Oakland Sexual Assault Lawyers
When you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, it is painful and overwhelming. Sexual assault has catastrophic effects on the victim and their loved ones.
In some cases, sexual assault can have life-long effects. Often, the victims of sexual assault are vulnerable individuals. Perpetrators are often in positions of power.
Following an instance of sexual misconduct, it is vital to contact a skilled legal professional. The knowledgeable sexual assault attorneys at Cutter Law have the specialized skills and experience to effectively represent victims in these cases.
How does California define sexual assault?
Crimes that are categorized as “sexual assault” in California are prosecuted through the laws against “sexual battery.” Sexual battery has occurred when a perpetrator touches a victim’s, “sexual organ, anus, groin, or buttocks of any person, and the breast of a female.”
The distinction between simple assault and “aggravated” sexual assault is the inclusion of carnal intent. Instances of aggravated sexual assault and battery include:
- Attacks of a sexual nature
- Battery of a sexual nature
When you or someone you love has experienced this type of battery, you deserve justice.
Oakland Sexual Assault and Battery Statistics
Tragically, sexual assault cases are relatively common in the state of California. According to recent research, more than 85% of women and 53% of men in the state report instances of sexual harassment or assault.
The majority of sexual assault instances occur near the victim’s home. Around 15% of victims experienced assault while in a public space.
Anyone can be the victim of sexual battery. However, women are much more likely to experience sexual assault than men.
What are the penalties for a sexual assault in California?
There are different levels of severity of sexual battery under California state law. Misdemeanor sexual battery carries a possible penalty of six months in jail and fines of up to $2,000.
Felony sexual battery is a more serious charge. It can result in imprisonment for up to 1-4 years. This type of felony can also result in fines of up to $10,000.
Beyond criminal penalties, sexual assault serves as grounds for tort cases. Victims are legally permitted to pursue financial compensation for the harm they suffered.
Available Compensation for an Oakland Sexual Assault Case
Victims of sexual battery in California can pursue civil damages for the losses associated with their assault. Claimants can seek both “economic” and “non-economic” damages, as with other types of tort cases.
Some of the most common damages in these cases include:
- Current medical bills
- Expected future medical expenses
- Associated property damage
- Physical pain and suffering
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Mental anguish and distress
- Depression, anxiety, and panic
- And more
Under California state law, there is no cap to general tort damages in sexual assault cases.
Who is eligible for tort compensation?
In California, only certain victims are eligible to file a civil sexual battery claim. To file, the victim must:
- Be a California resident, or
- Be a non-resident who experienced assault in California
- Cooperate with court officials and the police
- Not have engaged in actions that led to the crime
- Committed a felony in association with the assault
If you have questions about whether you qualify to file a civil sexual assault claim, contact an attorney immediately.
Common Defenses in Sexual Assault Cases
Those accused of sexual assault have several possible defenses at their disposal. Some defendants seek to prove that the sexual conduct was consensual.
Other defendants cite the statute of limitations. Under Assembly Bill 218, those adults who learn about their assault later must bring a claim within five years.
To beat these defenses and secure the recovery that you deserve, it is vital to hire an experienced legal professional. A seasoned tort attorney will work hard to build a solid case in your favor.
Helpful Resources for Victims of Sexual Assault in Oakland, California
If you or someone you love has experienced sexual assault, you have options to secure help. Some relevant resources include:
- National Sexual Assault Hotline (RAINN) – (800) 656-HOPE
- National Domestic Violence Hotline – (800) 799-7233
- National Human Trafficking Hotline – (888) 373-7888
Beyond seeking medical care, make sure to report the incident to the authorities. Call 911 or the local police department to report the crime as soon as possible.
Why should I hire the Oakland injury attorneys at Cutter Law to handle my sexual assault case?
If you have been victimized, it is critical to hire a skilled legal representative. The accomplished team at Cutter Law has the experience and knowledge to recover compensation for sexual assault victims.
Since the founding of Cutter Law, the firm has recovered millions of dollars for injury victims. In one case of intentional medical misconduct, the team at Cutter Law recovered over two million dollars for the claimant.
If you are the victim of sexual assault, Cutter Law can help. Reach out to our offices today to schedule a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Oakland Sexual Assaults
It is important to trust yourself with regard to cases of possible assault. You should always err on the side of caution.
If you are uncomfortable with someone’s actions or if you feel unsafe, seek help immediately. You always have the option to say “no” and you should never be afraid to speak with a trusted resource.
Consent is a type of mutual agreement between adults who plan to engage in sexual activity. It is vital that consent is freely and explicitly communicated.
Consent cannot be provided by those who are:
When someone agrees to engage in sexual conduct under threat or intimidation, it does not qualify as consent. Also, unequal positions of power undermine the exchange of consent.
Sexual assault victims often experience severe damages as the result of their abuse. Some of the most common harm that results from sexual assault includes:
- Rips and tears
- Sexually-transmitted infections (STIs)
- Depression and anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Psychological trauma
- And more
No matter what type of damage you have sustained, you deserve to pursue justice in your sexual assault case.
Depending on the victim of an instance of sexual assault, different disclosure regulations apply. In most cases, the victim of assault has the privilege to disclose the incident or not.
However, those who are aware of child or elderly sexual abuse are often required to disclose it to the local law enforcement authorities.
No. You should seek medical care immediately following an instance of sexual violence. In many cases, physical evidence of the crime will remain after the incident.
For this reason, it is important to visit a hospital as soon as possible. The collection of physical evidence may be crucial to the resulting criminal and civil cases.
If a child or other loved one was sexually assaulted, seek help immediately. After ensuring that the victim receives medical care, contact law enforcement and a skilled attorney.
The penalties for the sexual abuse of children are distinct from those involving aggravated sexual battery of an adult. A skilled legal professional will review the facts of your case and help to determine the best path forward for your loved one.
Victims of sexual assault and domestic violence cannot be forced to testify in criminal cases on penalty of jail time. However, victims may face fines for refusing to testify.
Victims are not required to secure a criminal conviction before pursuing civil claims. However, police reports and prior criminal charges can help to secure the financial recovery that victims deserve.
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Cutter Law P.C.
1999 Harrison Street Suite 1400
Oakland, CA 94612