Westport Sexual Assault Lawyer

If you want to effectively defend yourself against a sexual assault accusation, retaining a skilled Westport sexual assault lawyer is a necessity. Without guidance from a defense attorney who has successfully handled cases like yours before, you may have serious trouble gathering enough exculpatory evidence to contest the prosecution’s case.

How Is Sexual Assault Defined in Westport?

As a seasoned Westport sexual assault attorney could tell you, there are many different factors that could affect how severely a sexual assault conviction is punished. However, the three primary factors that impact what charges a defendant might face are whether the offense involved sexual contact or sexual intercourse, whether the defendant used or threatened the use of force, and the age of the alleged victim.

First, Connecticut General Statutes §53a-65 defines sexual contact as any contact with either party’s intimate parts for the gratification of the defendant or the degradation of the victim, and it defines sexual intercourse as penetrative or oral sexual acts, including those involving penetration by an object. Fourth-degree and third-degree sexual assault involve sexual contact and are punished less severely than second-degree and first-degree sexual assault, both of which involve sexual intercourse.

Second, a defendant using force to compel someone else to engage in sexual activity increases the severity of an ensuing sexual assault charge. Third-degree and first-degree sexual assault involve the use of force to compel sexual contact and sexual intercourse, respectively, and therefore result in more severe consequences upon conviction than fourth-degree and second-degree sexual assault.

Finally, all forms of sexual assault may be enhanced by one degree of severity if the victim is under 16 years old. For example, third-degree sexual assault is usually classified as a class D felony if perpetrated against an adult, but it is considered a class C felony if the victim is a minor.

What Are The Potential Consequences Of a Conviction?

Depending on the aforementioned factors, as well as on other factors like whether the victim suffered serious injury as a result of the perpetrator’s actions, sexual assault offenses may be classified as anywhere from class A misdemeanors to class A felonies. However, fourth-degree sexual assault of someone over 16 is the only form of sexual assault that is considered a misdemeanor—all other forms of sexual assault are considered felony offenses in Connecticut.

Class A misdemeanor and class D felony convictions may result in respective maximum jail or prison sentences of one year and five years in length, and felonies of class C and higher have mandatory minimum prison sentences attached to them. In addition, fines for sexual assault convictions may range from a maximum of $2,000 for a class A misdemeanor to $20,000 for a class A felony.

Further, you can expect to be placed on the Connecticut sex offender registry for a conviction. This can limit where you can live, where you can work, and carries a stigma that can affect your social and professional life. Avoiding a conviction and placement on the registry is therefore of key importance.

An experienced sexual assault lawyer in Westport could clarify for an individual defendant what consequences they may face if their case ends with a conviction.

Talk to a Westport Sexual Assault Attorney About Legal Options

A knowledgeable Westport sexual assault lawyer could offer customized guidance and support from start to finish of your criminal case. Click here to head over to avvo.com to learn more about the benefits of a lawyer. Call today to schedule a confidential consultation and find out how legal counsel could help you.

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