A Guide to Sexual Assault Charges And Their Consequences
Being charged with a sexual assault crime can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience. It’s important to remember that you have the right to seek legal advice from a criminal defence lawyer who focuses on sexual assault cases. A seasoned sexual assault lawyer can provide you with the strongest possible defence against criminal charges, ensuring that your rights are protected at every stage of the legal process.
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is defined in Section 271 of the Criminal Code of Canada as any form of sexual activity without the consent of the other person. This encompasses unwanted physical contact, such as touching, kissing, fondling, and penetration.
Types of Sexual Assault Charges
There is a range of sexual assault offences that an individual may face, including:
• Aggravated Sexual Assault: This is the most severe form of sexual assault, which involves the use of weapons, physical harm, or threats of physical harm to the victim.
• Sexual Interference: This criminal offence encompasses sexual contact with any part of a person under the age of 16 for a sexual purpose.
• Sexual Exploitation: This type of sexual assault involves exploiting someone who is in a position of trust or authority over the victim, such as a teacher or coach.
• Voyeurism: This offence entails secretly observing or recording someone for a sexual purpose without their knowledge or consent.
A lack of consent in sexual contact will be grounds to lay charges against you. Any unwanted sexual touching, physical contact, sexual abuse, or sexual activity conducted by a person unto another is grounds for legal action.
What To Do If the Police Contact Me?
If the police contact you regarding a sexual assault charge or sexual abuse allegations, it’s vital to keep in mind that you have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions without seeking legal counsel first. It’s also important to remember that any statements made can be used against you in court.
Sexual assault allegations are largely based on the testimony of the complainant. Exercising your right to remain silent is of extreme importance as any information provided can be used against you in the trial if you choose to testify.
What Can a Sexual Assault Lawyer Do For Me?
An criminal defence lawyer Toronto can provide you with the best possible defence against the charges, making sure your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Defence counsel will examine all the evidence and construct a solid defence strategy on your behalf.
In a sexual assault trial, the credibility of the complainant is often the determining factor, and the defence counsel will work to challenge any inconsistencies in their testimony. Criminal lawyers will also make sure your rights are respected and that you receive a fair trial.
Legal team at Kahlon Law will work hard on your specific matter to get the best possible outcome for you. We will provide you with legal advice on what the best available options are for you regarding your case. Our criminal defence lawyer will review the disclosure in-depth seek out any legal issues with your case and advise you of the triable issues. If the matter goes to trial, your lawyer will build a strong defence for your case. The lawyer will also explore all available defences applicable to your case including mistaken belief in consent.
In addition, a assault lawyer with experience will help you understand the legal proceedings and answer any questions you may have about your case.
The Court Process
A criminal charge of sexual assault involves a complex court process that starts with an arrest and determination of bail. The Crown pre-trial conference is the next step, followed by a judicial pre-trial and then a trial if required.
An individual with legal representation may argue various criminal defences, such as the sexual conduct being consensual or mistaken belief in consent. However, if the evidence presented at trial shows that the sexual conduct was non-consensual, the accused may face life in prison for this indictable offence, which is considered a serious sex offence.
Sentences for sexual assault offences vary based on the severity of the crime and the specific circumstances. Typically, a sexual assault involving penetration carries a more severe sentence than one involving unwanted touching or fondling.
The maximum sentence for a simple sexual assault conviction is ten years in prison, but the actual sentence imposed will depend on the specific case and any aggravating or mitigating factors. If the victim is 16 years or younger, the accused can face up to 14 years in prison. Although mandatory minimum sentences were previously applicable for sexual interference, the court ruled them unconstitutional.
The individual’s professional life may also be impacted as sexual assault is considered an offence punishable by law, and a conviction can have significant consequences such as jail time and a criminal record.
What is SOIRA?
The Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA) is a federal law in Canada that mandates individuals convicted of certain sexual offences to register with the police. The goal of this legislation is to protect vulnerable individuals by providing police with information about charges resulting in sexual assault convictions. Under the Sex Offender Registry, individuals must provide their name, address, date of birth, and other personal information to the police, which is then entered into a national database accessible by law enforcement agencies across Canada.
A person receiving a conditional discharge will not be required to register under the Sex Offender Registry. However, if the person is convicted of a sexual offence, they will be required to register for a period of 10 years, 20 years or life depending on the severity of the offence. An experienced Sexual assault lawyer can help you understand your rights and obligations under SOIRA and provide advice on how to best navigate this process.