handcuffs and gavel criminal defenseSexual assault and sexual battery are serious crimes in Georgia. If you have been arrested and charged with one of these crimes, you should contact a sex crimes defense attorney as soon as possible.

Understanding Sexual Assault Charges

In Georgia, the crime of sexual assault applies to anyone with supervisory or disciplinary authority having sex with someone in legal custody or someone in a hospital or other institution like a long-term care home, a nursing home, or hospice. This applies to psychotherapists and their patients, as well as law enforcement and persons in their custody.

What to do when facing this type of charge?
Save your career, reputation, and your and your family’s future before it’s too late.

Don’t make the mistake of believing your position will save you from these allegations. You would think a history of good work and a solid reputation would count for something, but it will seem like all that the police are concerned about is locking you up. We’ve seen and represented clients who have worked hard for their position and their careers, their reputations, and when they come to us, they are at risk of losing it all over false allegations made by someone with an obvious axe to grind.

The typical relationships we see in these types of cases involve a teacher, principal, coach, or other administrator and a student; a law enforcement officer and a person in their custody; a probation or parole officer and their probationer/parolee; psychotherapist and their patient; or an employee of a hospital who has sexual contact with a patient while they’re being treated.

Consent is NOT a defense to these charges as the sexual contact is criminalized when it’s between a person in supervisory or disciplinary authority over the other person who is deemed vulnerable as a result of their status. These charges, unlike rape in Georgia, include sexual contact between persons of the same gender.

Of course, it’s these very types of supervisor/supervisee relationships that can create animosity and lead to false allegations against the person who’s in the supervisory role. Think of a student angry with a teacher or administrator or a police officer and a person they’ve arrested. 

These charges are serious and carry a sentence of between one and 25 years in prison when the alleged victim is over 16 years old. If the victim is under the age of 16, the sentence is enhanced to a minimum of 25 years with a maximum of 50 years in prison and registration as a sex offender.

What Is Sexual Battery?

Sexual battery occurs when a person intentionally touches the intimate body parts of another person without their consent. Notice, there’s no requirement that the touching is done with sexual intent. When looking at these cases, law enforcement and the DA should be looking to make sure they’re convinced that the touching was truly intentional and not accidental. However, many don’t take this obligation as seriously as they should, choosing instead to charge everything and then sort it out later. This approach fails to realize the long-term damage to one’s career and reputation that simply being charged with this offense can bring.

Depending on the age of the alleged victim, this charge can be a felony or a misdemeanor. If the alleged victim is under the age of 16, or if the client has previously been convicted of sexual battery, then it’s a felony with a minimum sentence of one year, a maximum sentence of five years plus registration as a sex offender. If not, then it’s a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 12 months.

Alcohol seems to be involved in the great majority of these cases, usually with one or both parties having been drinking or intoxicated at the time of the alleged touching. If the touching can be shown to have been accidental or incidental, then that’s a defense. It’s also a defense if the touching was consensual. When alcohol is involved, there is almost always the possibility of a misidentification defense as well.

Serious Charges Demand a Serious Defense

If you or a loved one has been charged with sexual assault or sexual battery, you need to contact an experienced and dedicated sex crime lawyer today. Sexual assault and sexual battery charges can be life-altering and inflict permanent damage to a persons’ life, liberty, career, and reputation.

Our criminal defense team’s approach of immediately going on the offensive allows us to leverage every possible opportunity, and depending on when we come into a case, prevent a client from being arrested, avoid indictment, or resolve the case in a way that they can avoid incarceration or registering as a Georgia Sex Offender. However, with these types of charges, it’s not always possible to avoid trial.

Once a trial becomes necessary, our team defends our client with preparation that leaves no stone unturned, our proven persuasive techniques in the courtroom, and the most skilled investigators and trusted experts. These cases involve specialized trial preparation strategies, especially concerning the selection of a jury. We use jury consultants and focus groups to maximize our understanding of the case’s strengths and weaknesses and sharpen our focus regarding the type of juror we want.

Each client and case is different, with each case presenting its own challenging set of facts, but our criminal defense team’s approach and commitment to protecting our clients remain the same.

If you or a loved one has been charged with sexual assault or sexual battery, you need to contact an experienced and dedicated Atlanta sex crime lawyer today. Sexual assault charges can be life-altering and inflict permanent damage to a persons’ life, liberty, career, and reputation.

Get the Information You Need to Start Fighting Back Today

Contact us so we can begin developing your defense and start working to help you get your life back as soon as possible. Criminal charges are SERIOUS, a potentially life-altering event in a person’s life. Typically, criminal charges don’t define one’s life, but sexual assault and sexual battery are not typical charges. Right now, the DA’s office is working on your case, and in their version, you end up convicted and in prison.

Don’t let them write the ending to your story …


Brian Hobbs
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