New York Forcible Touching Defense Lawyer
Forcible touching involves the deliberate, unwanted touching of another person in a sexual manner. Colloquially, forcible touching is often called “groping.” Although it is not punished as harshly as a felony sex crime, forcible touching is still a serious offense. Depending on the circumstances, a defendant convicted of forcible touching could get placed on the sex offender registry, which can have a catastrophic effect on the rest of the defendant’s life.
If you have been arrested or charged with forcible touching, you need to speak with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The criminal defense attorneys at Dupée & Monroe, P.C., will fight for your rights from investigation through plea negotiation and, where appropriate, trial and beyond. We utilize all possible defenses and legal means to ensure that you are not deprived of your rights. We ensure that the government is held to its high bar of proving its case, and we will fight for your rights and your freedom every step of the way.
Defining Forcible Touching Under New York Law
NY Penal Law § 130.52 defines the crime of forcible touching. According to the law, forcible touching occurs when a person intentionally and for no legitimate purpose:
- Forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person, for the purpose of abusing the person or gratifying the actor’s sexual desire; or
- Subjects another person to sexual contact for the purpose of gratifying their own sexual desire or degrading or abusing the other person while on a bus, train, or subway.
The section specifically notes that forcible touching can include pinching, squeezing, or grabbing. Forcible touching is often charged when a defendant allegedly grabs or gropes someone else on a subway car or bus.
Penalties for Forcible Touching in New York
Forcible touching is a class A misdemeanor, which means the maximum possible penalty is one year in jail. First-time offenders might only face probation rather than jail time.
Forcible touching may, however, qualify as a sex crime under New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act. If the alleged victim was under the age of 18, or if the defendant has a certain criminal history, upon conviction the defendant could face registration as a sex offender. Sex offender registration will last at least 20 years and may be for life.
Defending Against Forcible Touching Charges
Successfully convicting a person of the crime of forcible touching requires proving that the forcible touching actually occurred, that the defendant intentionally touched the alleged victim, and that the touch was intended to be sexually degrading for the victim or to serve the defendant’s sexual desire. A savvy New York defense attorney can undermine the prosecution’s case by pointing to a lack of evidence demonstrating any one of those necessary elements.
The defense may be able to argue, for example, that whatever physical contact occurred was accidental. Trains, buses, and subways jostle and shake passengers, and some incidental contact is unavoidable. A person should not be convicted for a potential sex crime just because they fell into someone else during a sharp turn. There’s no crime if the defendant touched someone else by accident, or if they only touched someone to brace from a fall and protect themselves or someone else.
Moreover, the defendant may be able to show that the alleged victim consented to the touch. The intimate touching must be unwanted in order to be criminal. If the parties engaged in consensual touching, then no one should be convicted of a crime.
Talk to a seasoned New York criminal defense lawyer about your charges and the circumstances of your arrest. Your lawyer can build the strongest defense in your case, potentially obtaining a favorable plea bargain or getting your case dismissed in its entirety.
Protect Your Freedom and Your Future With Help From Our Hudson Valley Sex Crime Defense Lawyers
If you have been arrested and charged with forcible touching or other serious crimes under New York state law, contact Dupée & Monroe, P.C. to speak with a forcible touching defense lawyer in Goshen. We represent clients charged with forcible touching, assault, and other serious offenses in Orange County and throughout the Hudson Valley.