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  1. #1
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    Apr 2016
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    Default Sexual Battery Misdemeanor Charge Over Drunken Conduct

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California.

    I was extremely intoxicated at a California poker room and was caught on video awkwardly making a humping motion against a bent over casino worker. I didn't remember doing it and it looked like I was trying to impress or entertain a friend at the table like a drunk goof when I cop showed me the video of it. I was arrested and thrown in I think the drunk tank for the night and they gave me a notice to appear in court. I'm a canadian citizen and the officer in the morning told me this is not a big issue and that I can find a $200 lawyer online and made it sound like it wasn't a big deal but everything I've been reading makes this sound serious. I'd like help on understanding what my options are. Do I have to appear in court? Is law help or advice for these matters really that cheap? I was finger printed and had my photo taken in the police station and the offence is 243.4 (E)(1) written on the notice to appear.

    These are some things I've been reading but I'm still not sure. It seems really harsh if I have to pay a fine or be titled a sex offender I was just really intoxicated and joking around.

    http://www.the3rdjudicialdistrict.com/mcharged.htm

    http://legal.asua.arizona.edu/misdemeanor.html

  2. #2
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Drunken Sexual Battery Misdemeanor

    Here is what you have been charged with:

    (e) (1) Any person who touches an intimate part of another person, if the touching is against the will of the person touched, and is for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, is guilty of misdemeanor sexual battery, punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment. However, if the defendant was an employer and the victim was an employee of the defendant, the misdemeanor sexual battery shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding three thousand dollars ($3,000), by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any amount of a fine above two thousand dollars ($2,000) which is collected from a defendant for a violation of this subdivision shall be transmitted to the State Treasury and, upon appropriation by the Legislature, distributed to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing for the purpose of enforcement of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Part 2.8 (commencing with Section 12900) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), including, but not limited to, laws that proscribe sexual harassment in places of employment. However, in no event shall an amount over two thousand dollars ($2,000) be transmitted to the State Treasury until all fines, including any restitution fines that may have been imposed upon the defendant, have been paid in full.

    (2) As used in this subdivision, "touches" means physical contact with another person, whether accomplished directly, through the clothing of the person committing the offense, or through the clothing of the victim.
    This was more than making a "humping motion". You made contact and acted in a way that the officer believed was for your sexual gratification.

    And, no, this appears to be a misdemeanor and it would not require registration in CA under Megan's Law.

    If you cannot afford an attorney, one should be appointed for you. Contact the court about that process.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Drunken Sexual Battery Misdemeanor

    I would find a good lawyer asap,to see what they can work out. Like cdwjava said if you can't afford a lawyer,one will be given to you. A local lawyer might be able to give you an idea of what might happen.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2016
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    Default Re: Drunken Sexual Battery Misdemeanor

    Okay thanks I emailed a lawyer and will call him during the week. I thought it was clear I was joking around and trying to entertain people at the table but I guess the judge decides that.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Drunken Sexual Battery Misdemeanor

    Quote Quoting Ekin1248
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    Okay thanks I emailed a lawyer and will call him during the week. I thought it was clear I was joking around and trying to entertain people at the table but I guess the judge decides that.
    Apparently the person you were "humping" did not think it so amusing. You're lucky he did not have an overprotective husband/boyfriend/brother on scene, or you might have hospital bills ta boot!

  6. #6
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    Apr 2016
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    Default Re: Drunken Sexual Battery Misdemeanor

    True I contacted a lawyer they said it would cost around $4000-$5000 which seems insane. Do you guys think I should just go to the court myself and plead guilty and hope they let me off with just a small fine?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Drunken Sexual Battery Misdemeanor

    Quote Quoting Ekin1248
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    True I contacted a lawyer they said it would cost around $4000-$5000 which seems insane. Do you guys think I should just go to the court myself and plead guilty and hope they let me off with just a small fine?
    Pleading guilty without the advice of counsel is NOT a good idea! You are talking about possible jail time of up to 6 months, fines, years of probation, and the possible repercussions of a criminal history on your employment.

    If you cannot afford an attorney, then the court will appoint one for you.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Drunken Sexual Battery Misdemeanor

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    Pleading guilty without the advice of counsel is NOT a good idea! You are talking about possible jail time of up to 6 months, fines, years of probation, and the possible repercussions of a criminal history on your employment.

    If you cannot afford an attorney, then the court will appoint one for you.
    Maybe not if the max jail time is 6 months. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the state is not constitutionally required to provide a lawyer when the maximum potential consequences if convicted would be 6 months or less in prison. The OP certainly may ask for appointed counsel and see what response he gets, but given California’s budget woes the last few years I can’t them spending money that is not required to be spent to provide a public defender.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Drunken Sexual Battery Misdemeanor

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    Maybe not if the max jail time is 6 months. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the state is not constitutionally required to provide a lawyer when the maximum potential consequences if convicted would be 6 months or less in prison. The OP certainly may ask for appointed counsel and see what response he gets, but given California’s budget woes the last few years I can’t them spending money that is not required to be spent to provide a public defender.
    In CA we do, however. At least I have never yet heard of a situation where one was NOT supplied. Remember, we are the liberal capitol of the world, and as such the Democrat legislature is not going to be seen as abandoning the little man to the ravages of the evil criminal justice system. Of course, we rarely prosecute misdemeanors these days anyway. Sexual battery is probably an exception to that tendency, however.

    Financial requirements tend to be the only real criteria, and the details of this vary greatly by county.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Drunken Sexual Battery Misdemeanor

    If you plead guilty to a misdemeanor with no jail time,it could still affect you entering the us. Maybe a lawyer can get it reduced to an infraction or non sex offense. Plead not guitly and see if they offer anything,imo the money for a lawyer is a lot but it's worth it in the long run. You don't want to have a sex offense on your record.

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