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Common forms of defense used against sexual assault charges

When faced with a sexual assault charge the defendant has access to several forms of defense. The defendant must look at the circumstances and factors surrounding his/her case and decide which defenses they utilize. The defenses include the following:

Innocence: The first and basic defense available to the defense is claiming innocence, the defendant may claim that they did not commit the crime and must provide evidence that backs this, either in the form of an alibi which places the defendant at another location at the time of the crime backed by testimonies or by claiming misidentification on the part of the victim. The burden of proof rests upon the prosecution's shoulders, and they must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was the culprit and thus they must provide evidence to back this and to prove that the defendant was not misidentified. Consent: The defendant can claim that they received consent from the victim before proceeding with any sexual activity thus erasing the charges against them, one of the basic elements of a sexual assault charge is that the act must be performed against the victims will and thus consent eliminates this element. The acquisition of consent on the part of the defendant can be very hard to prove and in certain situations even impossible, even if proved it can backfire on the defense due to the defense bringing up the past sexual history of the victim, and this can be seen negatively by the jury.

Insanity or mental inactivity: The defense can make the claim that the defendant was clinically insane at the time of the crime and thus was incapable of understanding the morality or consequences of his actions thus he cannot be held responsible, evidence must be provided to back this claim but if it is proven that the defendant was mentally ill or insane at the time of the crime then it is likely that this defense will be effective and the court will be lenient.

Sexual assault cases can lead to very severe consequences, which can include significant jail time and irreparable damage to the defendant?s reputation in the form of being registered as a sex offender. Sexual assault cases can be very complex and confusing thus it is highly recommended that you consult an experienced attorney near you.

 

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