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An introduction to sexual offences and how our criminal solicitor can help you
17 Dec 2021

Our criminal solicitor has a very active and busy role in legal processes. The number of crimes being committed on a daily basis is on the rise, and in light of recent events, it has increased furthermore so. National statistics show that at least 20% of women and 4% of men have suffered some form of sexual assault in their lifetime.

So what are sexual offences? The legal definition of a sexual offence is when a perpetrator undertakes or causes others to undertake sexual acts on a victim without the victim’s consent.

Here at ABV solicitors, our criminal solicitor can provide you with friendly and professional advice on matters relating to sexual offences.

What is rape?

There are a number of sexual offences that can be committed, but the most serious of them all is rape. Up until the 1990s, marital rape was not classified as rape, and courts would often dismiss married women’s cases. However, in more recent years, the law surrounding rape and other sexual offences has become more stringent.

The legal definition of rape is the forceful penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth with a penis, where the victim has not given consent to this. As you can see, the definition of rape is very specific. However, in the past, there were cases whereby the crime did not fit into the specific definition of rape, and therefore, in recent years, a new offence known as sexual assault had been introduced. This is to cover situations where the victim has been assaulted in a way that does not fall under the definition of rape. It is designed for justice and to ensure that the perpetrator is punished for their crime.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is similar to rape; however, it is the penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth with an object or other part of the body that is not the penis, without the consent of the victim. This definition is a lot broader and covers more ground, giving victims more opportunity to bring a case against a perpetrator. Also, a woman can be found guilty of sexual assault as the legal definition does not require the use of a penis.

What sentences are handed down for rape and sexual assault?

As rape and sexual assault are considered the most heinous of sexual crimes, it comes as no surprise that they carry the harshest sentences. Perpetrators of rape are considered to be dangerous offenders; therefore, the minimum sentence they can be given is 5 years with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The court will take into consideration factors such as the age of the victim when determining the length of imprisonment.

With regards to sexual assault, the sentencing guidelines are not quite as strict and carry a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment. However, there have been a lot of calls in recent times to tighten the sentencing laws for sexual offences due to the debilitating impact they can have on the victim’s ability to live a normal life.

If you require legal support regarding a sexual offence case, you must reach out to us at ABV Solicitors, and we will provide you with a criminal solicitor who will be by your side throughout the entire process.

An introduction to crime and how our criminal solicitor can help you

Do you need a criminal solicitor? ABV Solicitors is here 24-7!