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Glendale Sexual Assault Lawyer

Sexual assault is the formal legal term for rape in Arizona. It is a felony and punished severely. When you face sexual assault charges or believe you are under investigation for sexual assault, it is in your best interest to consult with a local criminal defense attorney immediately. You need skilled legal counsel on your side to effectively defend against this type of charge and help you protect your future.

A Glendale sexual assault lawyer can review the evidence against you and prepare a powerful defense. With our help, you could achieve the most favorable legal outcome possible in your given circumstances. Contact the Grand Canyon Law Group to get started.

Elements of a Sexual Assault Charge

Every criminal charge has distinct elements a prosecutor must prove to obtain a conviction. As defined in Arizona Statutes § 13-1406, sexual assault must include intentionally and knowingly engaging in intercourse or oral sexual contact with another person without their consent. Under these circumstances, the law defines “sexual contact” as penetration of the mouth, vulva, or anus by any part of the body or other object.

A Glendale attorney can challenge the prosecutor’s evidence and present compelling arguments to establish that no contact meeting the definition of sexual assault occurred. Asserting the alleged victim misidentified their assailant or wrongfully accused the defendant can sometimes be an effective defense. A dedicated defense attorney could also question the issue of consent to the conduct.

Consent in the Context of Sexual Assault

In some instances, challenging whether the alleged victim consented to the acts that took place could be an effective defense against rape charges. However, understanding what consent and lack of consent mean in a legal context is critical.

If the incident involved two legal adults, a lack of consent often means that the accused used threats, physical force, coercion, or intimidation to have sexual contact with the alleged victim. A prosecutor might assert that an alleged victim could not give their consult due to a mental or emotional handicap or because they were impaired by drugs or alcohol or were asleep when the alleged rape occurred. Additionally, Arizona’s age of consent is 18. This means that someone under 18 cannot consent to sexual activity. A Glendale attorney can explain whether the evidence might support a consent defense in a specific case.

Penalties for a Rape Conviction

Sexual assault is a Class 2 felony. Under Arizona’s sentencing provisions, each crime carries a presumptive sentence within a range of sentences. However, multiple factors influence the actual penalties someone convicted of rape might receive. A Glendale attorney could give a more detailed estimate of the penalties someone is likely to face for sexual assault in a specific case.

If the Alleged Victim Is an Adult

When the alleged victim is an adult, and the accused is a first offender, the potential prison sentence ranges from 5.25 to 14 years. However, if the offender has one previous felony conviction, the range increases to seven to 21 years and 14 to 28 years with two or more prior convictions.

If the Alleged Victim Is Under 15

Sexual assault of someone under 15 is sentenced as a dangerous crime against a child under Arizona Statutes §13-705. The sentence for a first offender is 20 years in prison, and the presumptive sentence for someone with prior convictions is 30 years in prison. The offender must serve their entire sentence before becoming eligible for release, and if convicted of multiple counts, must serve the sentences consecutively. Life in prison is possible if the alleged victim is under 12.

Use of an Intoxicant

Giving the alleged victim a drug such as ketamine hydrochloride or another substance intended to sedate the person without their knowledge leads to a harsher sentence. In such cases, the minimum, presumptive, and maximum prison terms increase by three years.

Rape That Inflicts Serious Physical Injury

When a rape leaves the alleged victim with serious physical injuries, an offender could face 25 years to life in prison. The offender must serve the entirety of their sentence before becoming eligible for release.

 Sex Offender Registration

Anyone convicted of a crime related to sexual assault must register as a sex offender. They must also report to the sheriff in their county of residence within ten days of entering the county and provide their contact information. If that information changes, they must report it to the sheriff within 72 hours, excluding weekends and holidays.

Additionally, a sex offender must update their driver’s license annually with a new picture and current residence. A person convicted of sexual assault must continue to follow these requirements indefinitely.

Combat Charges With a Glendale Sexual Assault Attorney

The punishment upon conviction for sexual assault is severe and can impact every aspect of your life. Successfully defending against these charges requires a skilled criminal attorney.

Contact a Glendale sexual assault lawyer from the Grand Canyon Law Group immediately after your charges or arrest. Our team has experience as former prosecutors and can use this inside knowledge to anticipate the prosecution’s potential moves. Let us present an effective defense and help you achieve the best outcome possible in your circumstances. Call today.

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