It can be an extremely stressful, confusing and a momentous period in an individual’s life should they be subject to any form of sexual offence. By seeking professional guidance and support from a sexual offence solicitor, individuals are able to understand and defend their rights and protect their interests throughout the court hearings and after as they begin to move forward with their lives.
Most offences will be governed by the Sexual Offences Act of 2003. This gives a foundation from which many legal professionals can base their prosecution off and can give fast and accurate legal advice to their clients when they are initially contacted with a complaint and are looking to see how they can move ahead with the prosecution.
There are different kinds of sexual offences that can be claimed against and although some are most serious than others in terms of the kind of crime that has been committed, they can all have devastating consequences on the victim and need to be approached with compassion, understanding and with a firm hand to ensure that justice is served.
What are the types of sexual offences that can be prosecuted against?
From rape and sexual assault to exploitation and grooming, any crime that has violated either a man or woman with the intent of a sexual nature can be seen as a sexual offence. Historical allegations can also be discussed and worked through, as are allegations concerning indecent images of child abuse.
Definitions are sometimes necessary and it can be somewhat distressing for individuals to go through the finer details of their experiences in order for professionals and for the court to gather adequate information in order to understand the nature of the crime.
It is possible for a support person to be present for the victim during questions and there may be a necessity for a medical examination to be taken to acquire indefinite proof for swift and just prosecution.
The maximum sentence for rape is life imprisonment. Sexual assault can be as much as 10 years. A professional will go through the finer details and what can be expected for a certain case with their client. It is important to be clear and realistic about what is likely to be passed down and with the experience and knowledge of a compassionate solicitor, clients can understand their situation.
How can you prove consent?
Becoming more clear by the year, it has always been a foggy complication that has dragged out cases or even allowed for criminals to walk free in the past. It can be difficult to understand whether a victim has given consent or not. Consent can be defined in section 74 of the Sexual Offences Act.
Those who have the capacity to agree to a sexual act, therefore are not overly inebriated or passed out due to drinking too much alcohol, are able to give consent. They must also agree by choice and have the freedom to be able to do so. Consent is able to be withdrawn during the whole act and one sexual activity can be consented to but another may not be.
Therefore, it is ok to have consented to be touched and kissed, but then were raped because they did not consent to have intercourse without a condom on.
Investigators must be ‘satisfied to the point that they are sure’ that they had not consented to an activity for it to be seen in court.