It can be stressful and unnerving being charged with a serious offence like aggravated sexual assault in company, however with the help of an experienced expert defence lawyer you can rest assured that your liberty is in safe hands.

Aggravated sexual assault in company is the most serious form of sexual assault. It involves a sexual assault on another person in the company of one or more other persons in ‘aggravating circumstances.’

Often, aggravated sexual assault in company refers to serious sexual offences such as gang rapes.

Your Options in Court

Pleading Not Guilty

If you choose to plead ‘not guilty,’ you can ask your lawyer to fight the charges in court.

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

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

In addition to this, they will need to prove that the sexual assault was committed ‘in company.’

Finally, the prosecution must prove that there was at least one ‘aggravating circumstance.’ An aggravating circumstance is some additional factor that makes the offence more serious.

If you end up in court, you may also be able to raise a defence, which, if accepted, can result in the charges being dismissed. Click on each of the below defences for more information:

Pleading Guilty

If you choose to plead ‘guilty,’ 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 life imprisonment, however bear in mind that this is a maximum penalty only and will be reserved for the most serious offences. In fact, many people receive a far lesser penalty – this is because the judge decides the penalty based on all the facts and circumstances of your case.

The various penalties that the court can impose include:

Remember that your best shot at getting a favourable sentence is to speak to a specialized assault lawyer, who has the knowledge and experience to best assist you.

Sydney Criminal Lawyers® are a team of specialized defence lawyers with experience in fighting aggravated sexual assault cases.

What Does the Law Say About Aggravataed Sexual Assault in Company

The law can be complex and difficult to understand – that’s why we’ve provided some additional information below to help you understand what the prosecution needs to prove, and further, what kind of penalties you could be looking at if you plead guilty.

What does the prosecution need to prove?

Firstly, the prosecution needs to prove the three elements of ‘sexual assault:’

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

In addition to this, they will need to prove that the sexual assault was committed ‘in company.’ This means that the prosecution must show that there was at least one other person physically present at thetime of the offence, and that they shared a common purpose with the accused.

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

Finally, the prosecution must prove that there was at least one ‘aggravating circumstance.’ An aggravating circumstance is some additional factor that makes the offence more serious.

The law lists three possible ‘aggravating circumstances’:

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

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 use a weapon or instrument to inflict actual bodily harm upon the other person or someone nearby:

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 other person, so that a ‘threat’ can be made out even if the weapon could not actually cause harm – e.g. an unloaded gun.

3. 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 life imprisonment, however bear in mind that this is a maximum penalty only and will be reserved for the most serious offences.

Statistics show that the average sentence received is often much less than this, depending on the ‘circumstances of aggravation:’

  • For aggravated sexual assault in company where actual bodily harm was intentionally or recklessly inflicted: The average sentence was 12.5 years imprisonment (including an offender under the age of 18).
  • For aggravated sexual assault in company where threats of actual bodily harm were made using a weapon or instrument: The average sentence was 12 years imprisonment (the offender in this case was under 18).
  • For aggravated sexual assault in company where the victim’s liberty was deprived: The average sentence was 15 years (including an offender under the age of 18)

While these penalties may seem harsh, remember that your best shot at getting a favourable sentence is to speak to a specialist sexual assault lawyer, who has the knowledge and experience to best assist you.

Sydney Criminal Lawyers® are a team of specialist criminal defence lawyers with experience in fighting aggravated sexual assault cases.

In many cases, we’ve been able to have charges dropped before the matter even gets to court by finding problems in the prosecution case.

Your liberty is your most important asset, so get the experts on your side now – call us on our 24 hour hotline (02) 9261 8881 and arrange your first free appointment to discuss you case!

Why Choose Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Going to court can be nerve-racking, but having a strong and compassionate legal team behind you can make the experience significantly easier to deal with.

Here are 12 reasons to choose our multi-award winning legal team:

  1. Proven Track Record of Exceptional Results 

    Sydney Criminal Lawyers® consistently achieves outcomes which are in the highest percentile of the Judicial Commission’s sentencing statistics for criminal cases. Our legal team devises effective case-strategies and fights hard to have cases dropped entirely or charges downgraded – saving clients the time, expense and stress of a defended hearing or jury trial. Where cases nevertheless proceed, our lawyers have an outstanding track record of winning defended Local Court hearings, and complex jury trials in the District and Supreme Courts.We also consistently win appeals in the District and Supreme Courts (including the NSWCCA) after clients have received unsatisfactory results with other law firms in the lower courts.We are one of the few firms to achieve successful criminal law appeals in the High Court of Australia.

    Where our clients wish to plead guilty, we frequently achieve ‘dismissals’ and ‘non convictions’ in cases where other lawyers have advised there is no chance of doing so.

