What You Should Know About Aggravated Sexual Assault
If you were involved in a sex act against your will, you need a good lawyer on your side. A lawyer will help you stand up for your rights. They will see that you are compensated for damages and that justice is done.
This article will discuss the responsibilities of an aggravated sexual assault lawyer so you can determine if you need to hire one.
What is Aggravated Sexual Assault?
Aggravated sexual assault occurs when one person forces another person into an act of sexual conduct against their using force, fear, or bodily harm. The crime is not considered as serious as rape, but the defendant will face huge penalties if found guilty. They will be looking at thousands of dollars in fines, years in prison, and a lifetime as a registered sex offender.
How is Aggravated Sexual Assault Defined?
Aggravated sexual assault involves aggravated criminal sexual contact involving the following:
Bodily Harm or Threats of Harm
- The defendant causes serious physical harm to the victim
- The defendant uses a deadly weapon to threaten or injure the victim
- The defendant attempts to kill the victim during the assault
If vulnerable victims are targeted in the attack, it can escalate charges to an ‘aggravated’ status. Vulnerable groups include:
- Seniors and young children
- The offender’s biological or adopted child, stepchild, foster child, or close blood relation
- Mentally impaired individuals
- A victim who is unable to give consent because they are asleep, unconscious, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Someone the victim has power over, for example, if the offender is in a position of authority over the victim, such as their coach, teacher, mentor, or doctor
Other Harmful Conduct
Other harmful conduct that takes place during the offense can also constitute aggravated charges. These include:
- Sexual assault that takes place while another crime is committed such as burglary, kidnapping, robbery, or homicide
- If the offender was aided by one or more other people during the assault
- If the offender used drugs to incapacitate the victim
What are the Penalties for Aggravated Assault?
The penalties a defendant may face for aggravated assault will vary depending on the state they live in, the extent of the aggravated criminal sexual contact, previous criminal activity, and other factors. But here is an overview of what offenders may be looking at.
Aggravated sexual assault can carry a sentence of 5 to 20 years in prison. If the person is convicted of aggravated rape, they could be facing decades in prison. Minimum and mandatory sentencing will apply, which means judges can not deviate from imposing a minimum sentence.
Prohibition of Parole
In some cases, the judge may make the sentence more severe by denying the offender parole. Parole allows offenders to carry out all or part of their sentence in the community. If they are denied parole, they must carry out their entire sentence in jail.
Individuals accused of heinous crimes will be denied parole. In other cases, parole may be awarded as an incentive to exhibit good behavior in prison.
Registered as a Sex Offender
A person convicted of aggravated sexual assault must register as a sex offender for the rest of their life. They must keep law enforcement updated on activities such as moving or getting a new job. They may also deal with other restrictions such as not being able to possess firearms, not going near people under 18, and not working certain jobs.
A sex offender may be required to undergo therapy, enroll in sex offender programs, and take medication.
Sex offenders may be fined thousands of dollars. The money will go to pay for the victim’s damages, which may include medical bills, loss of wages, emotional damage, and more.
How an Aggravated Sexual Assault Lawyer Can Help
If you were a victim of aggravated sexual assault, you need a reliable lawyer on your side. An aggravated sexual assault lawyer will help you prove your case. They will see to it that you are compensated for your damages.