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Aggravated Sexual Assault 

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Facing charges of aggravated sexual assault can be an immensely distressing and alarming experience. However, selecting the appropriate lawyer can alleviate some of the burden by fiercely safeguarding your rights and future. Aggravated sexual assault constitutes a more severe category of sexual assault, encompassing instances where a sexual assault occurs under 'circumstances of aggravation.'

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the options below to learn the answers to frequently asked questions about Aggravated Sexual Assault.

If you firmly believe in your innocence regarding the charge of aggravated sexual assault, you have the right to instruct your lawyer to vigorously advocate for the dropping of charges against you.

For a conviction of aggravated sexual assault, the prosecution must establish the three elements of ‘sexual assault,’ which are:

1. Engaging in sexual intercourse with another person.
2. Doing so without their consent.
3. Having knowledge that they did not consent.

Furthermore, the prosecution must prove the presence of at least one ‘circumstance of aggravation,’ an additional factor that elevates the seriousness of the offence. For more information on ‘circumstances of aggravation,’ please refer below.

In the absence of sufficient evidence to prove both the elements of sexual assault and a ‘circumstance of aggravation,’ the verdict will be not guilty.

Moreover, you have the option to raise various defences to justify your actions. If accepted, these defences can lead to the dismissal of charges. Please click on each defence below for more information:

1. Consent – Please note: This defence is not available if the victim was under 16 years of age or intellectually disabled.
2. Proper medical purpose.
3. Self-defence.
4. Necessity.
5. Duress.

Should you choose to plead guilty to the charges of aggravated sexual assault, your case will be presented in a higher court, such as the District or the Supreme Court.

The maximum penalty for aggravated sexual assault is 20 years of imprisonment.

In addition, a standard non-parole period of 10 years applies, indicating that the judge will consider 10 years as the minimum term to be served before becoming eligible for parole.

It is important to note that these penalties represent the maximum and are typically reserved for the most severe offences. The judge will thoroughly assess all the facts and circumstances of your case before determining the appropriate penalty.

Circumstances of Aggravation

In conjunction with establishing the elements of ‘sexual assault,’ the prosecution must also establish the presence of at least one ‘circumstance of aggravation.’ A circumstance of aggravation refers to an additional factor that accentuates the gravity of the offence.

The law delineates nine potential ‘circumstances of aggravation’:

1. Inflicting intentional or reckless actual bodily harm upon the other person:
Actual bodily harm includes injuries with some lasting impact, even if not permanent. Examples encompass bruises, scratches, and evidence of serious and enduring psychiatric harm.

2. Making threats to employ a weapon or instrument:
Threats to use a weapon may be communicated verbally or through physical actions, such as displaying a knife or brandishing a gun. Weapons or instruments encompass a wide range of objects, including loaded or unloaded firearms, knives, syringes, and baseball bats.

3. Presence of two or more people during the offence:
The prosecution must demonstrate that at least one other person was physically present and shared a common purpose with the accused. The collective impact of the group’s actions in committing the offence or intimidating the complainant is taken into account.

4. The complainant was under age 16.

5. The complainant is inferior in position of authority towards the accused (e.g., as a teacher or carer).

6. The complainant had a serious cognitive impairment:
This pertains to cases where the complainant had ‘below-average intellectual function,’ where daily activities necessitate assistance and supervisions. Examples encompass developmental disorders, neurological conditions, dementia, severe mental illnesses, or brain injuries.

7. The complainant had a serious physical disability:
This refers to a physical impairment or defect significantly affecting the complainant’s quality of life, stemming from an accident or congenital condition.

8. Committing a ‘break and enter’:
The prosecution must prove the accused committed a ‘break and enter’ with the intention to commit the offence or any other serious offence.

The prosecution must establish that a ‘break and enter’ was engaged by the accused with the intention to commit the offence or any other serious offence.

9. The complainant was ‘deprived of their liberty’ before or after the offence:
This happens when someone is confined or detained against their own free will.

Potential Penalties

Aggravated sexual assault carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, and there is a standard non-parole period of 10 years. This means the judge considers 10 years as the starting point when determining the sentence.

Aggravated sexual assault carries a significant maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, accompanied by a standard non-parole period of 10 years. Upon determining the sentence, 10 years would be the minimum years judges often consider for the defendant to serve in prison before they are eligible for parole.

It is vital to acknowledge that these maximum penalties are exclusively reserved for the gravest and most heinous offence . In practical terms, the current average sentence for aggravated sexual assault stands at 7 years, with a non-parole period of 4 years, representing the actual period an individual would spend in incarceration before being eligible for parole.

Despite the perceived severity of these penalties, engaging the services of a specialised criminal defence lawyer is of paramount importance to secure the optimal outcome for your case. At KPT Defence Lawyers, we boast a proven track record of effectively defending serious sexual assault matters, often resulting in the dismissal of charges by presenting compelling and valid defences. Entrusting your case to our highly experienced legal team significantly enhances the likelihood of obtaining a favorable resolution and safeguarding your rights throughout the legal proceedings.

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