  2. Highest Level of Client SatisfactionWe have the best and most comprehensive client review record of any law firm in Australia. Regular communication, accessibility and quality service are our team’s highest priorities. We are committed to thoroughly explaining all steps involved in the criminal law process, providing regular updates throughout the proceedings, and making ourselves accessible and responsive.We are passionate about providing an exceptional level of service to our clients, and we fight hard to achieve optimal results in the shortest period of time.
  3. Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Law FirmWe have received more awards and accolades than any other criminal law firm in Australia. Our team has been awarded “Criminal Defence Firm of the Year in Australia” in a number of prestigious and competitive awards programs for several years running. The awards recognise our exceptional track record of results, our outstanding client service, the high level of satisfaction we achieve, the affordability of our services and our overall excellence.
  4. Fixed FeesWe want our clients to know exactly how much their cases will cost from the very start. That’s why we were the first criminal law firm in Australia to publish ‘fixed fees’, back in 2004. We offer fixed fees for most types of criminal cases and services.Our fixed fees apply to a range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, drug possession, fraud, common assault and AVOs, and also specific services such as prison visits, bail applications, appeals and defended hearings.

    Unlike many other law firms, our fixed fees are published on our website – which ensures transparency and certainty.

  5. Free First AppointmentFor those who are going to court, we offer a free first conference of up to an hour with one of our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers. We also offer a free first conference to those who have received an unsatisfactory result after being represented in court by another law firm, or after representing themselves, and wish to appeal.
  6. Specialist Lawyer GuaranteeWe guarantee that only lawyers with substantial criminal defence experience will work on your case and appear for you in court. This ensures our clients receive the highest quality representation from an experienced, specialist criminal lawyer.
  7. All NSW CourtsFrom Bombala to Broken Hill, our lawyers appear in courts throughout New South Wales – and across Australia for Commonwealth cases. And we offer fixed fees for most criminal and traffic law cases throughout the state.
  8. Accredited SpecialistsOur entire firm is exclusively dedicated to criminal law – which makes us true specialists. All of our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in criminal cases, and our principal has been certified by the Law Society of NSW as an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist since 2005. An ‘Accredited Specialist’ is a lawyer who has practised for at least 5 years in a particular field of law (such as criminal law), has passed a rigorous assessment process conducted by the Law Society of NSW, and has been selected by the Specialist Accreditation Committee of the Law Society as an expert in the field. Accredited Specialists are required to undertake more training each year than other lawyers and must be successful in having their accreditation renewed every year. Specialist Accreditation is the mark of a true specialist.Our firm’s specialist experience ensures you receive the best possible result, whatever your criminal law case may be.
  9. Results-Focused Law FirmOur team is passionate about achieving results, and unlike many other law firms, our lawyers do not have monthly financial ‘budgets’ to meet. The absence of budgets means our lawyers are entirely focused on achieving optimal results in the shortest space of time; whether by getting charges dropped or downgraded at an early stage or having cases ‘thrown out of court’. Not having budgets also means our lawyers are not under pressure to engage in unscrupulous practices such as unnecessarily adjourning cases or ‘overcharging’ clients – which, sadly, is a common complaint against many other lawyers and law firms.No budgets encourages regular consultation between lawyers within the firm – promoting an ‘open door’, team environment where lawyers bounce ideas off one another, formulate case strategy together and benefit from each other’s specialised experience, methods, techniques and insights.

    The result is a firm which delivers optimal outcomes in the shortest time periods, at the least expense and stress to our clients.

  10. Team of Lawyers Behind YouOur clients benefit from the pool of knowledge that only an extensive team of experienced criminal defence lawyers can provide. Our lawyers regularly consult one another to stay ‘ahead of the pack’ in the ever-changing field of criminal law – constantly devising, refining and implementing specialised techniques which ensure our clients achieve the best possible outcomes. A team approach is particularly important when it comes to serious criminal cases such as murder, commercial drug cases, serious and sexual assaults, large-scale fraud, robbery and other ‘indictable’ cases.In such matters, clients reap the benefits of several lawyers devising and executing case strategies which maximise the chances of having cases dropped or downgraded at an early stage, or ‘thrown out of court’ – often saving clients a great deal of cost, time and anxiety.
  11. Familiar with Magistrates and JudgesEach of our lawyers appears in court on a daily basis, and has done so for years. We have therefore been able to develop an understanding of, and rapport with, magistrates and judges in Sydney and indeed across the state. Our team’s extensive experience before the courts ensures your case is tailored to the specific nuances of individual judicial officers, maximising the likelihood of a favourable result.
  12. ConvenienceWe have offices in locations across the Sydney Metropolitan Area and beyond, including:
    • the Sydney CBD, on Castlereagh Street, directly opposite Downing Centre Court,
    • Liverpool, directly opposite Liverpool Local Court, and
    • Parramatta, near the justice precinct.

    We offer free parking at our Sydney CBD and Liverpool locations, and all of our offices are close to train stations and bus terminals.

    For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skye and FaceTime anywhere around the world.

    If you are going to court and wish to arrange a free first consultation, call our 24 hour hotline on (02) 9261 8881 or send us an email at info@sydneycriminallawyers.com.au.

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