Many states have undertaken a revision of their rape and sexual assault laws, creating a broad set of sexually related crimes. These crimes are often referred to collectively as sexual assault, criminal sexual conduct or sexual abuse. The chief characteristic of these laws is that they prohibit doing any type of sexual act with another person against that person's will. Generally, it is not necessary to show physical resistance on the part of the victim, only that the victim did not consent to the act. If you have been accused of sexual assault, seek the advice of an attorney from the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Austin, Texas.
The modern trend is to make the laws against sexual assault gender neutral so that they apply to acts by and against both men and women. The most serious types of sexual assault are those committed against children or those that involve the use of violence.
Is Sexual Assault the Same as Rape?
The traditional definition of rape requires an act of sexual intercourse or sexual penetration by force or against the victim's will. Sexual assault includes contact such as sexual touching. These definitions, however, vary by jurisdiction.
The majority of sexual assault allegations are made by somebody who knows the accused. If a sexual act is done with a minor who apparently consented, criminal charges may arise because minors are not considered capable of giving consent.
The seriousness of a sexual assault charge, as well as the penalty that is imposed, may depend upon the amount and type of force used by the defendant and the injuries suffered by the victim. The victim's physical resistance is not a major factor in deciding the severity of the charge. Sexual assault charges are often felony charges, although some types of sexual assaults may be misdemeanors.
The penalties for sexual assault are severe and include prison or jail, monetary fines, psychiatric evaluation and treatment, and restitution payments to the victim. A person convicted of sexual assault may be forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of his or her life and have his or her name appear on the public registry of sex offenders.
Prosecution and Defense of Sexual Assault Cases
Usually, the only witnesses to an alleged sexual assault are the victim and the person accused. Many cases thus become "he said/she said" types of cases, in which one person's word is pitted against another's. False allegations have been made by both adults and children. An adequate defense against a sexual assault charge requires sufficient information and rigorous advocacy.
Austin Sexual Assault Defense: The Charles Johnson Law Firm
Sexual assault includes many types of sexual acts done without the consent of the victim. These cases frequently do not involve eyewitnesses and, as a result, are complex. Being convicted of sexual assault can result in lengthy prison time and social isolation once you are released. If you are facing sexual assault charges, speak with an experienced and aggressive attorney from the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Austin, Texas.
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