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Confused about sexual assault sentencing? A guide from a sexual assault solicitor at ABV Solicitors

07 October 2020


Although it is a fairly common offence in the UK, sexual assault is rarely spoken about in relation to its legal aspects.

While many people have a basic knowledge of the legalities surrounding offences such as grievous bodily harm or driving violations, if someone finds themself on the end of a sexual assault accusation, many begin to envision spending their lives in prison.

If you have found yourself in the unfortunate situation of being accused of committing a sexual offence, it is important that you have a basic understanding of the law surrounding this offence, specifically in relation to sentencing. That way, your thoughts will not spiral into sheer panic, and you can focus with your legal representative on building your defence.

At ABV Solicitors, our sexual offence solicitor will work to prove your innocence from the moment we are hired and, if your case does go to court, we will always liaise with the judge to get the shortest sentence. We will act with complete discretion, to ensure that both yours and your families lives remain intact during and after the case, allowing you to get back to life once our representation is completed.

What is the length of prison sentences related to sexual assault in the UK? Our sexual offence solicitor provides a brief guide.

Defining categories

Just like other areas of the law, when it comes to sexual assault, there are varying degrees of offence.

When you come to our sexual offence solicitor at ABV Solicitors, the first step we will take is defining which category your alleged assault falls into. This category is based on harm and ranges from Category 1 to Category 3. Of course, this determination will impact on the sentencing and the punishment that you may receive should your case go to court.  We will also assess culpability, which is divided into 2 separate categories based on intent.

Be aware, the following sentencing information is a rough guide based on assaults towards people over the age of 18 years and is not a substitute for professional, legal advice.

Category 1

This category explores areas such as the threat of violence towards the alleged victim alongside abduction and psychological harm.

If your allegation falls into this category, with culpability noted, your sentence will range from 3-8 years. If no culpability is found, then it reduces to a maximum of 4 years.

Category 2

Category 2 explores things such as victim vulnerability and touching of the alleged victim.

Depending on culpability in this instance, you may be released from your sentence in 1 year or detained for up to 4 years.

Category 3

If you are accused of a non-violent, short lengthed form of sexual assault then your sentence is likely to be minimal and will fall into Category 3.

If there is also no culpability found, you may receive a high-level community order but if it is determined that there were elements such as pre-planning, then you may be detained for up to 1 year.

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