Sexual Assault Lawyer

What Constitutes Sexual Assault

Under California law, sexual assault is considered to be sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Types of sexual assault include the following:

  • Fondling another individual
  • Unwanted, non-consensual sexual touching
  • Forcing someone to perform sexual acts (e.g., oral sex or penetration) 
  • Attempted rape
  • Penetrating another individual (i.e., rape)

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    What’s the difference Between Sexual Assault & Sexual Battery?

    Under California’s criminal code, sexual assault and sexual battery share many similarities. However, there are notable differences. For example, to be charged with alleged sexual battery, there needs to be, at a minimum, an offensive touching. In contrast, sexual assault charges can be levied if the alleged victim suffered a mere threat or possible injury.

    Four Degrees of Sexual Assault

    First Degree

    First-degree sexual assault – also known as aggravated sexual assault – is considered to be the most serious degree of the crime (with the harshest penalties if convicted). First-degree sexual assault involves alleged sexual penetration where the alleged victim was under the age of 13 or the alleged victim is between the ages of 13-18 AND one of the following:

    • The alleged victim was a member of the same household as the defendant
    • The alleged victim was a relative of the defendant
    • The defendant was in a position of authority over the victim
    • The defendant used some form of force or coercion to assault the victim
    • The defendant was allegedly armed with a weapon
    • The alleged victim suffered an injury
    • The alleged assault occurred while another crime was being committed by the defendant

    If convicted of first-degree sexual assault, a defendant could be ordered to spend the remainder of their life in prison.

    Second Degree

    Second-degree sexual assault involves alleged sexual contact that took place in the above-described situations.

    If convicted of second-degree sexual assault, a defendant could be ordered to serve up to fifteen years in prison.

    Third Degree

    Third-degree sexual assault involves alleged sexual penetration that took place in the context of the following situations: 

    • The victim was a minor
    • The victim was forced and/or coerced
    • The victim was incapacitated at the time

    If convicted of third-degree sexual assault, a defendant could be ordered to serve up to fifteen years in prison.

    Fourth Degree

    Fourth-degree sexual assault involves alleged sexual contact that took place in the context of the following situations: 

    • The alleged victim was a minor;
    • The alleged victim was forced and/or coerced into the alleged sexual contact; and/or
    • The alleged victim was incapacitated at the time of the alleged sexual contact

    The punishment associated with a fourth-degree sexual assault conviction will vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case.

    How Kevin Heaney Can Help You

    If you find yourself Googling sexual assault lawyer near me,  then look no further. The Law Offices of Kevin Heaney are here to help. 

    If you were charged with allegedly committing sexual assault, you owe it to yourself to retain top-notch legal representation. As described above, the ramifications of a sexual assault conviction are serious and potentially life-altering. An experienced and knowledgeable sexual assault defense attorney can help guide you through the complexities of the California legal system and advocate for your best interests. 

    To learn more, contact the Law Offices of Kevin Heaney today. Kevin possesses more than two decades of experience helping individuals charged with an array of criminal offenses, including sexual assault and other sex crimes. Schedule a case evaluation today.

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