Defending yourself against sexual assault charges
Sexual assault is an umbrella term that encompasses all forms of unwanted sexual contact between two people of any age. This can include physical assault,sexual assault, sexual abuse, rape, unwanted touching and just about any other type of sex-relatedcrime.
Being charged with sexual assault is a serious insinuation, one that can have far reaching implications. Aside from jail time and fines, a permanent mark on your record may make it more difficult to get a job, and in many instances, you will need to register as a sex offender in your community.
That’s why it’s vital to retain a sexual assault lawyer as soon as you have an indication you might be in trouble for this kind of crime. A seasoned defense attorney will be able to mount arguments in your favor and give you the best possible chance of being found innocent or have the charges reduced.
There are three main defense strategies for sexual assault charges:
Consent – A defendant may admit that sexual relations took place, but can argue that the victim’s actions made the sex consensual. In a sexual assault case, it must be demonstrated that the sexual act took place against the will of the victim. However, if the defendant can show that the victim gave consent, then they may be found innocent.
Innocence – The most basic defense is that a person did not commit the act. They may have a sound alibi that can be supported by witnesses and other demonstrated facts. They may also be able to support their claim through DNA evidence that can establish whether or not a defendant was actually at the crime scene.
Mental incapacity – Different states have different standards when it comes to an insanity or a diminished mental capacity defense, but a defendant may be treated with more leniency if it can be shown they suffer from mental disease or they were somehow prevented from understanding the criminal nature of their offense.
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