UConn Sexual Assault Lawyer
If you are facing a sexual assault investigation or charge, having a qualified assault defense attorney by your side could be essential to preserving your future. Guidance from a knowledgeable UConn sexual assault lawyer may help you protect your rights in court and be key in minimizing the impact this kind of case could have on your life outside of court as well.
Degrees of Sexual Assault Offenses Under State Law
The Connecticut penal code groups various criminal offenses involving non-consensual sexual acts into four degrees of sexual assault. The four degrees of sexual assault are differentiated by two main criteria: whether the perpetrator engaged in sexual contact or sexual intercourse with someone else and whether the perpetrator used force to compel that interaction.
According to Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-73a, anyone who engages in sexual contact without the use of force with someone who cannot consent to that contact has committed sexual assault in the fourth degree. This offense typically occurs in situations where the perpetrator is an adult, and the alleged victim is under the age of consent. Third-degree sexual assault, as per C.G.S. §53a-72a, involves someone compelling sexual contact by using or threatening physical violence.
Finally, as defined by C.G.S. §§53a-71 and 53a-70, respectively, second-degree and first-degree sexual assault may occur under more or less the same circumstances as a fourth- or third-degree offense, except they involve sexual intercourse as opposed to inappropriate touching. A UConn attorney could determine how to deal with a particular sexual assault case based on the type of offense you are facing.
Potential Penalties from a Sexual Assault Conviction
Sexual assault in the fourth degree is considered a misdemeanor only if it involves the perpetrator targeting someone over the age of 16. Any sexual assault committed against a person under 16 automatically gains a level of severity. Therefore, fourth-degree sexual assault changes from a class A misdemeanor to a class D felony, third-degree changes from a class D felony to a class C felony, and so on.
Depending on the degree of sexual assault a person is charged with and the presence of aggravating factors (such as the use of a firearm), a conviction may result in penalties of up to $20,000 in fines plus maximum prison sentences of five to 25 years. Furthermore, as an experienced lawyer could explain, particularly severe sexual assault offenses at UConn may be punishable by mandatory minimum prison terms that cannot be reduced or suspended under any circumstances.
Talk to a UConn Sexual Assault Attorney About Legal Options
Any situation that leads to accusations of sexual assault should be taken immensely seriously. You could face massive personal and educational consequences even in the event of an acquittal, and a conviction would almost certainly make you a felon and deprive you permanently of certain civil rights after you serve your sentence.
Representation from a UConn sexual assault lawyer from Mark Sherman Law could make a tremendous difference in your ability to defend yourself against this kind of accusation. Click here to read our over 300 certified client reviews on Avvo.com, and call today to schedule an initial consultation.