Sexual battery is a very serious felony offense in the state of Virginia, but aggravated sexual battery is even more serious. If convicted of aggravated sexual battery, you could be facing an extremely lengthy prison sentence. However, you may be able to raise certain defenses to the charges against you that could result in the reduction or dismissal of your offense.
Aggravated Sexual Battery
Under Virginia state law, sexual assault is the intentional or forced touching of the victim’s intimate body parts against their will (i.e., without consent). In order for this sexual battery to rise to the level of aggravated sexual battery, one of the following circumstances must be met:
- The victim was mentally or physically incapacitated;
- The victim was under the age of 13;
- The victim was between 13 and 17 years of age and the accused was their parent, step-parent, grandparent, or step-grandparent; or
- The alleged perpetrator used force, threats, or intimidation to commit the crime against the victim’s will and
- The victim was 13 or 14 years of age; or
- The victim suffered a physical or mental injury; or
- The victim was assaulted with the use of a deadly weapon.
If a defendant is convicted of aggravated sexual battery, they may face a fine of up to $100,000 and a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Defenses to Aggravated Sexual Assault
In order to convict the defendant, the prosecution must prove all of the elements of aggravated sexual assault beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant may be able to defend against these charges if they can prove that the prosecution failed to prove one of these elements. The defenses that the defendant can raise include:
- The defendant was falsely accused;
- The accused was not the perpetrator of the crime, but rather mistakenly identified;
- The victim was not mentally or physically incapacitated;
- There was no use of force, threats, or intimidation during the assault; or
- The victim was older than 13 years of age (and the defendant could argue that it should be a misdemeanor sexual assault charge rather than aggravated sexual battery).
The charge of aggravated sexual assault is extremely serious and carries with it life-changing and often life-long consequences.
Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Can Help Those in VA Who Have Been Accused of Aggravated Sexual Assault
If you have been accused of aggravated sexual assault or another crime in Virginia, you deserve to have the best possible chance of fighting these charges. A qualified Virginia criminal defense attorney can help to defend against these charges, fighting for the charges to be reduced or even dismissed. It’s important to speak with one as soon as possible.
At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we have experience defending against these criminal charges and will help you to fight against them. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!
Posted in: Criminal Law