According to statistics, the number of sexual assault victims has been rising steadily in recent years. Those who have experienced sexual assault can talk to a compassionate Sexual assault lawyer who will listen to the story and explain the legal rights and possible legal remedies. There are expert lawyers who have substantial experience in representing victims through civil litigation.
The laws governing sexual assault differs from state to state. For example, in the state of California, sexual assault can include rape, threats, sodomy, seduction, and many more. The general definition of sexual assault is an unwanted act of sexual conduct without the person’s consent. It can also include threats and coercion.
What victims of sexual assault must do?
- After you are out of danger, it is important to seek medical help to document the attack even if you have not decided to press charges. There are experienced medical staff who are trained in sexual trauma and evidence collection if you want to pursue a case against the attacker once you have decided to have justice.
- Deciding to report a sexual assault can be difficult after being violated. However, it is important to talk to someone regarding what has happened. If you are embarrassed and cannot talk freely, do so anonymously. There are organizations that will protect your privacy.
- Even if you have not decided to press charges, save some pieces of evidence like the clothing you wore when you were assaulted or anything else that contains evidence that can be used for an official report.
- When you are ready to make your attacker responsible, talk with a lawyer who is experienced in sexual assault cases. In California, there is no statute of limitations for criminal charges. However, failure to meet the statute of time limitations may not allow you to pursue compensation in a civil claim.
Penalties and sentencing for sexual assault
There are two justice systems in the United States, criminal and civil. In the criminal justice system, the prosecutor determines whether or not to charge a person for a sexual crime. In California, a conviction for sexual assault carries a possible sentence of 2, 3, or 4 years of jail time with a fine of $10,000. Judges will examine both the mitigating and aggravating factors when deciding on the sentence. Aggravating factors can include the defendant’s criminal history and whether the severity of the crime deserves a harsher punishment. Mitigating factors, on the other hand, support a more lenient sentence.
In the civil justice system, survivors can claim monetary damages against the defendant. Even if the attacker is not found guilty, he will be ordered to compensate the victim for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and loss of future earning potential.
Not all law firms handle sexual assault cases. Victims of sexual assault have to be handled with care and they require a lot of support during litigation. It is important for a lawyer to be compassionate and emphatic to the victim during interrogations because their experience is very personal and full of anxiety.