Sexual assault and battery charges can arise from murky interactions where a touch was misinterpreted or was perceived to be consensual to a much more intentional, violent act. In Virginia, there are a number of sexual assault and battery crimes that you could be charged with. These crimes can come with long prison sentences and large fines. Even once you successfully complete your sentence, you may have to register as a sex offender, with consequences affecting where you live, work, and more for the rest of your life.
Given the severe penalties you face, you cannot afford not to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you understand what consequences you realistically could face and to help you raise all of your defenses. Using all available defenses can be key to getting the charges against you dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge where you face less severe consequences.
What Sexual Assault and Battery Charges Could You Be Charged With Under Virginia Law?
Sexual assault charges can be complicated, and each case will be individualized in terms of what needs to be proved and the defenses that may be applicable. There are a number of different sexual assault and battery charges under Virginia law, ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies with long prison sentences. Some of these crimes include the following:
- Simple Sexual Battery. This is a misdemeanor offense that involves sexually assaulting someone. It can include intentionally touching a person’s intimate body parts or forcing the person to touch another’s intimate body parts with the use of threats, force, and intimidation. It must be done against the person’s will and is unwanted sexual conduct.
- Aggravated Sexual Battery. The elements of this crime are identical to simple sexual battery with additional allegations, such as that the victim was under 13 years old or mentally or physically disabled or that the perpetrator was the person’s parent, grandparent, or step-parent. Unlike sexual battery, this is a felony charge.
- Sexual Battery When Infected. This is a special sexual battery felony offense involving intentionally trying to infect another person with a sexually transmitted disease, such as HIV, syphilis, or hepatitis B.
- Attempted Sexual Battery. Attempted sexual battery is a misdemeanor similar to simple sexual battery, but is a slightly less severe offense than the completed act.
- Rape. Rape is defined as having sexual intercourse with another person or forcing the person to have sexual intercourse with another person through the use of force, threats, intimidation, or by mentally or physically incapacitating the person. This is a felony charge that can result in a prison sentence for life.
Penalties You Could Face for a Sexual Assault and Battery Conviction
The sentence you could face will depend on whether you are convicted of or plead guilty to a misdemeanor or felony charge. You could face the following sentences:
- Attempted Sexual Battery and Simple Sexual Battery. This is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500.
- Aggravated Sexual Battery. You could be sentenced to prison for up to 20 years and have a fine of up to $100,000.
- Sexual Battery When Infected. This carries a sentence from one to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $2,500.
- Attempted Sexual Battery. The sentence would be no different that if you were convicted of simple sexual battery.
- Rape. You could be sentenced to a long prison sentence of between five years and life in prison.
Registering as a Sex Offender
If convicted of almost all of these crimes, you could be required to register in the Virginia Sex Offender Registry for the rest of your life. This could severely limit where you can live, work, and may even restrict public places where you can go.
An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help If You Are Charged With Sexual Assault or Battery in Virginia
If you are charged with any sexual assault or battery charge, you cannot take the criminal charges lightly. You could face years in prison, a large fine that could be impossible to pay, and living with the stigma of being labeled a sex offender. An experienced criminal defense attorney can investigate the facts of your case to build a strong defense to either get the charges dismissed or reduced to a less serious crime with penalties you can live with.
At Greenspun Shapiro PC, our criminal defense team has years of combined experience representing clients facing many different types of criminal charges. We will thoroughly investigate your case to understand the charges and the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case against you. We have a network of experts who can help us build a strong defense that is necessary if you hope to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. Start an online chat or call our firm today at 703-352-0100 to schedule your free consultation.