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Defending against sexual assault charges

From unwanted touching of a sexual nature to attempted rape, when pursing criminal charges, many states classify crimes of a sexual nature under the umbrella term of sexual assault. Depending on the nature of the accusations and ages of involved parties, charges related to sexual assault may be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies. Any criminal conviction related to a sex crime has serious consequences and those facing such charges would be wise to contact a criminal defense attorney.

When defending against sex crimes charges a criminal defense attorney will work with a client to present a defense to the charges or attempts may be made to negotiate a plea agreement. Defenses that are common in sexual assault cases include claims by a defendant of his or her innocence. When pleading innocent to any type of criminal charge, it's best to provide an alibi or some other type of compelling evidence.

In other cases, a defendant may admit that sexual contact with a plaintiff occurred, but may contend that such contact was consensual in nature. These types of "he said, she said" cases pose challenges to both the prosecution and defense as evidence related to a plaintiff's sexual history or defendant's character must often be investigated, presented and relied upon.

Individuals, who are convicted of a sex crime, including sexual assault, may subsequently be required to abide by provisions of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. Under SORNA, an individual is required to register with state authorities and provide an updated address and contact information. Additionally, registered sex offenders are barred from working in certain locations and occupations and from participating in certain events and activities.

Source: FindLaw.com, "The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act," 2015

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Juvenile Criminal
Defense Strategies

Christa Jacqueline Groshek
© 2012 Aspatore Books from
Thomson Reuters Westlaw.
Reproduced by permission