Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson

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Understanding California’s Sexual Assault Laws

California sexual assault defense attorneyIn recent months, the news has been filled with stories of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment, and people have become emboldened to step forward and discuss the crimes that have been committed against them. The #MeToo movement has resulted in serious consequences for many people, including several well-known public figures. Under this increased level of scrutiny, some people may be facing accusations of sexual impropriety, and it is important to understand how California’s state laws define sexual assault and the possible consequences that can result from a conviction.

California Sex Crime Laws

In California, sexual offenses primarily fall into one of the following categories:


sexual assault, San Jose sexual harassment defense lawyer,  Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment, workplace harassmentThe news has been filled with discussion of sexual assault and sexual harassment in recent months, due to a number of accusations against high-profile public figures. The allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein have been especially influential, leading to scrutiny of sexual assault laws and charges of workplace harassment.

This increased interest has been dubbed the “Weinstein effect,” and it has not only led to the possibility of more people being accused of sexual assault, but it has also resulted in lawmakers making changes to sex crime laws.

A Possible End to Secret Settlements



After a long and harsh winter, people get ready for Spring break. Indeed. Spring break symbols the return of warm weather. This is the time where young people come together to plan fun events. Unfortunately, many of these young people end up getting arrested during Spring break. As a result, they are charged with criminal offenses and some end up in jail. Being arrested during Spring break is definitely a party “pooper.” This can ruin anyone’s Spring break plans.

What was meant to be a time of fun, freedom and leisure, could lead to jail time. The last thing you want to happen is to get arrested during Spring break. Instead, you want to rejoice with friends and have fun. The Bay Area is notorious for young people sometimes getting out of hand and getting arrested during Spring break. For every one thousand households, there are 70 crime incidents in the Bay area. In fact, the Bay area’s crime index is among the worst in the nation. Most of the crimes are attributed crime incidences such as theft.


Drones are useful tools in the areas search and rescue, increased mapping and scientific research, not to mention personal recreation and photography. But we have to be careful and concerned about government use of drones that have the tempting invitation for abuse. Aerial drones are the new investigative devices being employed by police departments across the country and so far have minimal regulation and oversight. Drones are increasingly getting smaller, but equipped with more sophisticated and powerful technologies to capture video images and audio recordings in traditionally “private spaces,” where search warrants would or should be required.

Because the threat of abuse is dangerous to constitutional and privacy rights, government use of drones should be regulated and limited. Some reasonable regulations include: 1) police may only deploy a drone upon receipt of a warrant or in the case of an articulable emergency where obtaining warrant is not possible; 2) The City or State government should set forth the policies for the use of drones and those policies made public; 3) Images and information collected may only be retained if there is a criminal investigation.

The Law Office of Erik Steven Johnson defends clients against criminal charges from Palo Alto to San Jose and throughout surrounding California communities. When the government obtains evidence in contradiction of constitutional rights, the evidence will be excluded from trial. If you have been charged with a crime in California, contact us today online or by telephone at 408-246-3004 to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

If you are charged with a crime, you should definitely consider hiring a lawyer. Misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable by less than a year in the county jail. Felonies are those crimes punishable by a year or more in the state penitentiary. When you are charged with either, a felony or misdemeanor, the consequences can be life changing. You likely have a lot of questions.

When you are arrested, charged with a crime, or tried for a crime, you are afforded certain rights. You definitely have the right to remain silent, and you should before talking to a criminal defense attorney. A criminal lawyer will review what you are being charged with and will discuss with you what the district attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a jury to find you guilty. In some circumstances a person may be guilty of a crime but not the crime that is being charged.

In addition to discussing the elements of the crime the DA must prove, a criminal defense attorney will discuss the potential punishments for the crime or crimes that you are charged with. The criminal defense attorney will review the facts and circumstances of your case and discuss any available defenses. Plea bargaining may also be discussed, wherein a reduction in the punishment is bargained for a guilty plea to a lesser offense or same offense with a reduction in the punishment that would be given if the defendant had been found guilty of the crime.

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