Indecent assault occurs where one person touches another person in a sexual manner without their consent or permission.
While such an accusation could seriously impact your life, our team of expert sexual offence lawyers has the skills and experience to ensure that you get the best result.
Your Options in Court
Being charged with indecent assault can be a stressful experience, particularly when you know you are not guilty.
However, with the help of our expert criminal defence team, you can take steps to fight the charges and secure a positive outcome in your indecent assault case.
Before you can be found guilty of indecent assault, the prosecution must prove four facts beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That an assault took place
- That the assault was ‘indecent’
- That consent was not given
- That you knew that consent was not given, or you were reckless as to whether consent was given
If the prosecution is unable to prove each of these four elements, you will be found ‘not guilty.’
If you believe that you should be found not guilty, our highly experienced lawyers can help present your side of the story in court to establish your innocence.
We can also advise you of any defences that you can raise that may result in the charges being dismissed.
Commonly raised defences in relation to indecent assault include:
- Where consent was given;
- Where there was a proper medical purpose;
- Where you were coerced or threatened into committing the indecent assault.
If you don’t want to fight the charges, you may simply wish to plead guilty early on.
By pleading guilty at an early stage, you will be spared the time and expense of a defended hearing or trial to determine your guilt. You may also get a more lenient penalty, as the court will consider the fact that you have accepted responsibility for your actions.
However, before pleading guilty, you should speak to one of our sexual offence experts, who can advise you whether there is any way to fight the charges and avoid a conviction altogether.
If you’re considering pleading guilty to indecent assault, it’s only natural that you will want to know what kinds of penalties you could be facing.
Under the Crimes Act, indecent assault carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.
However, our specialist lawyers will push to have the matter heard in the Local Court, where the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.
Your best chance at getting a positive result in your case is to ensure that you are being represented by a capable and reputable criminal defence lawyer.
In fact, with the knowledge and experience of our exceptional advocates, you may be able to avoid gaol altogether – we have developed various methods over many years to fight and win indecent assault case.
Ultimately, it will be up to the magistrate or judge to determine the type of penalty you will receive after you are found guilty. The types of penalties that may apply are listed below – click on each one for more information:
If you’ve been charged with indecent assault, you may be wondering what will happen when you go to court, and what kind of penalties you will face.
The information below details exactly what the prosecution will have to prove before you are found ‘guilty,’ as well as the possible penalties that you may face.
What does the prosecution have to prove?
To be found ‘guilty’ of indecent assault, the prosecution must prove four key factors beyond a reasonable doubt. If they fail to prove each of these things, you will be found ‘not guilty’:
1. That an assault took place:
For something to be an assault, it does not have to cause the complainant any physical pain or suffering – it’s enough to show that you deliberately touched them without their consent.
In some cases, it won’t even be necessary to show that physical contact took place – for example, an assault can still occur where your actions cause the complainant to anticipate some form of ‘immediate and personal violence,’ even though you did not actually touch them.
2. That the assault was ‘indecent’:
Whether or not your actions will be defined as ‘indecent’ will depend on the ‘ordinary standards of respectable people in the community.’
However, your actions must have some form of sexual element – for example, touching someone’s genitals, buttocks or breasts, or where you have touched someone elsewhere in a way to obtain sexual gratification.
Whether or not your actions were ‘indecent’ will therefore depend on the facts and circumstances of your case, including the ages of the people involved, the relationship that existed between them (if any), and the nature of the act itself.
3. There was no consent:
The prosecution must prove that the victim didn’t consent to the assault; that is, they did not give ‘conscious and voluntary’ permission for you to touch them.
Consent can be given either verbally, or communicated through the victim’s actions.
4. That you knew that no consent was given, OR you were reckless as to whether consent was given:
The prosecution must prove that you either knew that the victim didn’t consent to your actions but you acted anyway, or that you were ‘reckless’ as to whether or not consent was given. In determining whether or not you knew that consent was not given, the court will consider your state of mind at the time of the offence.
This means that the court will only focus on how you acted in light of whether or not you honestly believed that consent was given at the time of the offence – what you should have believed or thought won’t be relevant. Therefore, if you honestly (but incorrectly) believed that consent was given, the prosecution may not be able to establish this element and you may be found not guilty.
Recklessness can be proved if it can be shown that you knew that there was a possibility that the victim didn’t consent, but you continued regardless. Recklessness can also be proved where the prosecution shows that you didn’t bother to consider whether consent was given or not.
What penalties could I face?
As discussed above, under the Crimes Act, indecent assault carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment. However, this is the maximum penalty only, and it will only apply in the most serious cases.
Statistics show that the most common penalty for indecent assault is a section 9 good behaviour bond, which is a good behaviour bond that comes with a criminal conviction.
However, it is important to remember that these are general statistics only, and the type of penalty that will apply will be based on the facts and circumstances of your case.
Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?
Being charged with indecent assault can be nerve-racking and stressful for yourself and your loved ones, but you can rest assured that our specialist defence lawyers will fight for you every step of the way, no matter how serious the allegations are.
At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, our main goal is to keep our clients happy and free. That’s why we dedicate the time and effort to try and have indecent assault cases dropped at an early stage before they proceed to court – saving you time and money.
We guarantee that you will be represented by one of our senior lawyers at every court date to ensure that you have the strongest possible defence in your case. These Accredited Criminal Law Specialists have been recognized for their outstanding track record of fighting and winning complex criminal cases, including indecent assault matters.
Our expert lawyers have years of experience fighting indecent assault cases at defended hearings and jury trials.
We have the knowledge and expertise to put forth the best possible case to ensure that you get the best outcome – this is reflected in our long history of winning indecent assault cases!
So take the first step towards beating your indecent assault charge – call us now on our 24-hour hotline (02) 9261 8881 to book in your first FREE consultation with our criminal law specialists.