Criminal Lawyers for Sexual Assault – s 61I Crimes Act 1900


Print

Sexual assault refers to situations where you had sexual intercourse with another person without their consent, and knowing that consent had not been given.

A sexual assault charge has the potential to have serious implications on your life – however, choosing the right team of lawyers can help protect your freedom and your future.

Sexual Assault Offences Generally

The Crimes Act now contains many more ‘sexual assault offences’ then just a few years ago, and the penalties for many offences have increased significantly.

Many areas of sexual assault law has changed in recent years, including laws about ‘consent’, ‘prior sexual conduct’, ‘cross-examination of complainants’ and ‘accessing information about complainants’.

It is therefore vital to get specialist sexual assault lawyers who understand the laws and have the experience to achieve the right result.

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

Being charged with sexual assault can be extremely stressful, but if you believe that you should be found ‘not guilty’ of sexual assault, you can ask your lawyers to fight your case in court.

In order to be found guilty of sexual assault, the prosecution must prove three things – if they are unable to prove these factors beyond a reasonable doubt, you will be found ‘not guilty’:

1. That you engaged in sexual intercourse with the other person at the time and place alleged
2. That no consent was given
3. That you knew no consent was given, or you were reckless as to consent

You may also be able to raise a defence in court to explain or justify your actions. If your defence is accepted, the charges against you may be dismissed. Click on each of the below defences for more information:

  • Consent (will not be available as a defence where the complainant was under 16, or where they were intellectually disabled and could not give consent)
  • Proper medical purpose
  • Self-defence
  • Necessity
  • Duress

Pleading Guilty

If you are considering pleading ‘guilty’ to sexual assault, you may want to know about the types of penalties that you may face.

Under s 61I of the Crimes Act, sexual assault carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment, with a standard non-parole period of 7 years.

However, it’s important to remember that this is a maximum penalty only, and you will often receive a more lenient sentence depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. The magistrate or judge will determine the type of penalty you will receive after you enter a plea of guilty, or you are found guilty of an offence following a hearing or trial. The types of penalties that may apply include:

Sexual assault is a serious offence which carries lengthy prison terms – so it’s imperative that you speak to a specialized sexual assault lawyer who has the skills and experience to help you get the best possible outcome.

Call us now on our 24 hour hotline (02) 9261 8881 to discuss what defences might apply to your case.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Being accused of sexual assault can be overwhelming for you and your family. However, by engaging specialist criminal defence lawyers, you can sleep easier knowing that the best experts are fighting for your liberty every step of the way.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we have extensive experience fighting and winning serious sexual assault cases. Our expert lawyers go above and beyond by dedicating the time and effort to speak to police and prosecutors on your behalf, examining all evidence to find issues with the prosecution case, and pushing for the charges to be dropped.

In many cases, our thorough research has uncovered issues which have subsequently led to charges against our clients being dropped.

When matters end up in court, our experienced lawyers fight hard to raise all available defences to ensure that our clients have the best possible chance of winning.

Unlike other law firms, we guarantee the experience of a senior criminal lawyer at all court dates – so you can trust that your future is in safe hands.

So let us ease the burden – call us now on our 24 hour hotline (02) 9261 8881 and find out how our senior lawyers can help you win your case.

More Information on Sexual Assault

If you’ve been charged with sexual assault, you may be questioning how a criminal charge will affect your life and future.

We have included some detailed information below to help you understand the charge of sexual assault, as well as the possible penalties that you could be facing.

What does the prosecution need to prove?

In order to be found guilty of sexual assault, the prosecution must prove three elements:

1. That the accused engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim at the time and place alleged:

Sexual intercourse under the Crimes Act does not only refer to genital penetration by a person’s body parts, but also includes penetration of a person’s genitals by objects manipulated by another person, and cases of oral sex performed on either a male or a female.

There is no need to prove that ejaculation or full penetration occurred, or that the intercourse was for sexual gratification.

