Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Common forms of defense against sexual assault charges

Sexual assault is generally defined as the act of touching or feeling another person's body in a sexual manner without their consent and includes acts that range from simple unwanted touching of the body and groping to attempted rape. While sexual assault is no doubt a heinous crime and victims do deserve justice, it is also true that false allegations are common. There is a number of defenses that are used to protect the defendant.

The most basic form of defense used in court is innocence. The defense claims that the defendant did not commit the crime by either presenting an alibi or by claiming misidentification on the part of the plaintiff. In the case of an alibi, the defense must provide proof that the defendant was not present in the vicinity at the time of the crime. The defense can also claim that the plaintiff confused them with someone else and failed to identify the culprit correctly. The defense has to provide reasonable evidence as proof. The fact is that the defendant can generally only be convicted of the crime if it is proven beyond doubt that he committed the crime, if there is reasonable doubt then normally a conviction will not take place. 

Another form of defence lies in claiming that the consent was already given by the victim when the sexual act took place. The sexual act must be performed against the victim's will if it is to be classed as a sexual assault. Thus, if the defendant is able to show that the victim gave their consent, they can set up a concrete defence. This form of defence can be a double-edged sword because it often relies on bringing up the past sexual history of the plaintiff which can be seen negatively and turn the jury against the defendant if this strategy is not handled effectively. 

The defense can also claim that the victim was mentally ill or insane at the time of the crime. A person who is proven clinically insane or mentally deranged is viewed as not capable of making rational decisions in the eyes of the law and thus is treated more leniently.

An accusation of sexual assault can be extremely challenging deal with as it has such far reaching consequences. To achieve the best possible outcome, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced attorney near you.

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Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

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