In Omaha, Nebraska, sexual assault is any sexual activity that occurs without the explicit consent of one or more individuals involved. This may include but is not limited to physical force, threats, coercion, manipulation, or taking advantage of someone who cannot consent to sexual activity. Some examples of individuals who may be unable to consent to sex include those who are unconscious, intoxicated, incapacitated, or underage.
Sexual assault comes in different forms. Examples include unwanted sexual touching, groping, sexual harassment, and exposing oneself to others without their consent.
Is Sexual Assault the Same As Sexual Harassment?
While sexual assault and sexual harassment are related, they are distinct forms of sexual misconduct. Sexual harassment involves unwelcome advances, comments, or actions of a sexual nature by one party that create a hostile or intimidating environment for another party. It can occur in the workplace, school, or other settings in society.
On the other hand, sexual assault is sexual contact or activity without the explicit and enthusiastic consent of the other person. It can involve physical force, threats, or taking advantage of someone who cannot consent.
What Are the Penalties for Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault can result in serious legal consequences for the perpetrator. Generally, some common penalties for sexual assault include the following:
Imprisonment: A person convicted of sexual assault may face significant prison time. The sentence can range from zero years to life imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense.
Fines: Individuals convicted of sexual assault may also be required to pay fines per State laws.
Mandatory sex offender registration: Federal laws require all States (and the District of Columbia) to maintain a sex offender registry. As a result, individuals convicted of sexual assault in Omaha will likely have serious consequences for their future employment, housing, and social opportunities.
Probation: Individuals convicted of sexual assault may be placed on probation. This may include regular meetings with a probation officer, drug testing, and other requirements.
Other consequences: Besides legal penalties, people convicted of sexual assault may face other consequences, such as loss of jobs, reputational damage, and strain on personal relationships.
What Are Some Possible Defenses Against a Sexual Assault Case?
Like in any case, individuals accused of sexual assault have a right to defend themselves. Some of these defenses may include the following:
- The alleged victim consented to the sexual activity.
- There are doubts about the identity of the perpetrator (mistaken identity).
- Insufficient evidence to prove that the accused committed the assault.
Berry Law’s Team Provides You With Multiple Attorney Perspectives
What Are Some Factors That Can Influence the Outcome of a Trial?
Different factors can decide how a sexual assault case unfolds. One important aspect is your attorney’s experience in handling such cases. A seasoned criminal defense attorney will conduct thorough investigations and build a strong case to defend you and advocate for your interests.
Other additional factors that could potentially influence the trajectory of the case include the following:
- The accuser’s medical results, particularly in the case where someone has been accused of rape.
- When the alleged victim reported the incident to the relevant authorities.
- Whether there are concerns about the alleged victim’s state of mind, e.g., if they were intoxicated, making it difficult to remember exactly what happened.
- The accused’s relationship with the alleged victim.
What Should I Do if I Have Been Charged With Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is a serious crime. If you have been charged with sexual assault, here are some quick tips to guide you.
Remain calm: While it is understandable that being charged with such a crime can be very stressful, the steps you take after that could make or break your case. Therefore, it is important to stay calm and avoid making any impulsive decisions or statements.
Contact a criminal defense attorney: An experienced criminal defense attorney can guide you through the legal process and develop a strong defense strategy.
Avoid discussing the case with anyone other than your attorney: This also includes your friends or family members. Keep in mind that anything you say could be used against you in court.
Follow your attorney’s instructions: Your attorney will guide you on what to do next, including any legal requirements or court appearances you may have. You can trust the attorney to have your best interests at heart.
Gather evidence to support your defense: Examples of evidence that could be used in a sexual assault defense case include text messages, emails, or witness statements, and medical evidence.
Be honest with your attorney: It is important to be completely honest about the events leading up to the charge, even if you are embarrassed or ashamed. Your attorney will need this information to build an effective defense.
The most important thing to remember is that you are innocent until proven guilty.
Can a Person Who Has Been Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault Be Compensated for Damages?
Yes, if you have been wrongfully accused of sexual assault, you may be able to seek compensation for damages, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Your attorney can help you navigate such a case.
How Can a Omaha Criminal Defense Lawyer Help if I Have Been Charged?
If you have been charged with sexual assault in Omaha, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you in many ways. In summary, they may be able to:
- Protect your rights throughout the legal process, including during police questioning, the investigation, and any court proceedings.
- Develop a strong defense strategy tailored to your specific case. This could include challenging the evidence and raising issues with the investigation.
- Guide you through the legal process, including court appearances, plea negotiations, and trial.
- Help you understand the charges against you and the potential consequences of a conviction.
- Communicate with the prosecutor, the court, and any other parties involved in the case on your behalf.
- Handle all legal paperwork and ensure that deadlines are met.
- Protect your reputation and minimize any negative consequences the charges may bring.
- Negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor, resulting in reduced charges or a lighter sentence.
How a Criminal Defense Lawyer From Berry Law Can Help
No doubt that hiring a criminal defense attorney is critical to your case. At Berry Law, our attorneys are uniquely qualified to handle a wide range of criminal defense cases, including those involving sexual assault.
Our experienced criminal defense lawyers in Omaha can review your case, establish the facts, and defend your rights in and out of court. So, regardless of your circumstances, you can count on Berry Law to listen to your version of the story when no one else does.
Call us today at 402-704-8102 for a case evaluation, or fill out our contact form online. One of our team members will contact you to discuss your case.