Five important things to know about sexual assault charges
What are five important things to be aware of regarding sexual assault charges? In the following article we will outline the crucial elements of sexual assault charges that you need to know. Firstly, the statute of limitation laws can vary in different regions. The statute of limitation is concerned with the amount of time a victim can report a crime to authorities after it has occurred, which can range from a few years to decades. If one is charged with sexual assault it is useful to know the timeline for the victim to report the actual crime. One piece of advice would be to ask your criminal defense lawyer the statute of limitation for the specific region.
Secondly, not all sexual assault charges lead to trial. For instance, out of 100 sexual assaults roughly 50 of them are reported to police and only 12 of the reports lead to arrests. Furthermore, out of the 12 arrests only 9 will lead to trial and three verdicts will lead to at least a day in prison. Despite the approximate numbers, remember it all depends on the circumstances of the case itself. Thirdly, why would a sexual assault trial lead to civil court opposed to criminal court? In trial a sexual assault charge needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty and in some cases the trial is held at civil court rather than criminal court; because in criminal court there is a higher standard of proof.
In a civil court the entirety of the case does not depend on innocence or guilt but instead it finds if the accused is liable for injuries to the victim as a result of the alleged sexual assault. Often times, if a prosecutor in a criminal court is unable to convict then the trial may move to civil court. The reason for this is that if in criminal court the accused is found not guilty, they can still be brought to a civil trial and lose. Fourthly, the burden of proof is levied against the victim and prosecutor and not the defense council.
In many trials DNA evidence or other form of incriminating evidence is not available because the reporting of the crime was delayed, which means it is harder to link the sexual assault to the accused. In this instance, a trial without factual evidence turns into the victim’s word against the accused. In addition, if there was a previous relationship between the victim and accused and if alcohol was involved the trial can become very tedious and complex.
Fifthly, how long does it take to be granted a pardon for the previous sexual assault charge? Sexual assault charges can differ in seriousness. For instance, a minor sexual assault charge that involved inappropriate touching at a bar while intoxicated is often a summary offense, which will take up to 5 years to be eligible to apply for a pardon. If the sexual assault charge is more serious, then it will be labelled as an indictable offense, which will take up to 10 years before an individual can apply for a pardon. By understanding the previously mentioned factors involving sexual assault, you can be better prepared to deal with a sexual assault charge.