Articles Posted in Appeals & Expungements

People are accused of assault and battery crimes for actions that most people would not assume are actually related to assault or battery. And in some cases, they aren’t. MSNBC reports a jury found a Fullerton man guilty on two misdemeanor counts of battery for putting his semen in a female co-worker’s water bottle on two occasions for sexual gratification.

According to the article, the man could face a year in jail and may be ordered to register as a sex offender for life. The 32 year old man’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 22 and his attorney says he will appeal the verdict. The man’s attorney argues that in order to have a battery, there must have been an application of force, which he claims was not the case in this particular situation.

The man was charged with two counts of assault and battery in addition to an allegation that he put semen in the water bottle for his co-worker to drink for sexual gratification. Since the jury found the man guilty of battery, which is more severe of a crime than assault, the jury could not find him guilty of assault. The attorney told the jury that while his client’s conduct was outrageous, it was not criminal since he did not commit an act of misdemeanor assault or battery. The man’s attorney also emphasized his client’s diagnosis of having a narcissistic personality disorder and the maturity of a 16 year old, both of which were determined by a forensic psychologist.

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in California, there is still a chance that your case could be expunged or dismissed, thereby clearing your criminal record. In some cases, we can file a motion on your behalf asking the court to withdraw your guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) plea or guilty verdict and enter a not guilty plea. The court will then set aside and dismiss the conviction. From that point, you are considered no longer convicted of the offense. This is our criminal justice system’s way of giving those convicted of crimes a second chance and an opportunity to make a fresh start.

However, not everyone can get their California criminal case dismissed or expunged. There are several criteria that must be met in order to qualify for such a procedure. You are eligible for a dismissal of conviction if:

  • You have successfully completed probation or obtained an early release

A federal appeals court has ruled that a Santa Monica man, who was wrongfully imprisoned for 14 years on child rape charges, can sue the city of Long Beach and a police officer who he says fabricated the evidence in that case. According to this news report in the Long Beach Press Telegram, Leonard McSherry was exonerated thanks to DNA evidence of the 1988 kidnapping and sexual assault of a 6-year-old girl taken from a Navy housing complex in Long Beach. The DNA was matched to another man, George Valdespino, who was serving time in a different kidnapping and molestation case. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s judgment dismissing the case.

We read about these kinds of stories all the time. Wrongful convictions occur more often than we hear or know about. This especially happens in sex crime cases where victims or witnesses identify the wrong person. In the absence of an aggressive and experienced sex crime defense attorney in California, it becomes impossible for a defendant to prove his or her innocence. People such as Leonard McSherry show us the importance of “innocent until proven guilty.” However, too often the media and the public are eager to convict a defendant even before they have been proven guilty.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a serious felony such a rape, assault or murder in California, please understand that you have legal rights. Call 888-579-4844 to speak with one of our knowledgeable and experienced California criminal defense attorneys at Sitkoff & Hanrahan. We have the tools and skills it takes to get you an acquittal or even get your charges reduced. Contact us to schedule a free and comprehensive consultation.

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