What is the Difference Between Regular & Aggravated Sexual Battery?
There are many laws against sex crimes in the Virginia Criminal Code, chargeable at either the misdemeanor or felony level. Within the domain of Virginia, regular and aggravated sexual battery are two offenses that involve abuse, and the use of force or threats of force. Despite the similarities, the regular version is a misdemeanor, whereas the aggravated version is a felony.
What are the Virginia Laws Against Sexual Battery?
The state laws against sexual battery appear in Code of Virginia Section 18.2-67.4. Under this section, a person commits sexual battery if they sexually abuse:
- By force, threat, intimidation, or ruse;
- More than one victim, or the same victim on more than one occasion, within two years;
- An inmate of a correctional facility, if the alleged perpetrator has a position of authority over the victim; or
- A pre-trial defendant or post-trial offender, if the alleged perpetrator has a position of authority over the victim.
How Does Virginia Punish Sexual Battery?
Section 18.2-67.4 also lays out the Virginia punishment for sexual battery. Under this section, sexual battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense in Virginia. Any person convicted of this misdemeanor will face the possibility of confinement in county jail for 12 months and criminal fines up to $2,500.
What are the Virginia Laws Against Aggravated Sexual Battery?
The state laws against aggravated sexual battery appear in Code of Virginia Section 18.2-67.3. There are two elements to a charge of aggravated sexual battery. The first element requires that the alleged perpetrator both sexually abuse a victim and:
- The victim is under 13 years old;
- The victim has a physical or mental disability;
- The perpetrator is a parent, grandparent, or similar family member, and the victim is at least 13 but less than 18 years old; or
- The perpetrator employs force, threats, or intimidation to complete the offense.
The second element of aggravated sexual battery requires that:
- The perpetrator inflicts serious physical or mental injury;
- The perpetrator uses or threatens to use a dangerous weapon;
- The victim is at least 13 but less than 15 years old; or
- The perpetrator claims to be a healthcare practitioner and commits the offense without express consent.
How Does Virginia Punish Aggravated Sexual Battery?
Section 18.2-67.3 also provides the Virginia punishment for the felony crime of aggravated sexual battery. Any person convicted of this felony will face the possibility of imprisonment for one to 20 years and criminal fines up to $100,000.
That being said, Code of Virginia Section 18.2-67.5:2 establishes special considerations for repeat offenders. Any person convicted of aggravated sexual battery a second or subsequent time will face the maximum allowable sentence, without any potential for leniency.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal assistance with charges for regular or aggravated sexual battery in Virginia, it can be exceptionally favorable to reach out to a proficient criminal defense lawyer. The Winchester criminal lawyers at Simms Showers LLP are prepared to assist you with your case. Contact us today for help.