Tireless Defense in the Face of Serious Accusations
Sexual assault charges are incredibly serious and, when clear evidence is not available, these cases often come down to a “he said, she said” situation. If you have been accused of sexual assault, reach out to Naegle Law Firm right away to discuss your case with a skilled sexual assault attorney in Mesa. With over 13 years of experience and a record of favorable results, we know how to help you navigate the criminal justice system and fight to protect your future and your freedom. We can ensure that your rights are protected.
What Is the Definition of Sexual Assault?
In Arizona, sexual assault, commonly known as rape, is defined as intentional sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with another person without their consent. Intentional and unwanted sexual contact that does not fall under one of these two categories is a different type of crime: sexual abuse.
Sexual intercourse, in this context, is defined as the penetration of the vulva, anus, or penis using any item without the consent of the other person. Oral sexual contact is defined as oral contact with the vulva, anus, or penis without the other person’s consent.
In the context of sexual assault, “without consent” is defined as instances in which an individual outright rejects sexual advances, does not give consent, or cannot give consent for any reason, including when the victim is a minor or impaired due to drug/alcohol consumption, mental disorder, defect, or another reason. If a person cannot give consent due to impairment, the prosecution must prove that the defendant should have reasonably known that the impairment prevented the victim from consenting. “Without consent” also includes instances in which the victim is intentionally threatened, tricked, or coerced—either physically, verbally, or otherwise—into sexual activity.
Penalties for Sexual Assault in Arizona
The penalties for sexual assault, or rape, in Arizona are very harsh. As in most other types of sex crimes, the penalties range depending on the circumstances involved, including whether or not there were aggravating factors, such as the use of a “date rape” drug or the intent to cause bodily harm.
Generally speaking, the penalties for sexual assault/rape in Arizona include:
- Felony charges
- Mandatory life-long sex offender registration
- From 2 to 14 years in prison (for a class 2 felony); up to 21 years in prison if the defendant has a prior conviction for felony sexual assault; or up to 28 years in prison if the defendant has at least two prior convictions for felony sexual assault
- For aggravated sexual assault, up to 3 additional years added to the sentence if a date rape drug was used and up to 25 years to life in prison if the defendant is found guilty of attempting to inflict “serious physical injury”
Additional penalties include court costs and fees, as well as possible restitution to the victim, not to mention the social consequences that accompany lifetime registry on the sexual offenders list.
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