One of the most atrocious types of assault in New York is sexual assault. Most people think of rape when they hear sexual assault, but there are many different forms of it. A good number of acts of sexual assault are considered felonies, which are punished severely.

Convicts spend years and years in prison and have to deal with many other consequences. A Long Island criminal justice attorney can acquaint you with what is at stake if you are convicted and help you find the best way out before it happens.

What are the Elements of Sexual Assault Crime in New York?

It is easier to figure out what is at stake once you understand the legal definition of sexual assault in New York. The prosecution needs to bring forth evidence showing that your actions met the required elements of the crime before you are penalized. It includes:

  • Subjecting another person to sexual contact
  • Touching the sexual and other intimate parts of another person
  • Touching directly or through clothing
  • The purpose was to fulfill a gratifying sexual desire
  • Forcible touching
  • Persistent sexual abuse
  • Inserting a foreign object into their sexual parts
  • Inserting foreign objects capable of causing physical injuries

You might be punished differently depending on the degree of those actions. Some acts are considered graver than others, but the burden of proof lies with your accuser and the prosecution.

How is Sexual Abuse Classified in New York?

The prosecution draws guidance on how to charge suspects from the New York Sexual Assault Statute. Sections 130.52 -1330.70 categorizes various acts into first, second, and third-degree sexual offenses.

Third-Degree Sexual Assault

Subjecting someone to any form of sexual contact without consent is an offense in the third degree. The charge would remain at that if there were no elevating factors regarding the victim’s age and other circumstances.

Second-Degree Sexual Assault

Subjecting a person to sexual contact when they are incapable of consenting is a second-degree sexual offense. A person 14 years and below is not legally able to give consent for sexual acts or activities.

First-Degree Sexual Assault

The sexual assault case could get more serious if the sexual contact happens in the following circumstances:

  • Through threats of kidnapping, physical injury, or death
  • Through the use of physical force
  • A victim aged less than 11 years
  • A defendant 21 years or older and a victim aged less than 13 years old
  • A victim unable to consent for being physically helpless

What Other Charges Fall Under Sexual Assault?

Apart from sexual abuse, sexual assault can come in several other forms. The terms used can be confusing, but a sexual assault defense attorney in Long Island can explain things to you. You might have been charged with:

  • Sexual misconduct
  • Rape
  • Using a controlled substance in a sex offense – Class D Felony
  • A course of sexual conduct (sexual intercourse, oral, anal, or aggravated sexual conduct) against a child in the first degree – Class B Felony
  • A course of sexual conduct against a minor under 11 years two or more times in the last three months/ you are above 18 years, and the child is under 13 years – Class D felony.
  • First-degree sexual abuse – Class B violent felony
  • Second-degree sexual abuse and persistent sexual abuse – Class E violent felony
  • Third-degree sexual abuse – Class B misdemeanor
  • Forcible touching – Class A Misdemeanor

How are Sexual Assault Offenders Punished in New York?

While sexual assault is broken down into different names, it is primarily classified either as a misdemeanor or a felony. If you are charged and successfully convicted of any form of sexual assault, you are likely to be punished through:

  • Several years in prison
  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • Restitution of up to $15,000 or more to cover the victim’s medical expenses
  • The requirement to register as a sex offender for at least 20 years or for life
  • Wage garnishment
  • A judgment against you by the state of New York

A seasoned criminal defense attorney can tell you what to expect and equip you with ways of fighting a conviction.

What Does the Judge Consider While Sentencing Sexual Assault Offenders?

Generally, felony offenders are punished more severely than those convicted with misdemeanors. The judge can give you the highest possible or the least possible penalty after looking at the following factors:

  • If you are a persistent felony offender with two or more prior convictions
  • If you have had a violent felony conviction in the last ten years
  • If you have had a non-violent felony conviction in the past ten years
  • If you have had any felony convictions in the last ten years

Basically, your criminal history is a significant determinant in sexual assault sentencing. A favorable criminal record can make it easier for your Long Island sexual assault defense attorney to negotiate for probation instead of prison.

Can I Solve Deal with the Charges on My Own, or Do I Need an Attorney?

Sexual assault cases come with very long prison terms and other life-long consequences. And being a complex case, accused persons might need a lawyer to represent them. An experienced Long Island sexual assault defense attorney can seek to reduce or eliminate your criminal charges.

Most lawyers won’t charge any fees for the first consultation where they evaluate your case and give an overview of the possibilities. They will look at the charges against you and compare them with your narration of the incident. After that, they will use their legal knowledge to advise you on the best approach to a defense or negotiations.

An Attorney Providing Experienced Representation in New York

The laws on sexual assault are very harsh because of the nature of this crime. Additionally, a conviction of this nature can taint your reputation among your family members and your peers.

But all this is avoidable if a legal expert fights for you in the corridors of justice. They can explore the most strategic defenses and give your case better outcomes. The Mirsky Law Firm lawyers have been doing this for years. Speak to us today to get expert legal advice.