Generally, sexual assault refers to a crime where an offender subjects a victim to sexual contact that is offensive and unwanted. Crimes can range from groping, assault, and battery to attempted rape. While all states forbid sexual assault, the exact definition of the crime can fall within various classifications from one state to the next. If you have special questions specific to your locale, you need to talk to a sexual assault attorney in Austin.
How the Law Defines Sexual Assault
Simply put, a sexual assault attorney will tell you that this type of criminal act involves involuntary sexual contact occurring through the use of coercion or force, or because of a victim’s incapacity. The law considers a victim incapacitated if they did not have the mental acumen to comprehend the nature of the sexual acts, or if they were physically unable to show their unwillingness to participate. For instance, examples of this inability include the use of liquor or drugs in the instances of date rape.
A sexual assault attorney will also explain that sexual assault can occur between individuals of any sex or age. For instance, most of the laws under this category cover involuntary sexual acts between two women, two men, or two children—not just between an adult man and a woman.
An Umbrella Definition
Sexual assault is considered an umbrella definition for a number of crimes where involuntary sexual contact is involved. Some jurisdictions note the differences in the degree of an assault, or whether penetration or involuntary touching was involved. Therefore, some cases involve first-degree or aggravated assault, while others cover lower-level charges.
States also extend sexual assault to cover spousal sexual assault. While classes of sex crimes do not vary too much from one location to the next, jurisdictions frequently have slightly different definitions and sentencing rules. Regardless of the seriousness of this type of crime, it is always regarded and charged as a felony. You can find out more about this topic when you visit Law Office of Jesse Hernandez that feature this type of criminal law.