The legal definition of sex crimes and sexual assault will oftentimes overlap. When sexual abuse includes physical harm or verbal sexual abuse, the type of sex crime may be considered “sexual assault” by the courts. Due to the malicious nature of these crimes, often times the courts will sentence those convicted to harsh consequences. Sentences vary from state to state, but all states include such penalties as large fines and jail time. People that have been convicted of these crimes may also be put on a list of sex offenders. This “National Sex Offender Registry” is made publicly available. Society tends to turn their heads away from these criminals, and therefore being registered can affect the criminal and their loved ones for their entire lives.
Sexual assault is defined as forcible sexual congress against an unwilling partner. This charge covers rape, attempted rape, statutory rape, assault with intent to rape, and sodomy. During an investigation, the sexual history of the victim is examined, and DNA samples taken, if possible. Anyone known to be among the victim’s association will be investigated, and asked for DNA samples. This is standard operating procedure for any sexual crimes unit within law enforcement.
Where the false accusations come in are in those cases where no assault was actually committed, or cannot be proven. Too often, a participant in a one night stand has second thoughts about the affair, or a parent lodges charges on behalf of an underage girl against their of age boyfriend, regardless of whether they believe the sex was consensual. Still other supposed victims may have mental disabilities that lead them to believe that someone they feel is attracted to them committed the crime as the result of a fantasy relationship. It is these types of scenarios that lead to genuine victims not being believed when they are truly assaulted.
If you find yourself facing such charges, your first step should be to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. Cooperate fully with law enforcement, even to the extent of giving up DNA samples. Be completely honest about your sexual history when asked by investigators, because any hesitation on your part could be perceived as guilt on your part. Chivalry and a desire to protect any female associations will not save you in this case, and fully cooperating with law enforcement, and your attorney, will help to mount the best defense possible.
This is one of the most serious felony charges possible, short of murder, that can be lodged against anyone. Penalties include jail time, and an automatic registry in the national sexual offenders watch list. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you avoid all of this, and with your cooperation, can get you through the trial to follow, if prosecutors decide to go ahead. The investigations leading up to this moment are extremely personal and invasive, and you must be prepared to deal with it, without giving in to stress and anger.
Many people will assume those charged with sexual assault are guilty before they are even tried. However, many of these people are judged before all of the details of the case have emerged. The most effective way a person can defend themselves is through hiring an attorney. A defense lawyer can help eliminate or reduce charges in many ways. This includes proving false or exaggerated testimony, showing their client’s desire for rehabilitation, or, in the event they have never been in trouble with the law, pointing out the fact that the individual has a clean record.