A sexual assault allegation is one of the most serious accusations you can face in Bellevue. While accusations alone could have a substantial impact on your life, a conviction for sexual assault could lead to life-long sanctions and a lengthy prison sentence.

While a misdemeanor charge of sexual assault is possible, many of these cases result in felony charges. A dedicated sex crimes attorney at Berry Law can build a strong defense on your behalf and protect your personal and professional life. An experienced Bellevue sexual assault lawyer can advocate for your rights during every step of the legal process.

First-Degree Sexual Assault

First-degree sexual assault is defined by Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-319 as one person sexually penetrating another without their consent. It can also involve sexual contact with the knowledge that the other person is physically or mentally incapable of giving consent. First-degree sexual assault also occurs when a person 19 years old or older has sexual contact with a person between the ages of 12-16.

Sexual assault in the first degree is treated as a Class II felony and carries the most severe penalties of the varying degrees of sexual assault. A Class II felony carries a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison. Additionally, state law requires the judge to take into account whether the alleged victim suffered a physical injury during the assault when weighing punishment. This factor does not add a specific penalty, leaving it at the judge’s discretion.

Second- and Third-Degree Sexual Assault

Other sexual assault charges do not carry the same penalties as first-degree charges, but the potential sentencing range is still significant. Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-320 defines sexual assault in the second and third degree as sexual contact that occurs without the consent of the alleged victim or which occurs despite the perpetrator knowing that the alleged victim was incapable of providing consent.

Unlike first-degree sexual assault charges, these offenses can involve contact other than just sexual penetration. In other words, sexual contact which does not involve penetration would constitute sexual assault in the second or third degree. Being charged with second- versus third-degree sexual assault depends on whether the alleged victim suffered a serious personal injury. Second-degree sexual assault specifically involves serious personal injury, while third-degree assault does not.

Second-degree sexual assault is a Class IIA felony, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. Third-degree sexual assault is a Class I misdemeanor that could lead to up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. A knowledgeable Bellevue attorney from Berry Law can fight your sexual assault charges and secure a favorable outcome.

Call a Bellevue Sexual Assault Attorney Immediately

While the differences between the degrees of sexual assault are substantial, a conviction of any sexual misconduct could dramatically impact your life. Fighting against these charges begins with selecting the right Bellevue sexual assault lawyer. Schedule a confidential consultation with a professional from Berry Law Firm today to start building your defense.

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