Criminal Lawyers for Aggravated Sexual Assault – s 61J Crimes Act 1900


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Being charged with aggravated sexual assault can be an unsettling and scary experience. However, choosing the right lawyer can ease some of the burden by fighting hard to protect your rights and future.

Aggravated sexual assault is a more serious form of sexual assault. It involves a sexual assault on another person in ‘circumstances of aggravation.’

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

If you believe that you are ‘not guilty’ of aggravated sexual assault, you can instruct your lawyer to fight to have the charges dropped.

For you to be found ‘guilty’ of aggravated sexual assault, the prosecution needs to prove the three elements of ‘sexual assault.’ These are:

  • That you had sexual intercourse with another person
  • Without their consent
  • Knowing that they did not consent

In addition to this, the prosecution must prove at least one ‘circumstance of aggravation.’ A circumstance of aggravation is some additional factor which makes the offence more serious. See below for more information about ‘circumstances of aggravation.’

If the prosecution is unable to prove the elements of sexual assault, as well as a ‘circumstance of aggravation,’ you will be found not guilty.

In addition, there are several defences that you can raise to explain your actions. If accepted, these defences can result in the charges being dismissed. Click on each of the below defences for more information:

Pleading Guilty

If you wish to plead guilty to the charges, your matter will be dealt with in a higher court, such as the District or the Supreme Court.

The maximum penalty for aggravated sexual assault is 20 years imprisonment.

There is also a standard non-parole period of 10 years, which means that the judge will look at 10 years as a starting point when handing down your sentence.

However, bear in mind that these are maximum penalties only – they are reserved for the most serious offences only. The judge will determine the type of penalty based on all the facts and circumstances of your case.

If you’re thinking about pleading guilty to aggravated sexual assault, it’s important to talk to a specialist criminal defence lawyer to ensure you get the best possible outcome in your case.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we fight hard to get the best results for our clients by collecting all evidence and presenting it in a persuasive manner in court.

So get the best lawyers on your side now – call us on our 24 hour hotline (02) 9261 8881 and arrange your first free appointment to discuss your case today!

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Being charged with aggravated sexual assault can be a stressful and nerve-racking experience for you and your family. However, with the right legal expertise on your side, you can increase your chances of successfully defending the charges and winning your case.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers we have a long history of defending complex aggravated sexual assault offences.

In every case, our main goal is to protect our clients’ liberty – in many cases we’ve been able to fight to have charges dropped at an early stage by finding issues with the prosecution case.

If the matter ends up in court, our expert lawyers will be able to guide you through the court process and fight the charges to ensure that you get the best possible outcome.

We know that your liberty is your greatest asset, so we work hard to get the best possible outcomes for our clients. Call us now on our 24 hour hotline (02) 9261 8881 and arrange your first free consultation.

What Does the Law Say About Aggravated Sexual Assault?

What are circumstances of aggravation?

In addition to the elements of ‘sexual assault,’ the prosecution must prove at least one ‘circumstance of aggravation.’ A circumstance of aggravation is some additional factor which makes the offence more serious.

Under the law, there are nine possible ‘circumstances of aggravation’:

1. That you intentionally or recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm upon the other person:

Actual bodily harm refers to harm that has some form of lasting impact – but it doesn’t have to be permanent.

Examples of actual bodily harm include bruises or scratches, and can include emotional harm where there is evidence of serious, lasting psychiatric harm.

2. That you made threats to the other person to use a weapon or instrument:

Threats to use a weapon can include verbal threats, as well as ‘physical’ threats such as showing the alleged victim a knife or pointing a gun at them.

‘Weapons’ or ‘instruments’ can refer to a wide range of objects, including guns (loaded or unloaded), knives, syringes, baseball bats and so on.

The court will look at the threat from the perspective of the victim so that a ‘threat’ can be made out even if the weapon could not actually cause harm – e.g. an unloaded gun.

3. Two or more people were present at the time of the offence:

The prosecution must show that there was at least one other person physically present at the time of the offence, and that they shared a common purpose with you.

The court will consider the effect of the group as a whole in committing the act or intimidating the complainant.

It won’t be enough to show that the other person participated in the offence without being physically present – e.g. where someone acted as a lookout or assisted in planning the offence.

4. The complainant was under 16 years of age

5. You were in a position of authority over the complainant (such as where you were a teacher or carer):

This involves cases where the complainant was under your care, supervision or authority, for example, where you are the complainant’s carer, baby-sitter, teacher, or even an employer.

6. The complainant had a serious cognitive impairment:

A ‘cognitive impairment’ refers to cases where the complainant had ‘below average intellectual function,’ which meant that they required assistance and supervision with daily activities.

Examples of mental disabilities include developmental disorders, neurological disorders, dementia, and severe mental illnesses or brain injuries.

7. The complainant had a serious physical disability:

A ‘serious physical disability’ refers to a physical impairment or defect which may arise from an accident or condition at birth and affects the complainant’s quality of life.

8. You committed a ‘break and enter’:

The prosecution must prove that you committed a ‘break and enter’ with the intention to commit the offence or any other serious offence. You can see our page on ‘break and enter’ for more information on this.

9. The complainant was ‘deprived of their liberty’ before or after the offence:

This involves confining or detaining someone against their will.

What penalties could I face?

The maximum penalty for aggravated sexual assault is 20 years imprisonment.

There is also a standard non-parole period of 10 years, which means that the judge will look at 10 years as a starting point when determining your sentence.

However, bear in mind that these are maximum penalties only – they are reserved for the most serious offences.

In fact, while the average sentence is currently 7 years, with a non-parole period of 4 years – meaning that 4 years is the time actually spent in prison.

While these penalties may seem harsh, getting a specialist criminal defence lawyer on your side is your key to ensuring the best possible outcome.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we have a long history of defending serious sexual assault matters and in many cases we’ve been able to have charges dismissed altogether by raising a valid defence.

So get the best lawyers on your side now – call us on our 24 hour hotline (02) 9261 8881 and arrange your first free appointment to discuss your case today!

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