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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 in Court

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.

The various penalties that the court can impose include:

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!

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!

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 Satisfaction

    We 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 Firm

    We 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 Fees

    We 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 Appointment

    For 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 Guarantee

    We 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 Courts

    From 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 Specialists

    Our 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 Firm

    Our 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 You

    Our 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 Judges

    Each 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. Convenience

    We have offices in locations across the Sydney Metropolitan Area and beyond, including:

    We offer free parking at our Sydney CBD offices, 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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