2. That the victim did not consent:

Consent in relation to sexual assault involves the ‘free and voluntary agreement’ of each party, either verbally or through the victim’s actions.

In some cases, consent cannot be given, for example:

  • Where the victim does not have the capacity to give consent due to their age
  • or mental impairment;
  • Where the victim is unconscious or asleep;
  • Where the victim gives consent under threat or duress;
  • Where the victim consents as they are being unlawfully detained;
  • Where the victim is under a mistaken belief as to the identity of the offender, that the offender is their spouse, that the intercourse is for medical or hygienic reasons;
  • Where the victim is severely intoxicated or affected by drugs;
  • Where the offender is someone in a position of authority.

3. That the offender knew that the victim did not consent, or was reckless as to consent:

The prosecution must prove that you knew that the complainant didn’t consent to the act, that you were reckless as to consent, or that you had no reasonable grounds for believing that the complainant consented to the act.

In determining whether you knew that consent was not given, the court will consider your state of mind at the time of the offence, as well as any steps that you took to determine whether consent was given.

In situations where you genuinely, but wrongly believed that consent was given, this element will not be made out and the charges against you may be dismissed.

Recklessness will be established where you failed to consider whether or not consent was being given and acted regardless, or where you acted despite knowing that there was a possibility that consent was not given.

What penalties could I face?

While the Crimes Act imposes a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment for sexual assault cases, this will only be reserved for the most serious matters.

In fact, no offenders received the maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment between 2003 and 2007.

Statistics show that the most common penalty for sexual assault offences was imprisonment, with the average sentence being 5 years and 4.5 months. The average non-parole period was 3 years and 1 month.

The average sentence for offenders who pleaded guilty (4.5 years) was substantially less than those who pleaded not guilty (6.5 years).

While these statistics might seem harsh, it’s important to remember that with the right lawyers on your side, you can ensure that you get the best possible outcome – and in some cases, you may even be able to get the charges dismissed if you put forth an appropriate defence.

Call Sydney Criminal Lawyers now on (02) 9261 8881 to discuss your options and book your first free appointment.

Proven Track Record of Winning Sexual Assault Trials

The Sydney Criminal Lawyers defence team has an unmatched track record of winning sexual assault trials.

Our lawyers will ‘leave no stone unturned’ when preparing for your trial.

We will ensure that all relevant materials are obtained by issuing extensive subpoenae to all organisations that may be able to provide evidence that asists you.

In countless cases, we have uncovered material that has assisted us in having sexual assault cases dropped in the lead-up to trial.

We also regularly prepare ‘representations’; which are an extensive written document highlighting the problems in the prosecution case and requesting withdrawal.

There have been many instances of our clients coming to us after being dissatisfied with the performance of their previous lawyers – particularly where those lawyers have not fought hard enough for withdrawal.

We frequently ‘pick up the case’ and work hard to do what is required to give our clients the best chance of having the charges dropped, and thereby avoiding a lengthy, expensive and possibly risky jury trials.

If the case nevertheless proceeds to trial, rest assured that we will only brief the very best barristers in sexual assault cases, and your barrister will be instructed by an experienced sexual assault lawyer.

Choosing the very best lawyer for your sexual assault trial can be one of the most important decisions you ever make.

Have a look at our Recent Results on this website before making your choice.

See one of our experienced lawyers and let us show you what needs to be done in your case!

Related Cases

Not Guilty of All 16 Sexual Assault Charges Sexual Assault Case Thrown Out of Court and Complainant Under Investigation Prosecution Drops Sexual Assault Charges Defence Strategy Forces DPP to Drop Sexual Assault Trial Not Guilty of Sexual Assault after Two Week Trial

Related Articles

Police Officer Accused of Raping Child Largest Prison Strike in US History: An Exclusive Interview with Azzurra Crispino Bullying and Harassment Rife Within the AFP Netherlands Closes Prisons due to Shortage of Criminals Sleeping Man Cleared of Rape Charges