Criminal Defence Lawyers in Sexual Assault Cases
Sexual assault is defined as having ‘sexual intercourse’ with another person without that person’s consent while knowing that the other person is not consenting.
Sexual intercourse is defined as:
- penetration of a female’s genitalia, or the anus of any person, by any part of another person or any object,
- penetration of any person’s mouth by any part of another’s penis, or
A person ‘consents’ when they freely and voluntarily agree to sexual intercourse.
A person does not consent if they:
- don’t have the capacity due to lack of age or mental ability,
- are unconscious or asleep,
- are threatened with terror or force, or
- are mistaken as to the identity of the other person, or that they are married, or that the act is for medical or hygenic purposes.
Sexual assault is an offence under section 61I of the NSW Crimes Act carrying a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
Pleading Not Guilty
If you did not commit a sexual assault, it is important for your lawyer to fight for the case to be dropped.
This can be achieved by:
- Obtaining any statements and materials that support your case,
- Writing and advising the prosecution of inconsistencies and other weaknesses in the case against you,
- Advising the prosecution that you have a valid defence, and
- Pressing for the withdrawal of the case.
If the prosecution refuses, your criminal defence lawyer should be experienced at winning sexual assault cases similar to yours.
You can determine this by looking at ‘recent results’ on their website.
Your lawyer can advise you if any of the following defences apply:
This is when the other person – called the ‘complainant’ – has freely and voluntarily agreed to the act.
Consent is not available in certain cases, eg if the complainant is under the age of 16 years or has a cognitive impairment.
Proper medical purpose
This is where the act was necessary to perform a recognised medical procedure.
This is when you are defending yourself, another person or property from an aggressor or thief.
This is when you are in an emergency situation and commit the alleged offence to get away.
This is when you are forced to commit the offence.
If you wish to plead guilty, any of the following penalties may apply:
Non Conviction Order
This means that you are guilty but the court does not impose a criminal conviction upon you.
The court will look a range of matters when deciding whether to grant a ‘section 10 dismissal or conditional release order’ – including the incident itself, the lead-up to the incident, your general character and your personal circumstances
Good behaviour bond
This means that you cannot commit any further offences for the duration of the bond.
The bond may have additional conditions, such as seeing a Community Corrections officer and complying with their directions.
Community service order
This means that you must undertake a specific number of hours of unpaid work over a 12 month period.
The maximum is 500 hours.
Community service orders are not available to all defendants or for all ‘sex offences’.
Your lawyer will be able to advise whether community service is available in your case.
Intensive correction order
This means that you come under the supervision of the Department of Corrections and are required to undertake 32 hours of community service work per month.
You may also be required to undertake rehabilitation programs, attend conferences and be subjected to urinalysis and monitoring.
Intensive correction orders can last up to 2 years.
Intensive correction orders are not available to all defendants or for all ‘sex offences’.
Your lawyer will be able to advise whether an intensive correction order is available in your case.
This means that you must generally stay at home for the duration of your sentence, subject to exclusions such as approved work or attending medical appointments or counselling.
Home detention orders can last up to 18 months.
Home detention orders are not available to all defendants or for all ‘sex offences’.
Your lawyer will be able to advise whether home detention is available in your case.
This is when you are sentenced to a period of imprisonment, but are not actually sent to prison as long you comply with any conditions and do not commit any further offences.
Suspended sentences can last up to 2 years.
Full time prison
This is when you are sent to gaol.
Full time imprisonment can only be imposed if no other alternative is appropriate in the circumstances.
Call our experienced sexual assault lawyers today for a free first appointment where we can discuss your case and advise you of the best way forward.
24 /7 Assistance (02) 9261 8881