Indecent assault is a form of touching which the person finds offensive and occurs on specific body parts. In other words, when one person touches another in an “indecent way” on the buttocks, breasts or genitals without their consent indecent assault has occurred. Even a kiss using the tongue without the other person’s consent can result in charges of indecent assault, although it would be more difficult to obtain a conviction if that were the only contact. The alleged victim must have been at least fourteen years of age at the time of the contact, the accused must have touched the alleged victim with no justification, the touching must be considered indecent, and the alleged victim must not have given consent.
The Difference in Indecent Assault and “Regular” Assault
The crime of indecent assault and battery is considerably different from “regular” assault and battery in specific ways. Typically, charges of indecent assault are usually brought months—or even years—after the alleged incident took place. This can cause a considerable problem in the prosecution of the crime as memories tend to fade over time and the facts of the case can become distorted meaning reasonable doubt can definitely exist. The evidence for an indecent assault and battery tends to be much more exacting than that of a more typical assault and battery.
Sex Offender Registration Required
The crime of indecent assault is a sexual offense and as such can exposed the person convicted to an entire battery of penalties as well as the necessity of registering as a sex offender for years or even a lifetime. Registering as a sex offender can literally change your life and your future and can provide just the opportunity for the police to re-arrest you for the most minor mistake, exposing you to further jail time. Convictions for the crime of indecent assault can carry penalties of up to five years in state prison. Charges of indecent assault are extremely serious and very complex and require the services of a highly qualified criminal defense attorney in order to ensure the accused’s rights are fully protected.
Indecent Assault on a Child Under the Age of Fourteen
The inappropriate touching of a person under the age of fourteen is a much more serious crime as the law says a child of this age is unable to give consent to be touched therefore the element of consent does not exist. All other elements of the crime remain the same however the penalties for a conviction are much more severe, bringing as much as ten years in a state prison as well as the necessity of registering as a sex offender and providing a sample of DNA.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney to Protect Your Future
Your attorney may attempt to have the charges reduced to a simple assault and battery in order to avoid the seriousness of sex offender registration. Your attorney may be able to offer the argument that your actions did not meet the legal standards for indecent assault, that the alleged victim actually consents, that you did not have the intent to touch the alleged victim inappropriately or that the touching which occurred was not, in fact, indecent. Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately when charges have been filed and your chances of minimizing the damage to your future are much more likely.