Sexual assault crimes are some of the worst crimes that can occur.
They are considered the most severe next to murder.
Throughout the years, the defenses for individuals charged with sex crimes have changed. This has much to do with a better understanding of sex crimes and why they occur. For instance, twenty or more years ago, a common defense by a Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer was to show that the victim was promiscuous and a vast sexual history would prove that. In fact, a victim’s sexual history was admissible as evidence. Modern rape shield laws now protect victims from this kind of embarrassment. In other words, promiscuity is no longer allowed as a defense except under very limited circumstances. This frustrates many defendants because the fact they know that a victim has had consensual sex with a number of partners, but cannot bring up this fact. This means that the Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer has to come up with other strategies for a solid defense.
Consent is one of the most common forms of defense in a sexual assault case. There is the age of legal consent that says a child that is 13 years old does not have the capacity to consent to sexual activity. If the defendant is an older teen, that older teen could be charged and convicted of sexual assault. However, two young people close in age that do consent may result in the defendant not being convicted. This is commonly known as the “Romeo and Juliet” defense. If the charges are not dismissed, then they can be reduced from forced rape to statutory rape.
There are many defendants that also benefit from DNA tests. More now than in the past, law enforcement is requiring victims to have sexual assault exams so that DNA evidence can be preserved. This means that it is easier to prove when a defendant did not commit the crime.
PENALTIES FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT
If a defendant is found guilty of sexual assault, the end result does vary. The sentence can depend upon aggravating factors. For instance, a defendant in a “Romeo and Juliet” scenario is more likely to receive a probated or deferred sentence if intercourse was not forced and if the defendant is young in age. The time could result in prison time, community supervision, fines, and much more. One of the most severe aspects, however, is the registration as a sex offender that can affect a person for the rest of their life, whether the act was consensual or not. A Minnesota sexual assault lawyer is needed to reach the best possible outcome in the case.