexual contact but not sexual intercourse. Sexual assault in the third-degree is a class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine as high as $5,000. If the person committing the assault uses a firearm, then the crime is treated as a class C felony and the potential penalties double. A New Haven sexual battery lawyer could mitigate the severity of the penalties that a person may face.
A New Haven Sex Crimes Attorney Can Defend A Person’s Rights
Charges involving sexual battery or any other sex crime need to be taken seriously and defended rigorously right from the start. It is important to take action to preserve valuable evidence and avoid making statements which could negatively impact the outcome. A New Haven sexual battery lawyer can protect your rights and defend against the charges to protect your future, so talk now to find out how experience can work for you.