Sexual laws in the United States are strict, and may lead to several years in prison. Sexual assault is a crime in which the victim is subjected to unwanted sexual contact. Assault crimes may range from groping to rape, and the sentencing varies accordingly. The exact crimes that fall under sexual assault vary from state to state. It is important to know about state laws before filing a complaint in court.

Sexual assault usually occurs through the use of force, coercion or drugs that damage the victim’s mental ability to understand the situation. Sexual conduct after alcohol abuse is considered assault because the victim is not able to legally consent to any sexual acts. Sexual contact after the use of any other drugs that lead to mental instability is also considered an assault. In modern times, state laws cover sexual assault between people of the same sex as well. Some states distinguish sexual assault crimes between penetrative and non-penetrative crimes. Penetrative assault crimes are considered first-degree assault cases.

In some cases, sexual assault is carried out by the spouse of the victim. Special state laws are in place to deal with spousal sexual assault. These laws eradicate marriage as a defense for the attacker and prohibit the use of force leading to sexual contact.

If you have been charged with sexual assault, it is advisable to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Assault charges are quite severe and may lead to several years in prison. It is important to start the defense as early as possible.